Chapter 4: A Futile Chore
Footnote: Barriers: Business Deficiencies
Nature gives to each his unique bequest of talents. But few have the right balance to survive and prosper alone in a free market. Balance is achieved by forming teams whose members collectively possess the necessary talents in the right measure. This leaves the lone artisan severely disadvantaged.
My business did two things. It produced something. It then sold that thing. These two activities require different human abilities. They are therefore normally performed by different individuals. One is technical. The other is a salesman. These two individuals must be able to work together. Good communication between them is therefore vital. For this to be possible, their areas of knowledge and ability must overlap.
Within their chosen trades, industries or professions, most people have a sufficiently broad aptitude profile or range of latent talents to be able to fulfil either of these roles. During the 15 years of running my business, I did at various times master both the technical side and the sales side. Nevertheless, my effectiveness in one of these areas has always been very weak to the extent that it has prevented my business from growing as it should. The surprise is that it has not always been the same area that was the weak one.
The problem has been the time it takes to switch from being a technical person to being a sales person and vice versa. The complete psychological reorientation from one to the other takes me about a month. I cannot switch instantly according to day-to-day events and circumstances. While I am performing one role, I cannot perform effectively in the other.
Selling Own Product
Furthermore, the focus of my sales role was selling what I, in my technical role, had produced. I was selling my own creations. There is a strong negative psychological force to overcome when trying to sell one's own creation in that rejection or fear of rejection becomes very personal and difficult to deal with. This factor persuades me that I should have placed myself permanently in the role of technical developer.
Need For A Partner
This left my business as a whole severely lacking on the marketing and sales side. The critical deficiency in my business was therefore one of a human resource to fulfil this role on a permanent basis. I needed a business partner whose aptitude profile was the inverse of my own. In other words, it would top up each of my aptitudes so that together we would effectively score 10 out of 10 for each.
Owing to family circumstances it would have been very difficult for me to set up in an office with a partner and consequently have to spend long hours away from home. Such an endeavour would undoubtedly have demanded vast amounts of 'overtime' of me. Forming an aptitude-balanced team with a partner was therefore not a practical option. Being constrained to trying to make a living within a competitive capitalist free market, failure was for me inevitable.
I do not believe it possible for an individual to change his given talents any more than he "by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature". He can only develop what he has been given. This poses a moral question concerning the capitalist free market. Is it acceptable for society to allow a person, who is constrained by circumstance to work alone, to be denied the opportunity to exchange the fruits of his labour simply because he was not bequeathed with the talents of a businessman? I think not.
Parent Document |
© May 1998 Robert John Morton