Did you see it….The Apprentice final? A bit of a twist in the tail, wasn’t it? Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, the two leading horses suddenly stopped to chew some grass and the third runner squeezed in between them to win. What interested me most was why Helen lost.
She came up with a brilliant business idea – why not set up as a Virtual Concierge? (Now why didn’t I think of that?) Everything was going well until the interviewer said “where’s your book of contacts?” The blank expression on her face said it all. “I don’t have a book of contacts; I hadn’t thought about it and I don’t know how to get one.” So the interviewer said “could you get me a table at the Ivy restaurant tonight?” The penny dropped and she told him she’d have to set about getting some contacts.
You can’t do that! You can’t wake up one morning and say “starting today I’m an architect….or an orthodontist….or a High Court Judge. You have to spend years and years gaining the necessary knowledge. I know that, Lord Sugar knew it but she didn’t, so she threw away an almost certain victory.
It’s taken me all those years and years to build up my “book of contacts”. I don’t mean just a list of names and phone numbers I could have found in Yellow Pages. I’m talking about flesh-and-blood people I’ve known forever. People I can phone up at 10 o’clock on Sunday night and say “I need a favour”. I can do that because we’ve always done each other favours, passed business each other’s way. That’s how it works and that’s why City Concierge works – we’ve spent a long time doing our homework.
Oh and yes, before you ask, I can get you a table at the Ivy. Just a few weeks ago, some high-level American businessmen wanted a table for six – same day! Their P.A. couldn’t get them in…..but I could.
So my advice to Helen and all the other Helens is this: stick to what you know; leave the “expert” businesses to the experts….like City Concierge.
Keep smiling! It confuses the traffic wardens.