The Randt

Why Is the Truth Such a Dilemma?

Truth in Daily Life

In everyday life telling the truth can sometimes be “tricky”.

Think about these questions – the ones that should have a “trouble brewing” sign flashing brightly because the truth could be dangerous.

  • “How do you like my outfit?”
    • Real answer: “Well, if you’re going for a ‘laundry-day chic’ vibe, then yep, you nailed it.”
    • Right answer: It’s a trick question! There is no right answer. Just nod.
  • “Do you like my new haircut?”
    • Real answer: “I didn’t notice.”
    • Right answer: It’s a trick question! There is no right answer. Just nod.
  • “Did you remember our anniversary?”
    • Real answer: “Oh sh@#t! I’ve been __________ (any words after “oh sh@#t” aren’t even heard 😉)
    • Right answer: “Of course, I remembered our anniversary.”

Truth in Business

In the business world, we’d think things would be different. Sure, people drive business, but companies are supposed to start with data, process, and logical decisions. Right?

Let’s face it, in business, telling the truth can be like ripping off a Band-Aid. It often hurts. Then there’s the other reality – few have the nerve to pour ice water on big ideas that all know have obvious flaws. The problem with this timidity is that grasping the truth could mean the difference between a successful venture and a dumpster fire of wasted capital.

Let’s consider the importance of hearing the truth and accepting the fact that some ideas have more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Ferrari vs. Minivan

You tell yourself that your business is the sleek Ferrari of the industry, speeding past competitors and turning heads. The truth is that you’re more like a minivan with a “Baby on Board” sticker – safe, reliable, and kind of boring. It’s not a lack of passion or creativity; it’s just that the numbers don’t work. If the numbers don’t work, you can try to wish them into existence, but math doesn’t believe in magic.

Climbing the Mountain vs. Rolling Over the Molehill

Business leaders want to believe they’re climbing a challenging, yet relatively achievable, hill to success. Then they realize they’re facing Mt. Everest. Boards and investors want their business valuations to be 50% more, but some business models are so broken that the value isn’t worth much more than a used futon on Craigslist.

So Now What?

First – rip off the Band-Aid and accept the realities. Second – commit and embrace the process, knowing the ride’s going to be bumpy, but the results will be worth it. And third – find a team that’s not going blow smoke up your ass. The wrong partner can be disastrous, but the right partner can truly help you get where you want to go.

Where do folks find the support needed to get companies to the next level?

  1. CPAs and attorneys
    • Confidants, specializing in their respective fields
  2. Investment firms
    • Transactionally focused
  3. Consulting Firms
    • Charge “by the pound”
    • Sell snake oil. The old saying, “if it’s too good to be true…”
    • Utilize a rational, repeatable, transparent system

Companies identify the options and start the process. Some look for advisory support from “raw-raw” teams. Others want tough love (anyone see Bill Belichick during Tom Brady’s roast?). The answer is the right combination that fits company dynamics. There is one factor, however, that should never be optional – truth, the cold, hard truth needed to get companies to the next level.

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