Mar 18

Once in awhile I’ll get an invite to a social mix-and-mingle type event. The goal of course is to provide a nice, friendly atmosphere to talk business with yuppies over drinks. Going into these things I automatically know that I’ll be wasting my time. A fine example of the time waste is the iPhone craze that occurred during the latter half of the 2000’s. During this iPhone craze, I had many people coming up to me saying “Hey, Greg, let’s make an iPhone app.” I knew that I was meant to be the one doing the coding since these people coming up to me weren’t coders,  and would not want to do it even if they could. So you probably think, if I’m the creator, then they’ll provide the ideas, right? So I ask “What’s your idea?” “Oh, I don’t know. Do you have any?” What the hell is that? So, I’m expected to come up with the idea and execute it too?

A lot of these people didn’t think that they are being users and abusers when they came up to me. They think that they’re being friends, and when they think like that, they think, “Oh, yeah. Greg codes and he loves coding, let’s go to him to get this iPhone app created and then we can probably just pay him and make a lot of money afterwards.” No, that was not going to happen with me, but I know many creatives who have been fell into this and are bitter about it. If I’m going to make an app, that is because I either came up with the idea or I found someone with an idea that’s willing to split the money based on royalties in terms of both of us having input in the thing. It’s not going to be the Greg Show with you getting paid. I don’t need a pimp.

This type of stuff permeates throughout the business environment. Let me rephrase, the small business environment. After a couple years of these type of individuals I have grown wiser, and it has been a very, very frustrating journey. So, here I am, (understatement) cynical, very cynical but smart and wizened to bullshit, and avoiding it. In summation, I warn the younger of you readers that are used to executing plans and seeing things through to watch out for users.

If you’re an executor and you’ve already started on something, and it’s beautiful, and you feel that you need to grow your business, I would advise you to get a mentor, who has been there. A fellow executor who has been in the trenches, knows the ins and outs of what made him or her successful, and is willing to share the knowledge. Most entrepreneurs love giving out advice to future hopefuls, especially those that are younger and within the same field of expertise. Don’t waste your time going to “grown folks night” with all these young business individuals that are a bunch ideas and no action. All you’re going to end up doing is spilling Cognac on your sports coat, and getting a few numbers from people that are going to waste your time anyway.

Choose your mix-and-mingles wisely and sparingly. Many are fronts for guys posturing and bragging about what they have and what they drive – none of it being about business.  Make solid connections within your given field and keep on hustling.

See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.