Predictable Business (Not)

Predictable Business (Not)

"This month will not be like the same month last year. Eeeeeish, it’s hard to predict,” said our friend as we drove down Lomagundi Road in a torrential downpour.

It was hot and humid as the rain came pouring down.

[Side note: why is it that everyone drives crazy when it rains in Zim? Car crashes that then promoted more car crashes. It was like a buy one get one free deal. Buy a crash, get a crash.]

Our entrepreneur friend explains how he got a great deal on his VW car—the only thing it didn’t have was air conditioning. So we played Russian Roulette with the windows, keeping them down long enough to keep the windshield from fogging (and us dying of heat stroke) while avoiding the passersby’s flinging filthy pothole water on us.

Regarding business unpredictability, how do you combat this?

Our import/export friends don’t have a clue. They strike while the iron is hot. Then batten down the hatches in tough times and ride out the waves.

But what happens if you keep having to ride out the waves over and over without the sun peaking out behind the clouds for a moment of reprieve?

This is the question that faces our entire business community here.

  • The tactics might be wildly successful in one place and fall flat in another.
  • Success formulas tend to fixate on the details and accidentally miss the point.

Your vision must be greater than your trials to survive here.

But here’s the crux of that statement, you can't transplant someone else's vision into your context without first breaking the code for your specific culture.

In other words, own your vision. Then own your culture.

[We've been writing a lot about company culture. Read about the new hustle, the Devon Factor, culture to outerspace and climber vs builder for starters...]

Vision without strong culture falls flat and is just like a great idea with poor execution.

Your vision needs your culture in order to survive. And your culture is only as strong as the core—your character. Without it the road is worse, the rainy days have no light, and hope is always something you’re trying to chase.

Much patience and extreme determination. I think that’s what it takes to survive the multitude of storms. We’re on this journey together—even if it’s without air conditioning.

Let’s continue to move patiently onward toward a strong core.

(photo via tom a la rue)