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"Go Ahead, Make My Day!" Entrepreneurs Need a Little "Dirty Harry" Attitude.

Entrepreneurs, especially early stage ones, are often too nice for their own good and, equally often, it costs them both time and money. Because their companies are young and small, they, frequently, suffer from doubt and uncertainty and try too hard to please, whether it be with prospective customers, suppliers or employees.

Anyone who's any kind of old film buff is familiar with the Clint Eastwood character of "Dirty Harry" Callahan, a San Francisco homicide inspector, in a series of movies in the 70s into the late 80s. Some of his key quotes are part of our everyday lexicon. "Dirty Harry" had a unique hard-edged personality that exuded "attitude," while taking down the bad guys. Sometimes you need a little of the "attitude" of a "Dirty Harry" to give yourself a bit of a tougher edge. While Dirty Harry" is an extreme and you don't face the kind of "bad guys" he did, as a small business, there are always situations and individuals that require it and some of his more infamous quotes (all with "attitude") can be readily applied to your business.

"You're mouthwash ain't makin' it!"
Sometimes, if you're being professionally maltreated or disrespected by a customer or supplier, because they think you need them more than they need you, you've just got to stand up to them. Not returning the bad treatment or the lack of respect, but simply telling them their behavior is no longer going to be acceptable in a business relationship with you and your company. They may walk away, but better the chance is they won't, and will have a new respect for you.

"You've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?'"
This one may not be in the same context as the movie, but it's still applicable to you when all the "signs" suggests that you walk away from a situation, but all the homework you did and your "gut" says "yes."  Entrepreneurs need to learn to listen to that small voice that emanates deep inside and whispers in your ear. You make your own luck by a combination of how hard you work and how opportune your timing.Some days, your "gut" tells when you're feeling lucky!

"A man's got to know his limitations."
This is really the counter to the previous quote. There are some situations where even if you succeed, you can fail. A sale where you couldn't possibly meet the delivery schedule; an employee whose salary requirements would strap the company; office space that would put you on the map, but would make your cash flow "nut" nearly impossible to meet each month. You have to know your limitations and, in knowing them, be able to say "no."

"Go ahead and make my day!"
This is simply operating with more of an "attitude" than your company's size and history might dictate. It's conveying to the market that you are a force to be reckoned with. It's displaying the confidence to customers that you can meet their needs and they SHOULD do business with you. It's being not afraid to take on a larger competitor "head on," where, previously, you wouldn't dare. Attitude is everything. It affects how you feel, how you think and how you act. Many stress having a positive attitude.I say, have an attitude, positively!

To succeed as an entrepreneur is a huge challenge. Because in the early going, you have to be a people pleaser to get customers, suppliers, and later, employees to work with you, oftentimes, you become too nice for your own good. For the long haul, to help you succeed, you, periodically, need to adopt more of the "attitude" of a "Dirty Harry" for the toughness to help you "make your day!"

"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things.He's been there.May success be with you!

Tell us about some early experiences where a "Dirty Harry" attitude could have helped you.Please share your experience in your comments.It can help another entrepreneur.

If you like this post, by all means, share it with your networks and colleagues.


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