Entrepreneur(s): A lesson to Remember

The old generation are true leaders ,our teachers, they don’t retire they might just miss their classes.

That day was hard, different, I couldn’t even remember why I decided to take this entrepreneurial journey. All things conspired to remind me of my fears and weaknesses I put down while preparing the SWOT analysis, just to make it more difficult.
So I went to Manara, Beirut. A place where I always believed, especially in that cold weather, is good to relief, re-energize, and even catch some creative plans behind the horizon. Still I could only remember that meeting and their sorrow eyes saying “What a character! but young to open such a consultancy business.” It was like a big shock reminding me of my biggest fears “My age, lack of references, and the immaturity of our market .”

Two years ago, that same remarkable day started by a meeting I’ve been resiliently calling the General Manager to set. Five refined, sharp managers staring at me while sitting in an old traditional conference room at one of a Lebanese bank filled with a lot of electric vibes. One of the managers looked bravely and said “We don’t have the luxury of an alpha bank to invest in such a project with a newly established firm like yours with no guarantee of the end results.” So I stood up calmly, looking at the GM while keeping a respectful look at all the other attendees and responded: “I believe, this bank has been more than 30 years in business. It has survived through all the Lebanese various crisis while still moving forward and expanding. Whereas HEED has been recently established, and any unsuccessful project especially with esteemed company like yours within such a small market would risk all the strength, confidence and faith I have collected to take this step and start this journey. Do you think a person, in my age, would have all these guts to call upon yourself and ask for this meeting if I’m not confident what added value HEED can bring to your sales and commercial activity?

Sometime, Just Move On

But I remember, that my walk on Manara resolved by remembering one thing I wrote on the 1st page of my business plan. “Tough days will come frequently. You will be even so clouded to think clearly. So just remember then, that you took very good care in planning to open the company and you believed you can do it. So just move on now.”

Today, sitting on a plane, some of my best time to disconnect and look at things from a different angle, I remembered that day and thanked myself for moving on. I even got to understand why I had those fears, that perspective, and what respect I have within me now to owners from the old generation.

It is just a Perspective

Entrepreneurs believe anything is possible. They see the opportunity when others see impossibility. They take risks with no fear. They contribute to something bigger than themselves. They believe it is never early, neither too late to start living a dream.

Still in our unconscious mind we keep excuses to use in case of failure. Excuses that we later got to see and validate that they were merely our creation. In my early journey, i even had a distorted perception of things:

1. Being young: I thought this will undermine my capabilities and the added value I can bring through our developed program, especially that I thought the old generation would not take me seriously.

2. Lack of References: We were raised on the concept that big companies work only with big companies. Moreover, I thought it is difficult to take on assignments without any references of successful stories. On the contrary; Mr. Najjar, the GM of an international textiles and fabric firm proved me wrong saying: “You remind me of my old days. You seem a man of respect who always care for people who entrusted you in your early stages. You put all your expertise, passion, and energy for the success of the project. I could clearly envisage what service you would provide us and how you would serve us, unlike being just an additional client, and this is what we truly require.

3. Market is Immature: I believed that the old generation made their companies by following a scattered gun approach in selling. Why they would be interested in shifting their methods to a disciplined structured model today? I thought it would take me a long road to explain the importance of setting a laser focused sales strategy and putting science into the art of selling.


A Lesson to Remember

We often forget, not only that this journey was taken before, and in a much difficult approach as well. The day the old generation was fighting through their days to start up their businesses, overcoming all obstacles raised due to war and other non stopping crisis. It was even the time before the internet, the time with less means of communication, and maybe threatening transportation. In fact, they:

1. Believe In Us: It is those people who made their career to hold successful business today who believe in us, in our courage and capabilities. I could understand now, Mr. Nasrallah, a CEO of an international real estate firm and a Board director to a leading FMCG Holding telling me. “I interested to work with people like you, young energetic and have a very solid understanding of the on-ground sales. It is your energy of being young that gives you patience to take the required time in looking at the details  of every aspect, which is the key factor in the success of projects’ execution.

2. Believe in small size firms: It is those people who made it through their journey that truly understand the importance of cooperating with the new established firms. They know that you would provide them a very different sharp service.

3. Take Initiative: It is those leaders who take the initiative to develop their businesses by implementing new ideas into practice. Mr. Salem, GM of a leading publication, made it clear to me in our meeting, “I’m happy to explore how we could further structure our sales organization. We always come across this subject together with my fellow GMs, the importance of maintaining a disciplined sales process and how putting science into selling nowadays can have a tremendous increase on the sales performance.

How Can we Help

Yes I’m not an entrepreneur mentor or coach, but I believe salesperson’s journey is very similar to an entrepreneur. It has much of the same peaks and valleys, vibes and stress, loneliness and overwhelming tension, but on an easier level. It is the structured focused preparation coupled with my sales mentality and understanding that aided me throughout this journey, a lesson I will always remember.

If you believe in process consultancy. If you are having any sales problems, challenges, or even looking to explore the true potential of your sales organization, HEED takes pride in assisting you by looking at things from a third party perspective with a sole purpose of building and developing a scalable predictable disciplined sales organization.

Our engagement focus on addressing the macro, process and people level. Our efforts normally range between five to seven months for a medium-sized firm, including executing the set plan that link together people, strategy, plans and processes. It’s the discipline of execution which measures the success of any consultancy, and in execution we believe.

Managing Partner
Founder of HEED, a sales management consulting firm focused on aiding companies to structure, transform or optimize their sales by integrating science into selling.

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