I’m sorry to many of the business owners I’ve met with in the past to talk about Smart Dolphins and your technology. I’ve done many of you a disservice. I’ve let you down and it probably will cost you thousands of dollars and much frustration.
I have begun to see that I care too much what others think of me and that being liked is too often a priority for me when I’ve met with some business owners. I wanted you to like me so I agreed with you when I knew you were wrong. I knew that your beliefs were costing you and instead of truly challenging you on those things and trying to educate you based on my 12 years of experience in this business, I was too focused on “building a relationship” and being cordial.
I’ve had a growing awareness of this problem, but the penny dropped for me this this month. I met with a business owner recently who was having a lot of problems with their computer network and their IT support vendor (“vendor” might be generous: They had a “kid” who had a “real job” and was only available on weekends and evenings). This situation was the poster-child for why Smart Dolphins exists. This company had huge risk, costs and were missing a ton of opportunity because they looked at these things through the wrong lens. They were trying to minimize their IT support vendor costs while also expecting great results. They were looking for a minor miracle.
I wasn’t in the meeting long with this person before they wanted to know “how much do you guys cost”. When I gave them a ballpark, the meeting came to an abrupt end; this business couldn’t “afford” our price. They had to continue to find a way to minimize their vendor cost and hope and pray for a different outcome. This was clearly not a “hot prospect” for Smart Dolphins, but it was clearly someone that needed some guidance. I didn’t give any. I let this person continue their insanity (doing the same thing and expecting a different result) without challenging the logic. What a waste.
Again, I’m sorry. I failed you. I’m sorry to all the others that I have let off the hook like I did here.
I have challenged some decision makers and I have educated many on the true cost dynamics of their IT networks, but there have been many situations like this where I walk away, quietly disagreeing with someone’s reasoning.
This public apology and admission here is part of a new leaf that I am turning over. Business world, prepare to be challenged.
So, I’m also going to take this opportunity to submit an apology to the many business owners that I’m going to meet with in the future. I can’t promise you that we’re going to be Best Friends Forever. I might still part with a differing opinion, but you’ll know about it.