What it is like to be a true businessman:
Anyone can do business. In fact, we all negotiate in our daily life, either to benefit from it or to resolve something.
A businessman is one who knows how to close good deals and how to make fruitful what is within his reach.
A real businessman is that and much more. He must be a visionary who does not live only from his past achievements. His focus is always on the future, with the feet well firm in the present and backed up with the experience gained from the past. But it requires a character, temper and a combination of being optimistic, fearless, unpredictable and why not, genius! These attributes must be applied to be successful in business. Personally I do not like to think or do things in a conventional way. Usually, people do not understand my way of acting. That puzzles them. In 1956, one of the great matches of chess was played, in which the great master Robert Byrne, leader chess champion of the United States lost the game against a 13-year-old boy, that disconcertingly made innovative and improvised movements as described by those who have analyzed the game. Among them, the kid sacrificed his queen (black), considered brilliant play to date, obtaining thus the victory of that movement which seemed to be his demise. That boy was called Bobby Fisher and is considered one of the great chess players of all time. Another great Russian chess player and world champion, Tigra Petrosian referred to Bobby: “Fischer’s victories are an enigma to me.” In martial arts, the most dangerous and effective techniques are those whose movements are unpredictable, in combat strategies it is the same, if your enemy can read your mind, you have lost the battle.
A businessman must always be in search of new strategies, make the necessary restructurings to his business to stay competitive. Sometimes it involves total re-engineering which starts everything from scratch all over again.
A businessman has to be willing to take risks, not without having thoroughly analyzed all the information available to him, and if he sees a good potential, he jumps. When all is well and the waters are calm, it is the best time to anticipate and plan strategies, but there are times when storms appear and you do not have much time to make widely thought out decisions. In that case his decisions and actions must be fast and must rely very much on his experience. He must also be solid because when everything goes well everyone admires him and offers their friendship, but when things get difficult (and there are always those moments), people turn their backs, move away or attack. It is in those moments that you find out if the person has or not the temper of a true businessman. It is in those moments when many throw in the towel and are never heard of. A businessman must have self-esteem and believe in himself even if others do not believe in him. The famous Henry Ford failed in his first 3 car companies, and in spite of the bad reputation that they did him in the automobile industry, he did not give up and with his fourth attempt proved to be one of the best businessmen, moreover revolutionize the combustion engine. He created the lightest car of his time and his company was one of the few to survive the era of the start of the automotive industry. Harland David Sanders struggled for many years trying to sell his chicken’s recipe to more than 1,000 restaurants that rejected him.
But he never gave up and now Kentucky Fried Chicken is consumed worldwide. There are many more similar examples.
Of course a businessman does not pretend to be an expert in everything, as many claim to be. A businessman knows enough about the subjects he deals with so that he doesn’t get cheated and if he does not know, he studies them. In the construction industry I have come across a big number of architects and engineers who build and have no idea what is plumbing and electricity, and leave the design and responsibility to the plumber/electrician and later they are surprised with the troublesome results. A businessman is not alone, he always surrounds himself with experts on the issues he needs to know and makes use of that knowledge and experience. Over time, he integrates a solid team that supports him and allows him to make the best decisions and wisely overcome obstacles. There are those pretend to be all-knowing and all-achievers in all subjects, they speak nice but in practice can not make things work. There are also experts on a subject, who try to encompass everything but are unable to handle the whole, because they do not know what to do, especially when things get tough. We have all seen these situations. For example an expert cook who opens a restaurant. The food is excellent but he does not have the faintest idea how to run the restaurant and unfortunately, that leads to failure. The same happens with computer geniuses, mathematicians with magic formulas, scientists with brilliant ideas, if they venture into other fields alien to theirs and do not have a good team of experts in other subjects, they will almost certainly end up in ruin, and it is sad because great ideas do not come to fruition because of it.
Therefore, a good team is important for the businessman and definitely so is any useful tool that is within his reach. These tools should make the job easier, but should not fall into the error to base everything on them. For example, I have a very sophisticated computer that works with neural network financial and decision making algorithms. It’s a valuable source of information and calculations. It allows me to make certain decisions quickly, but it is just a tool. I rely on a team of experts who support me, because the algorithms can become the sorcerer’s apprentice, as in the Fantasy film and enter into conflict between them giving chaotic results. If not, ask Amazon who uses them daily. A while ago It released a book on flies “The Making of a Fly” at a price of $ 1,730,054.91 USD and in a few hours the price went up to $ 23,698,655.93 USD because it was left in the hands of a computer analyzing algorithms. What these programs do is try to find patterns and provide correlations with meaning. There are programs designed to hide algorithms and others to find those hidden ones. Wall Street manages the most sophisticated algorithm programs that exist and that work in micro seconds to try to obtain information before anyone else. That is to say, the exchange algorithm tries to make money between the time the information of an exchange is transmitted and the moment the recipient receives it to complete the exchange. In 2010 a situation known as “The Flash Crash of 2:45” that lasted 15 minutes caused 9% of the total market value to disappear. This phenomenon was attributed in part by the use of such programs on one hand and to Mr. Sarao on the other hand for alleged malpractice. The reality is that the use of these extremely aggressive systems creates a strong imbalance in exchanges and that the automated exchange systems follow the code that was programmed in them, regardless of any damaging outcome. Nobody has control, everyone only sees screens without really knowing what is happening. And we talk about microseconds (500000 microseconds is what it takes for you to click the mouse). For these algorithms used in Wall Street 5 microseconds of delay represent a loss. Hence, millions are invested in the development of technology that will enable such communication to be even faster, especially with optic fiber networks and geographic increase of server location. MIT created a map embracing advanced physics knowledge and applying the Einstein-Poldosky-Rosen mathematics of quantum entanglement. This map represents with red points the places in the world where the main centers of money and exchange are located and with blue points where the servers should be located to maximize and to make more effective the application of those algorithms and to get all the benefit. As you can see most are in the middle of the ocean and others in inaccessible places. Which already gives you an idea that the research and resources will be invested to see the way to put servers in the middle of the sea or to develop another technology that allows to get the same result. As I said in others of my writings, the fact that the search for instant wealth is excessive, and that we are constantly fast-pacing our lives is taking us straight to the abyss.
A businessman must also know how to invest his time and resources and be patient. As I said in others of my writings, everyone wants things right now, but reality is that everything takes time of maturation and a businessman has to know and understand this. He must not despair and follow the path that he has laid out for himself with unwavering determination. No matter how hard we try to rush a tree, it will take years to bear fruit.
And of course he must be whole, upright and honest. Otherwise he will have all the doors closed before he has even started.