A Lesson In The Destructive Power Of Egocentrism
I had a blast today, sitting in our new ‘cold as fuck’ office, chitchatting with MT employee, Jo. Jo’s a cool guy, a young Thai lad, fluent in both Thai and Japanese, a very hard worker, and also very open to conversation. All day today, I interrogated him like a fucking criminal, digging deep into the company numbers and getting out the truth – something that K never gives me when I ask. We went over accounting statements, stories of ex-employees, partners, trading receipts- everything. Today, more than any day before, the current condition of MT is clear as day to me, and at the rate it’s going, won’t be around for too much more. God damn, this company has been so poorly managed I don’t even know where to start.
There’s only one thing in this world that speaks to me; and that is performance. People by nature will tell all kinds of stories, window-dressing things to appear much greater than they really are, but at the end of the day, the underlying results are the only thing that matters. All the uniforms, fancy attires, education, training, experience, connections – all of that mean nothing, except whether the end result was a win or a loss. Black or white.
If I were to visit a fortune teller today, and have him predict the future of MT, without question, he would foretell stories of black clouds, fire, brimstone, and death and destruction. Naturally, that’s where we are headed now but that can be all changed with a single, savvy decision made.
The problem with this company right now is K. His focus is scattered and his thinking is appearance, rather than results. The fact that most of his employees leave within a few months is attest to this, and no amount of investment can buy respect. More importantly, if there is any one lesson to be learned from the poor management of this company, it is that he thinks in terms of increasing revenue, rather than creating value for others. When I listen to K talk, I am always reminded of the entrepreneur, who when pitching to investors explains why he needs the money. Investors don’t care why you need money. They want to know what’s in it for them, why they should invest, not why you need the investment. Two completely different angles of thought. That’s equivalent to me searching for an ‘ideal’ partner who will do all the work for me while I sit home all day eating bonbons. Of course I want that, but nobody would ever feel happy taking the other side of that deal. It’s funny, that self-centered mentality was one that was clearly visible in my ex-partner the Japanese mascot, which destroyed our relationship and sent my life tailspinning the other direction. The scars from that experience are still fresh, and I’ll never make that mistake again.
There are so many things I want to change, and am tempted to go ahead and just do based on the simple fact that I would rather see something succeed than fail. But then again, I am truly having the time of my life, sitting on the sidelines, throwing peanuts at everybody and telling them to ‘get their shit together’. In the meantime, I try to be as productive as I can be, and on the plus side have met an incredible amount of straight-talking business people through working on this project, relationships of which I find invaluable and with certainty will carry onward into other projects I have going on.
On the other hand, I don’t really give a shit what happens to this company. As articulated before, my sole purpose was to establish good relationships with prospects, generate sales, then move on to the next like a swarm of locusts, and in the process, enrich both the company and myself. Given the opportunity, I would love to participate in the ownership of any company, but the partners need to give off a good vibe and have a sense of good business acumen – a lesson I learned the hard way many times in the past. I don’t get that good feeling this time from K, and am content with my position as an ‘outsider’ with insider privileges, coming and going at will. You may think I am a dick for saying all this, only concerned about my own interests, but let me assure you, you would do the same. I am just upfront about it. Plus, I work on 100% performance based compensation, which means I only win if I am creating value for others.