Getting Screwed is a Compliment
Someone reaches out to one of us and we like the Chutzpah and ideas presented so we pull the other one into the hare-brained scheme. Now one of the principles that Black Irish Books was founded on, I think the only one, is that we will dissolve the whole kit and caboodle the second one of us isn’t having any fun. I don’t me “whoohoo” fun. I mean “you know this is pretty cool coming up with an idea, having the other guy tweak it, creating something inspired by it, and then sharing it at a reasonable price with others” kind of fun. Once it becomes a chore or we find ourselves trying to maximize our return on investment by doing a deep dive into our online analytics, we’re going to run for the hills.
So because we’re susceptible to enthusiasms (we started this whole thing out of enthusiasm), sometimes we embrace an “opportunity” that comes in over the transom. Something happens, our partner/s fail to live up to their promises, we ask them to explain, they give us a reasonably good excuse, we give them another chance, the same thing happens, and then before you know it we’re out some money.
Now we’re not patsies. As Stanley Kowalski would say, we both have lawyer acquaintances who know how to intervene and work out settlements. But it still stings when you feel like you’ve been used.
I used to really get bummed out about this, especially when it was my idea to get into business with the disappointing party in the first place. And then the last time I was in LA bitching about getting screwed by those so and sos to Steve, he said something simple.
“Hey, we should be thrilled that we’re getting enough traction to get screwed. If nobody cared or supported what we were doing, we’d never make a bad business decision. Because we wouldn’t have a business. If we’re not open to new ideas from people who probably have the best of intentions if not all the skills to make them happen, then we might as well sell Black Irish to Acme Incorporated. No question it sucks when things go south, but look at all the other things that have gone north! Forget about it!”
I haven’t forgotten, but I have forgiven myself for going out on a limb. Sometimes you fall out of the tree, but like my four year old does, you cry, dust yourself off and climb back up again. The view’s better up there.