Last week one of my business partners dropped a bomb-shell.
We were chatting about a company we both know well.
I know one of the partners and he knows the other.
The guy I know is a great sales guy. He is a marketing expert and believes in networking.
From the conversations we had, and the news stories that were coming from him, it was fair to assume the business was doing really well in 2011.
My business partner knows the other partner, who is the financial director.
He told a different story, of a struggling business, backs against the wall. At one point in 2011, they came close to becoming insolvent.
So who was telling the truth. It was a safe bet the finance director was telling the matt version whilst the marketing guy was telling the gloss version.
The interesting thing for me was that I did not question the good news story. It was a constant stream, through social media and word of mouth.
I accepted that the business was indeed booming and they had never seen such good times.
I was impressed by the congruent message they were giving through their marketing channels.
I hadn’t questioned it at all. Which is unusual for me.
As I child growing up I used to drive my parents mad with the “Why?” question.
“Why – can’t people run around the streets naked”, was one of my favourites. I’m not a naturalist but I like to question authority. “Because they just can’t!!” I remember my Mother saying.
I’m glad she put me straight early on, although I still don’t really understand why!! (subject for another post!)
So being a big Why person, Why hadn’t I doubted their message. Why hadn’t a asked Why? and questioned the guy.
Either I was getting old, or they were very good at masking their failing business.
Well that’s past, in the present they are doing really well. Very well indeed!
They are doing as well as they said they were doing last year, perhaps even better!
They believed their own good news story so much that they manifested themselves a positive outcome and created their boom.
Or, more likely they worked hard and believed they could meet their success goals. I can vouch for them, having seen them work tirelessly to achieve it, but without belief they would have given up last year.
So – should we all be telling everyone how good business is, even when we are struggling.
And if we do, does that help us turn the business around, or just make us a fibber.
There is only one way to find out! Try it!
I guess the question for me is a moral one. How far do we go?
Does this little white lie extend to our closest advisers, friends and our family.
The Sicilians believe that to pull-off the worlds biggest lie you have to live it. In other words you need to believe it yourself.
So with that in mind – you cannot pick and choose who you tell the truth and who you do not.
If it helps, don’t think of it as not telling the truth, but more as a positive way of viewing your current situation.
Stay positive – believe you will turn the business around. Believe your own hype. Live the lie of success…and it will happen!