Oh, there's a certain vibe. I can spot you just about every time. Naw, you're not arrogant. You're not loud. You're not too proud. But just how you stand there, I can tell ya got it goin' on. Ya feel me, Boo?
The party had thinned out quite a bit as the sun set peacefully over the lake. The clouds turned a certain shade of purple and pink that you only see during that gloaming time of day- a spectacular spring night, with all the promise spring brings, lay ahead.
And there he was. Just standing there. After I shook hands with about 80 people already, I was more enthusiastic about this encounter than the others.
That, I said to myself, is someone I need to meet.
I walked over- did my usual, "Hi, I'm Marilisa", and extended my hand.
"Yeah? " he rebuffs. "Well you're the one who's been harassing me. Why are you always harassing me?"
"Oh. You've got me." I leaned in closer, still shaking hands, and whispered in his ear, "Do I owe you five bucks now?"
"Yeah, you do."
"Well, I don't have any cash on me. Can you take a Visa/Mastercard?"
He means no harm. He's just seeing if my lights are on if someone's home. I get it.
So I was right about him. What's my attraction? Romance? Dating? Maybe he'll leave his wife and kids for me? Not a chance.
He's a guy who's a playah. He's a guy who's got vision. He's a guy I'm going to learn something big from and we are going to have one heck of a fantastic talk about business. And so we did.
"When I first took over the company in 2001, we did 3 million. Now, we do 50 million. But I plan to double that, I want to do $100 million."
When someone talks those numbers, usually, not always, but usually, this is true-
"How'd you get into the business, your father?"
He stands back a second, a little shocked I've already got that figured out.
"Yes, my father."
In business there is a lot to learn. If one has the advantage of a parent walking through the process of a learning curve before you had to do it, your learning curve is easier. You make less mistakes. You do more of what's right. Higher leverage. Higher numbers. Simple math.
I'm not going to tell you who he is or exactly what he does- but I can tell you this. One of his projects is so big, so deeply embedded in America's pyche, it would be immediately recognizable.
Let me tell you what I learned- which is what I suspected. Three months ago or so, I started a "Green Company". However, much to my chagrin when I learned you couldn't bid government jobs, or really read a set of architectural plans, and you'd pretty much be relegated to "retro-fitting homes", I wasn't interested anymore.
There's no big money in that. And, Entrepreneur Chick much, much, mucho much would rather deal with business to business (B 2 B, boyz and gurrls) and not to the public as a whole.
And sure enough, that's what this guy does. He bids government work and other very large, very profitable projects.
Moral of the story.
To all of you with enough vision to think big- I know who you are. And I'll find you. And I'm going to learn from you. I can't help it. Holla!