Adapt and Overcome – The True Entrepreneurial Spirit

So… I was in Dallas yesterday on business. When in Dallas I usually go to a great Phò noodle house that’s walking distance from my hotel. It’s in a strip mall with a couple of restaurants, a doughnut shop and a liquor store.

I’ve got a set travelling routine. Part of that routine is after supper I take the long way back to the hotel to clear my brain, stretch my legs, and take in some fresh air. As I stepped out of the noodle shop, I saw an unfamiliar situation: a young boy (8 or 9’ish) with a tray full of boxes at his feet in front of the liquor store… Is he waiting for his dad or mom? What’s in the boxes? It’s kinda late to be out at 8pm on a school night with no parent around…?

As I get closer, his eyes lock in… I get closer, he initiates… “good evening Sir, I’m looking to go on a school trip and ….” as he’s pitching his sale he maneuvers in front of me. By this time, I’m impressed. He’s making eye contact, being polite, has clearly practiced his pitch and has learned to physically engage the prospect. Now my ‘spidy-sense’ says decoy. I step sideways, do a quick 90° turn and look around… No threat. Ok, ok… Maybe a bit to commando…! Hey don’t judge, my military training has an auto-start sometimes. Anyways, back to the topic. Now the kids is reaching down and showing me his selection of sweet products. I reply with my best vendor copout: “sorry kid, I don’t have any cash” – which is true.

Without ANY sign of disappointment the kids reaches in his back pocket, pulls out a beat up iPhone Plus and states: “I also take credit and debit”…. I got beat fare and square, I had no other choice but to buy two boxes of peanut butter cookies for $10… Tell me this kid doesn’t know how to close a sale… I’m pretty sure that the kid was lying about his true intentions for the sale but I didn’t care. I learn a valuable lesson. This kid, has probably been rejected a thousand times with my ‘original’ – don’t have cash reply. He adapted and overcame – showed true entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrated sales enabling behaviours – owning his success.

James (or so he called himself) taught me a valuable lesson. Our company has been faced with adversity and rejection lately. And I have to admit that even with all of my experience, grit and determination I’ve been stressed and doubtful of my abilities. James showed me to stick with my DVAs – Daily Vital Activities, those enabling behaviours that carry you through both opportunity and adversity.

Thank you James for a wonderful learning moment. I know that you will have great fortune. Now, don’t you dare double charge my credit card….!!!


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