Posted on: April 24th, 2018
The deal business and happiness are not terms that usually show up in the same sentence. The deal business is a tough one with lofty highs and painful lows. Like the old ABC wide world of sports video, doing deals is akin to experiencing the thrill of victory (a deal closing) and the agony of defeat (a deal dying).
Success is only measured through the numbers of deals you close and how those deals perform. Doing deals results in capital being deployed, fees being earned with value accruing to each party depending on their role.
The deal process is also a volatile one, with most deals going through some instability at one time or another. Emotions run high for a multitude of reasons – the lender getting cold feet, timelines being missed, lack of speed in producing basic information, as well as external reasons.
Furthermore, some deal doers use a transactional approach that is better suited for big billion-dollar Wall Street deals, not smaller main street deals. This needlessly injects more pressure into the process.
When working on a deal, the parties sometimes lack confidence and see the glass as half empty. Having been pummeled by the deal gods too many times, they are more focused on what could kill the deal as opposed to what can make the deal go forward. So aside from closing a deal, is there a way to find a positive mindset, dare I say – happiness when doing a deal? The key to this is in having a more holistic appreciation of the process – its significance and its learning value. Through have a higher level of mindfulness of the process, you can enjoy the steps along way rather than just the consummation of the close. Here are four things to think about when you are grinding it out on your next deal.
- Deals usually triumph over low odds – there are literally hundreds of reasons why a deal will not close, and it takes only one reason to kill a deal. The need for a deal to happen usually creates an irresistible force, that vanquishes the low odds. If buyer and seller are truly committed and have trust in each other, your deal will triumph. Given this, why not be more upbeat and happy in your disposition to positively influence others around you?
- Derive happiness with the fact that you are in the deal doing economy – if you are a deal doer, congratulations! You are at the top of the food chain and occupy rarefied air. Doing deals is one of the most interesting jobs there is as it’s challenging in many ways – quantitatively, qualitatively, psychologically and emotionally. It takes true cross disciplinary expertise. Rather than grouse about things you cannot control, be more mindful and proud of the fact that you are doing something that very few can do. This thought alone should create some level of happiness and self-confidence, regardless of the outcome of your next deal.
- Each deal – closed or dead – is a rich learning experience – While we prefer deals of the closed variety, dead deals usually offer richer learning experiences. Often the reasons have to do with ego or lack of communication or trust and are outside your influence. All is not lost if the deal dies, as you have gained valuable knowledge of what not to do in the future. Learning, albeit in a painful manner, is a lifelong asset and will provide dividends in the future.
- Your value as a deal doer is greater than the sum of your deal history – one or even several failed deals does not define you as a professional, especially if you have been in the business for a while. You don’t control other’s actions and cannot be responsible for bad decisions by a buyer, seller or lender. Ultimately, you are defined by the level of trust your client’s place in you, and their willingness to continue to seek your counsel.