If you subscribe to SCORE ExpertANSWERS, then you saw that Herm Rowland of Jelly Belly Candy Co. is this month’s featured expert. Herm helped grow his grandfather’s candy business from a small, family operation to an industry giant.
Why do you believe in the value of mentoring?
I would recommend a SCORE volunteer for someone who is ready to listen and take advice from a person who has run a small business similar to yours in tough times. A SCORE volunteer helped our business, and he helped me personally. He did costing and developed an internal financial spreadsheet to show us where we were financially. He also helped us plan an expansion and secure a loan, and showed how we could increase sales through innovative ideas. He was the greatest!
Jacalyn Barnes, SCORE
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These principles keep me on course and facilitate every business and social interaction I have. This last principle in the series is explained below.
Principle 4: Die By Your Own Sword
Fight for your ideas. If you are committed to your idea after diligent work and research, pursue it. Your banker/business associate/supervisor may have spent an hour listening to your presentation. And you have spent three months working on it. If you’re right and you give in or give up, you’ll regret it forever. Whether you do it their way or yours, or give up the idea, you are held responsible anyway – so what have you got to lose? You’ll have more conviction and understanding following through on what you have spent months developing than on the quick detour that your banker/business associate/supervisor just threw in.
Explain your position, incorporate the aspects of other people’s ideas which are sound and proceed from there. If the project was to fail, wouldn’t you rather get in trouble for something you did than for something someone else suggested you do?
To live by these guidelines requires integrity, courage and collaboration. It’s how I run my business and it’s how I run my life. It works.