July 2nd, 2007 15:11 EST
Trimming the FAT - Pigs vs. Hogs
One of the first lessons I learned as a young accountant working in the tax department of a multinational CPA firm was that "pigs get fat, and hogs go to slaughter." In the tax business, this means that taxpayers should push the law as far as they can, but if they are overly abusive, they will get nabbed and probably end up spending time in the Cross-Bar Hotel.
An important principle that I`ve always embraced is to avoid over-negotiation. Whenever I`m in the middle of any kind of give-and-take situation, I always ask myself if I`m being a pig or a hog. I want to be a pig; I never want to be a hog.
A few years ago, I was involved with a client company that was in a distressed situation. As is frequently the case, the business`s distress was as clear as it could be. The company was bleeding cash out of every orifice, and the owner could not control his business.
Nevertheless, when an employee group that I was working with began to negotiate with the owner regarding the possibility of acquiring the business, he drove an extremely hard bargain. While I never begrudge anyone the right to negotiate hard, this particular individual was fast running out of time. He wasn`t in a position to hold out for every last drop.
Unfortunately for him, the employee group lost interest in acquiring the business - and the business`s owner lost the company. Rather than taking a mediocre deal that would at least have ridded him of debt and given him some cash, he had to sell his house to pay the debt - the house had secured the debt - he had no cash, and no bragging rights, either.
So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, don`t over-negotiate. Remember: pigs get fat, and hogs go to slaughter.
About Joel G. Block
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 www.joelblock.com or www.growth-logic.com.