Over the course of creating Bonanzle and during my previous entrpreneurial pursuits, I’ve frequently asked myself what “good business people” do. For every component I identify, my mind reflexively poses the immediate follow-up question, “so, do you do that?”
So far, the answer is often “no, I don’t.” The example I currently feel the most guilty about is that “no, I don’t do conventional business networking.” What’s worse, I don’t possess the desire to start doing it. The reasons are numerous, but in a nutshell, my least favorite part of getting to know someone is the first 10 minutes, and that is the time frame that is repeated ad nauseum at most of these “meet person, exchange business card, repeat”-type events. Furthermore, these events seem to me to be imbued in protocol, which, as a rookie, I am largely not hip to. Eventually, I consciously realize that I’ll need to change my tune on business breakfasts, but I’ll be holding out as long as possible.
In the meantime, I have to ask myself what it means about my skill set vis a vis the skill set of the successful business person. Is there a better determinant of success than correlation to what business people do? I like to think so. I think that the better question is “what a business person is?”
This question seems to me to lie at the root of what a business person does. So instead of “do you do business breakfasts?” I ask “what is a business person that causes them to attend the business breakfasts?” I’d posit that they are people who can use their communication skills to interest potential clients and partners while attending these events.
In this light, my business side shines. My greatest delight so far in making this site manifest itself has been meeting such an unfathomable number of intelligent people with diverse backgrounds and opinions. One of the most recent people I’ve met, Darren Dalasta, is a great example of a new acquaintence who has come from a totally disparate background (marketing, SEO) and has shown me an entirely different side of the web…. in one email he sent to me. This single email contained links to the Creating Passionate Users blog, eBay’s new UI, a failed Web 2.0 Post-Mortem and many other links more specifically relevant to Bonanzle’s activities. His background has allowed him to create an email that might have taken him a few minutes to write up, which has in turned kept me following links for hours upon days since receiving it.
And Darren is but one example from tens of effective, like-minded people I’ve encountered over the last few months. I think that for everyone, but especially for someone as fascinated by people as me, there are oodles of lessons and successes to be derived through being what a business person is, rather than simply following what they do.