When you’re down on your luck, don’t tell a single soul.
Startup life is jam-packed with ups and downs. One moment everything is moving along well, and the next… *WHAM!!!* You just lost your biggest client and now you feel the pressures of even the smallest bills closing in on you. When you’re down on your luck, you feel it eating away at your soul, but to get past it, counterintuitively, you can’t tell anyone.
Well… alright. You could tell your husband/wife for a bit of peace of mind, but blabbing it all around town, or even just mentioning it to your coworkers will cause people to think twice about working with you. Contractors and employees don’t want to work for a sinking ship. Partner companies see you as a liability. Everyone is in it for themselves, not to help save your company or get you out of a bind. Investors will give you a lower valuation, if they even want to work with you at all, as they don’t invest in a sinking ship.
So, what can you do? *I’m freaking out, man!*
Dragon Cloud and Excited Dragon both went through their shares of financial hurdles, just like Tesla and SpaceX. Hell, even Apple almost died and stuck around through over a decade of misery. Startups suffer financial from time to time, and that’s certainly an understatement. However, the startups run by people with awesome business acumen are the ones that survive. Why? It’s because we know how to leverage our assets and pull through.
There’s numerous things to do when you’re down on your luck, but blabbing about it to everyone is a real problem. It’s best to get the birthing pains done and over with while you’re small so you’re much more skilled when you get big enough for those mistakes to otherwise kill you. (Don’t be the Pepsi CEO of Apple. Be Steve Jobs. Be Elon Musk. Be someone who has gone through Hell and survived it. If you don’t, you’ll kill your business.)
Did Rick Mac Gillis make this mistake?
I sure did. I’ve lived in Hell most of my life, and until I started to realize just how much power my voice carried, I didn’t realize that my flapping gums were that much of a liability. I burned many bridges, and our Marketer started thinking we’re a sinking ship, so he turned tail and ran. Things haven’t been the same since. It was just another failure to me, but like all failures, I learned from it and shut that hole in my face!
To combat the issue, I sought to change my public personality. It wasn’t until this time in my life that I learned that honesty can be just as much of a liability as dishonesty. FWIW, I have to fight the urge to go into detail about the inner workings of the company and products when discussing my companies with people. That makes for a very transparent process, but also could be used against me, and against the company if I’m not careful.
For the longest time I hated lying, and saw it as slimey. Even though most adults would agree with that statement, we lie to our own children with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Not to mention other numerous lies we conjure up when we don’t see honesty as a way to solve a situation.
I’ve been burned far too many times for being hopelessly honest, and that’s when I started to try my hand at the dreaded dishonesty that exudes inaccuracy. (My Asperger Syndrome compels me to keep everything as accurate as possible, so I constantly have to fight that.) Dishonesty/acting, in moderation, can keep you safe in business-land. However, it’s best to just not say anything if you can help it, as elaborate lies are difficult to maintain. Only lie when absolutely necessary, and you’ll be just fine.
So, when you’re down on your luck, you need to act like everything is fine. People will stick with you and in the end, the fact that you didn’t complain about things falling apart, will be the very thing that saves your company.
What is karma? (It’s not what you think.)
The cosmic order of things traverses most people’s views in many ways. The Christians have the Golden Rule, spiritualists like me have the Cosmic law of Karma. No matter what your views are, you probably see that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. (Newton’s Laws of Motion) So, however you spin it, karma is a very real thing in the world. (Vengeance, the desire to give back to those who helped you, Gratefulness, etc.) So, I want you to have an open mind about karma so you don’t sell yourself short in business.
The butterfly effect states that if a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, that it could create a tsunami on the other side of the world. A butterfly could flap its wings near a beehive which causes it to fall. That beehive then releases lots of bees that proceed to attack the person sitting under the tree. That person then runs away from the bees, and jumps in a car to get away from them, thus crashing into another person as the driver of the car starts getting stung. So, did that butterfly cause the car crash?
Use Karma to your advantage.
Cosmos operates on that principal. So, when you donate $100 to someone who needs it, you could easily find yourself getting 10x more money coming back to you. That’s the reason why Dragon Cloud donates 10% of all gross profits to charity. That decision was made when we were down on our luck in order to bolster the company’s profitability. Do you know of anyone who wouldn’t shed a dime in exchange for a dollar? How about almost the entire world? No one ever does that!
Find a charity you see as having a worthy cause, make your company stand out as a company giving money away out of the goodness of your heart, and watch the profits roll in so you can give even more. That’s what we do. We can bring both companies increased income for that reason because everyone wants to help others, and thus everyone wins. Even if you don’t increase profits directly, you’ll find that out of the blue someone will help you in some way. (Ex. An investor wants to invest in your company, or a friend or family member gives you some money just to do it.)
Donating isn’t the only way to boost your profits.
I’ve personally worked with some of our clients who were on the brink of losing their businesses because of poor-quality contractors. I was literally their last straw or they’d lose their business. Instead of doing what so many others do and flee, I decided to help them as fast as possible. They had the money to grow our company, and we had the resources at Dragon Cloud to do the job right. So, I “championed” their project as one client put it, and it was up and running for them in a week instead of the month of unfinished sloppy work from the last contractor they worked with. Everyone won in that situation.
That’s not just a one-off event either. Many clients have been burned so often by contractors who try to take as much money from clients for as long as they can. It ruined the reputation of the web development industry, and clients don’t know who to trust. That’s the reason why Dragon Cloud exists in the first place, so that we can become like Realtor(R) is to the real estate industry.
Ultimately if Dragon Cloud backs your name, people will see you as a quality engineer, and that’s the whole point of the business in the first place.
When you help enough people, your company, too, will become immensely profitable. So, help people even if you don’t see any immediate financial benefit. Positive Karma will come back around to multiply your karmic investment by 10x what you put into it.
Want more? Meditate and realize that acting like you’re down on your luck will make you feel even more like you’re down on your luck.