If you don’t know what a warning shot is, simply stated, it’s a signal to let you know that you should not proceed any further or you might be putting yourself in harm’s way. It’s usually a harmless shot where the sole purpose is to get your attention. It’s also intended as your final warning before more hostile measures are taken.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
Ouch My Foot!
Have you ever ignored a warning shot in your personal or business life and ended up shooting yourself in the foot? I recently wrote about the Titanic, and the people involved with the ship had what can be considered a warning shot. When it was suggested that they carry 48 lifeboats, which would have been enough to accommodate everyone on board, they chose to sail with just 20.
Another example of a warning shot could be if a single man or woman meets someone that they’re attracted to and they find out early on that he or she is married; that’s the warning shot! If they dare to proceed anyway and then encounter many challenges and some heartache, well, it can be because they knowingly and willingly walked right into the heat of battle.
There are businesses that have failed because they ignored the warning shots.
One that comes to mind is Petite Palate, a gourmet baby food company that launched in 2006. They did well enough to get their product on Amazon Grocery and in 100 regional stores. However when the company struggled to get its products into the freezer section of grocery stores, the owners stuck to their concept because they believed frozen food was healthier for children than food in jars or pouches. In the fall of 2008, potential investors became concerned and pulled out. Shortly afterward the company permanently closed its doors.
The owners later stated that they should have been more open to producing shelf-stable formulations. They said, “It took us a long time to acknowledge that and by then we were in debt and couldn’t support the company.” They weren’t able to seize a potentially great opportunity because they did not adapt. Investors saw it and fired a shot, yet owners chose to march onward, and their company was killed in the crossfire.
Too many times we only focus on the good that we want to see, in people and in business. This can blind us and cloud our thinking because it’s usually based on emotion. Emotion is okay but you must also use logic and planning for the long term. Will that person really leave their spouse? If so, when? Can I wait until then while dealing with sharing this person? And do I know them well enough to trust them at their word right now? In the case of the Petite Palate, they could have evaluated the situation and thought that the investors had faith in them, so maybe they should have listened to their concerns. The main concern of an investor is that the company succeeds, so they could have at least considered other packaging. It didn’t mean they had to abandon the frozen concept; it might have been a great opportunity to get in the door with shelvable products, and then after proving their worth they might have been able to bring their “baby” back on the table and get the frozen versions in those very same stores.
Ready? Aim . . .
Have you ever had that gut feeling? That’s also a warning shot, we all get them but we don’t always acknowledge them, but they will protect you from disaster.
“You have to master not only the art of listening to your head, you must also master listening to your heart and listening to your gut” ~Carly Fiorina
You need to put on a bullet proof vest. Examine things from all angles, ask questions and poke a stick at everything. Be aware of and try to trust your instincts, they are like a airplane on auto pilot, flying smoothly towards its destination. And in the case of life, following your gut will have little to no turbulence. And that’s much better than a shot in the . . . as always, see ya next week : )=
Rock Star Success Coach & Sales Trainer