Would you work for free for 2 years?

At times it may not seem like it, but I do plan the topics of my articles. The topic for this week’s newsletter was inspired by the Podcast “How I built this with Guy Raz.” Raz interviewed Howard Schultz of Starbucks about the early days of the company. There’s much about the interview that is both interesting and entertaining, but one fact was an idea I’d jumped on as an article topic. Schultz pitched the concept of Starbucks to 242 people for the first $1M investment. It took 242 times for Schultz to raise the initial funds that became the juggernaut that is Starbucks today. And yes, I’m a customer.

That, my friends, is persistence in asking.

My original topic for this article revolved around persistence in asking for the business. I have examples of my own experience in cold calling businesses in NorthWest Austin back in the 90’s. I asked over and over again for business owners to believe in me and in this “world wide web” thing I was selling. I have a slew of concepts that I’d mastered along the way to share. One being understanding your personal close rate. I knew, like every good salesperson should, what my close rate was. I understood that if I made sure I got to 10 decision makers by close of business on Thursday, my pipeline of business would stay full which meant I could take the day off on Fridays creating my very own 3-day weekend whenever I wanted one.

I was going to take this and present the idea of making sure you’ve done the math on what is the appropriate frequency of telling YOUR story, making sure you’re genuinely connecting with someone more than once. Understanding that a “no” today might not be a “no” tomorrow, and to keep asking. Keep asking to understand what problem you’re uniquely solving and showing that you’re the best solution. Continue reading “Would you work for free for 2 years?”