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Authority Doesn't Equal Insight

In 2010, for my grad school consulting class final, we were each given a sample client business that was failing and asked to conduct an analysis and make recommendations.

I was given a prominent website development company in California. After a thorough review of operations and financial statements, I provided two key recommendations. The company's two largest expenses were payroll and rent. 

My first recommendation was to eliminate the large office rent and move to a work-from-home structure while utilizing shared conference facilities when in person work was necessary. 

My second recommendation was to reduce the full-time work force and utilize independent contractors as needed. 

I provided additional information on the benefits of implementing these changes, along with pro forma financials showing profitability after implementation. 

Nonetheless, I failed the final. 

My professor told me he was looking for ways to increase revenues, not decrease expenses, and that my recommendations were not practical in the real world. 

Today, as we know, successful companies worldwide have implemented variations of these strategies. 

In fact, a few years later, I helped a company implement these two changes and I'm proud to say they are still going strong and more successful than ever. 

All of this to say - just because someone holds a position of authority, or has a certain title, or degree, or any other credential, doesn't mean they know what they are talking about. Don't give up because one person tells you no. 

As business owners, it's important to be open to critical feedback and to be open to making changes, but at the same time, it's important to trust your gut and stand your ground when needed.  Remember, innovative ideas can take time to be accepted. Keep pushing boundaries. Have a great day and keep believing in your vision!


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