Digging for Gold
The pursuit of opportunity, fortune and prosperity is as old as mankind. Have you ever become frustrated in your efforts to discover and develop new opportunities? The discovery channel TV show, Gold Rush Alaska, teaches us some great lessons related to digging up and discovering opportunity in our daily lives. As a Business Development professional focusing on Department of Defense and Air Force customers, I use similar tactics for success to identify valuable opportunities for Segue.
Equip Yourself for Success
Once you identify what you want, prepare and equip yourself for success. Todd Hoffman, one of the primary figures of Gold Rush Alaska, worked in a dying aviation business and drew inspiration from his father Jack, a gold miner from the 1980s. The first thing he did was purchase and build the equipment he would need to establish an effective mining operation. At Segue, we invest in training, assets, capability and the infrastructure we need to grow and prosper. Our approach to software development has been refined and matured to suit development for DoD applications. For you, equipping for success could be as simple as joining a professional association so you can meet potential new clients and stay current on industry trends.
A Team Approach Works Best
Part of your success in any business venture will likely come from engaging with other people who have a vested interest in your success. In Todd’s case, he pulled in a group of his unemployed buddies to help him staff his operation. He couldn’t afford to pay them much, if anything their pay off would come if and when they struck gold. In this way they were all focused on the same goal - gold. Recruiting talented staff and keeping them fully engaged in our project goals is a critical success factor for Segue too. In order to deliver custom applications and tailored O&M support to our customers, our staff need to have clear sights on that project's "gold". In your team building efforts, consider your former co-workers and network of contacts who have specialized skills and will form a cohesive unit to help you achieve your goals.
Know Where to Look and When to Move on
To me, the most interesting aspect of "Gold Rush Alaska" is the eternal search for the "Glory Hole", or the location of tremendous deposits of gold. Since it's hidden beneath tons of earth deposited over thousands of years, they are never sure if its where they are currently digging and there is a lot of stress and drama around where to dig, how deep and broad to expand the hole, and how long to stay at the same location before you move to the next one. The underlying stress fueling everything is the understanding that they have limited time and resources and essentially no one gets paid until they hit gold. Basically, you’ve got to know “when to hold’em and know when to fold’em”. Each business opportunity we evaluate at Segue requires an investment that pushes us to optimize our resources and evaluation criteria. Use evaluation criteria for opportunities that allow you discard ones that don’t make sense and invest in the ones worth pursuing, you don't want to exhaust all your fuel digging in a spot with no gold at the bottom.