Building Foundations… Part III


Christopher Columbus is reported to have instructed the young people of his day to go out and make a fortune in the first half of their lives so that they could give it all away and be “Ambassadors to the World” in the second half!

Pretty cool advice.

Now, just to be clear – in our wildest dreams, we have in NO WAY reached Ambassador status (to the world or on any other level). Still, we have definitely had a number of real opportunities to give – of our lives and ourselves.

For that we are thankful.

And yes, we’ve lived a real-life Rags-to-Riches story… which in turn became a Rags-to-Riches Back-to-Rags story in the years after 9-11, and one from which we are again rebounding right this very minute!

For that we are also thankful.

And I guess this is how it’s supposed to go. For more and more, opportunities are presenting themselves to invest our lives and our resources in significantly important causes which have stolen our hearts and our imaginations.

Accordingly, as this occurs, I find that I am doing far less consulting and am choosing my work much more carefully, looking for those places that will make the most impact for others.


On the other hand, you’ll remember from an article a week or so ago and then from another that followed that a friend of mine is just beginning his work as a small business consultant, and is having issues getting paid on a few small projects on which he is working.

I told him that, as concerned as he was about pay, there was yet a much greater potential risk for which he should stay vigilant.

You see, as a consultant working for a small company with an even smaller budget our concern must be in doing enough to get results – especially early on… and with or without the capital. Anything less, regardless of the reasons, will reflect back on us.


Often, because of finances, small business people want to take a very measured approach… just a little at a time. However, doing too little means things happen very slowly, and when things happen very slowly… well, it can look like not much is happening at all – even if that is not the case.

Sometimes this means we need to work harder behind the scenes… sometimes it means we should consider the entire project a gift or investment… and sometimes we should happily pass altogether to free ourselves for a better match elsewhere.


Building a strong foundation for a new or small business is very similar to building a foundation for a beautiful home. As critical a component as it is to the final result, often it is not much fun… it can be very demanding… and can come with little recognition.

To be sure, from the street view… from a distance… it may be impossible to see any work being done down in the hole whatsoever, though once completed the rest of the home may be framed and completed quickly!

But here’s the catch.

The longer it takes to complete that foundation, the longer it takes for any other visible results as well… and when adequate resources are not budgeted or available, growth can seem to slow to a crawl.

Now, just in case anyone may be wondering… there is nothing fun, exciting or sexy about building a business slowly. Building slowly when cash is tight, when the competition is tough or when the market is unstable… can be downright painful!!

In fact, and all too often, the momentum lost may never be regained nor the business’ true potential ever be fully realized, leaving a scenario that is, well… best left for our competitors.

I look forward to hearing from you!



Leave the painful memories for the competition!


Photo Credit:

Reinante El Pintor de Fuego