CEO Shoptalk – Staying in Your Lane

Staying in your lane, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny Texas Spring day. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

So, the Big Red Car talks to CEOs all the time and I am seeing an odd trend. CEOs are wandering a bit.

They wander a bit because they are successful and they wander a bit because they are not.

When they are successful, they wander because they can afford to do it. [Pro tip: We never make as many mistakes when we are broke. We can’t afford to.]

When they are struggling, they wander because they are looking for that inflection point which will put their compass on the azimuth to the Promised Land.

More, please, Big Red Car – staying in your lane

What got this started was a discussion about how a CEO was trying to please a particular venture capitalist who was contemplating an investment in his company. Pretty normal stuff. I know the VC fairly well and he is a good guy. But, he is a VC.

“I just don’t seem to be able to make this son-of-a-bitch happy,” the CEO lamented. “Every time I agree to his proposal, he moves the goal posts.”

I laughed. It is not polite to laugh when a CEO is lamenting, but I did.

“What’s so damn funny, Big Red Car?”

“Look, CEO person, the world is divided between those who use money and those who supply money. You, friend, are a money user. Stay in your lane and behave like you have chosen a team. Stick with it. Staying in your lane is the smart play here.”

“But, rust bucket, I want to make the guy happy. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, CEO dynamo, except it isn’t essential and it may not be attainable. Y’all have different interests. Sometimes, those interests are in conflict. That is normal.”

“Normal?” he asked.

“Yes, normal. He is a VC. You are a CEO, founder, entrepreneur. You thrive on risk. He wants to eliminate risk. Y’all see the world through different lenses, but that is OK. It is normal.”

That’s it, Big Red Car?

Yes, for today, that’s it. Staying in your lane. In all things, staying in your lane is the right play.

If you are an eCommerce company do not become a cryptocurrency speculator. Stay in your lane.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourselves. You deserve it.