My Pop retired last week.
After a few decades in academia, and a lot of hard work, his career as the Commissioner of Higher Education in the state of Missouri is coming to an end.
After the State Senate and the Governor acknowledged him, I was asked to share a story about my Pop.
Running with Bulls
What came to mind, before anything, was when we ran with the bulls.
I was spending a year abroad in Spain, and my pop came to visit during the famous festival of San Fermin.
The morning of the running, Pop was dressed in true fashion; all white with a red bandanna.
As we got to the starting gate, and our nerves began to shake, my Pop’s years of skills as an academic kicked in.
Finding Others Who Have Been Here Before
First, he began to network and ask people where they were from.
Next, he hit the research and asked who in the crowd had done this before.
Perhaps it was the fact that people were eager to engage rather than think about being run over by a bull, or maybe it was Pop’s 40 plus years as a sociologist.
Whatever it was, my Pop connected with each person he encountered, and he was able to open and close the conversation with speed, until he found what he was looking for; a local with experience
This local had run for the past four years and he shared his experiences and warned us that it was not the bulls we needed to worry about, but the stampede of people around us.
If we were to put our hands out in front of us at the start, we would be fine.
And that’s just what we did when we heard the cannon fire and the people around us shouting “Toro! Toro!”. Although people were freaking out and some were tripping on the cobble stone road, my Pop and I had hands stretched out and although the bulls got a bit too close for com-fort, together we made it safely to the bull ring.
What this experience with my Pop can teach the entrepreneur comes in the form of networking and research. These elements of business can be life saving and without costing you an arm and a leg. There is a community of others who have already been where you are traveling.
It can be as simple as finding your audience, listening to the problems they are facing, and understanding what services and products are needed.
Monday Mindfulness to Being Business in a World Full of Bull
Don’t be afraid to ask. Many potential clients would be happy to share with you what problems they wish they could find a solutions to.
Look for someone with experience in the realm of your business. Although everyone may have an opinion about how to improve your marketing, the most valuable feedback will probably be from regular users of your products or services.
Just having the information is not enough. You must test the information out, like my Pop and I did by stretching out our hands.
I’m curious. If you had unlimited funds to put toward research, what would you like to know about your business’s audience and clientele?