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Published:June 26th, 2007 11:33 EST
Who Should Go First?

Who Should Go First?

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

Have you ever been in a situation in which someone wants you to make the first move? I`m in that situation all the time. Here`s how I think about who should make the first move.

I was recently talking with a gentleman I was planning to hire to procure capital from investors for a project I`m working on. During the conversation, I put the standard deal on the table, complete with an agreement and our standard compensation formula.

The man looked at it and immediately had comments about the contract and tweaks he wanted made to it. He also wanted me to reorganize the compensation structure for his services. When I asked him why he wanted me to make these adjustments, he stated that he was a big producer, and he merited the special consideration.

My answer to him was that I hear the same thing from everyone I speak with. Everyone thinks he (or she) is a big producer. Everyone thinks that he or she is going to make the big difference for the companies that engage them to do work.

I told the man that I wasn`t inclined to make a single change to our contract or the compensation structure. I told him, though, that if he turned out to be the big producer that he claimed to be, he would be in a position to dictate the terms of any contract we produced and every compensation structure that we created.

I told him that he would have to demonstrate that he was worthy of my making these changes " that he had to "go first."

When we began our conversation, the gentleman had no leverage with me because I had no sense of his capabilities or his ability to produce for us. But once he was producing, he could write his own ticket.

This is an important concept for anyone in this situation to think about. It`s particularly important for entrepreneurial companies, which frequently have to "show their stuff" before they get paid or get a big contract for services.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, you must go first. Show what you`re made of, demonstrate that in a big way, and you`ll be in the captain`s chair, ready to write your own ticket, from that day forward.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.

Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or