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Starting a Business? Go Bigger.

Peter Kozodoy logo Posted Wednesday August 31st, 2016 Starting a Business? Go Bigger.

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In a recent interview, I was asked what I would have done differently if I could start one of my businesses over again. I replied, "go bigger."

When I co-founded GEM, I made a simple yet incorrect assumption: I thought I needed to start at the bottom and work my way up. I assumed that - with no experience, no case studies, no testimonials and no track record - I needed to win small projects and earn small clients, and use those clients as leverage to get into larger clients. Now, I'm older, perhaps marginally wiser, and I've met several entrepreneurs far more intelligent than I who have circumvented this process entirely. It reminds me of something I learned in college: when you ASS-U-ME, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

My gut tells me that I'm not alone in taking the long road to winning the right kind of clientele. Like many tidbits of conventional wisdom, starting small and climbing the ladder makes logical sense. However, I've now met enough brilliant entrepreneurs to have seen many take nothing but intelligence and passion and create a winning pitch tobig clients in their industries. And, looking back on some of our biggest wins, I can see how intelligence and passion made up the vast majority of what won us some great accounts. Sure, case work and references helped, but I believe they're secondary tools. I've learned that the proverbial tip of the spear is the length to which the presenter will go to plead his case and achieve an emotional win. People don't buy case work and references; they buy you.

So, what now? Now I gear up for a fourth quarter that's bigger. I'm going to do some hard research, build some inspiring presentations, and grovel at the feet of some big prospects that deserve GEM's work. In the best scenario, I prove that I, too, can sell on passion and intelligence. In the worst scenario, I'll get to see some awfully nice shoes up close. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck.

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