“I trust my gut.” How macho, man!
Bill Bartmann says this really is a dumb approach to running a business. You might very well have a “bad feeling” about something when you’re on the right track. Here are four rules Bill Bartmann uses to explain this concept:
Don’t Succomb to Surface Logic
Some of the greatest opportunities can come out of what seems to be a very bad idea. Bill Bartmann made over a billion dollars in the debt collection business; he bought loans that multiple collection agencies had given up on, writing them off as uncollectible.
Very few people would be willing to pursue this opportunity as they succumb to surface logic; the kind of reasoning that often begins with “everyone knows that…” or “it’s always been true that…”
Bill Bartmann recognized an opportunity that his competition ran from. His experience on the receiving end of debt-collection calls from abusive people inspired him to go into the debt collection business and make a difference in the industry.
Look again at the surface logic…Everyone knows that… or It’s always been true that…How would you finish these sentences? Something like …once a deadbeat, always a deadbeat.
Bill Bartmann didn’t see it this way at all as he created a company that treated delinquent borrowers with respect. They responded by paying back the debt; often before they paid other creditors. Bill Bartmann measures his success in the debt-collection business not only by looking at the money he made, but also the difference he made in the industry.
So, you see a great opportunity and all anyone else sees are potential problems. People who you expect to be your supporters, friends and family, will say things like:
“Yeah, right..it will never work.”
“Are you serious?”
“What makes you think you can do it when so many have failed before you?”
When you fail, you will hear, “I told you so!” When you succeed you will hear, “Yeah, you got lucky.”
Bill Bartmann says the greatest opportunities are on the path less traveled; or where there is no path at all until you come along and create one.
Sometimes it feels wrong because it is wrong
Though the most profitable course of action may be uncomfortable and lonely, make sure you don’t justify a purely emotional decision by thinking “It feels wrong, so I must be on the right track.”
It can be easy to get comfortable by being contrary. Bill Bartmann built a company that was so different from what you would expect from the debt collection business and so successful that he was tempted to be different in all ways…just to make waves.
Bill Bartmann says to retain some industry-standard structures, like accounting, honesty, integrity and other professional business practices. When you choose the unpopular path make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
Brains versus Guts
When Bill Bartmann bought his jet he made sure it came with a pilot who was “instrument rated,” meaning he could fly in almost any weather conditions. He knew his instruments and he was trained to follow them even when his gut told him he was wrong.
Bill Bartmann says to become instrument-rated in your own business. Go ahead and trust your gut for certain decisions like which applicant to hire or how far to push an issue, but use your brain for the bigger decisions.
Bill Bartmann is a nationally acclaimed business coach and founder of the Billionaire Business System, a series of books and seminars that teach you what you need to know running a business. Bill Bartmann has provided real business guidance to thousands of entrepreneurs to help them succeed in business, even during tough economic times.