A friend has been getting bugged to join a local group of business owners in their marketing co-op.
On the surface it looks like a good idea – it is nice and friendly and all that.
But the decision has bugged her, something she can’t put her finger on.
I told her she should avoid them at all costs.
My friend’s business has the potential to break big – much bigger than the boutique and tchotchke sellers.
And if she was in the group now, when she is still building, a couple things could happen:
– Being in a group of small thinkers keeps you small.
– Demonstrating success in front of small thinkers creates all kind of tension and sabotage.
– Getting involved in small activities takes your mind off building the structure to break out.
– Joining when you’re small creates a hard to shake small impression.
There are more negatives, including the thousand-dollar cost for not much in return.
My advice to her was to hold them at arms length for as long as she can. Let them watch her grow the one location and open the second.
“Then,” I said, “when you open the third location write them a check for a thousand like it’s an afterthought.”
Doing so will create a different impression of who she is and imbue more a sense of awe and respect than if she joined now, when she is still filling location number one.
This is a good example of business thinking that can’t be reduced to platitudes. In this specific case it is wise to avoid the small group. There are cases though where it could make sense.
So not only is this specific case study valuable, the idea that you have to actually think before you make a move is more valuable.
She has good instincts and knew it was a bad move. So she asked my opinion. She’s going to take it, but only because it confirmed that nagging feeling she had.