A trusted adviser

October 15, 2012 By    

When our company was making plans to install several 18,000-gallon propane storage tanks in the late ’70s, my wife asked, “What do you think the neighbors will say?” Because she was not directly involved in the business, I politely ignored her question.

When the tanks were finally delivered to the site, we were suddenly engulfed in a great deal of opposition. It became a big story in the local newspapers and on TV. We were sued by our neighbors, and that started a grueling six-year court process. The public was divided into three groups: those who supported us, those who didn’t care and those who felt that we were getting what we deserved. It was a strain on all of us. We eventually won the court case as well as the appeal.

At one point during this arduous process, I asked my wife, “Didn’t you say something when we first started, about how the neighbors might react?” She just smiled sympathetically. Listening to your wife’s cautions is a critical part of making wise business decisions. And it is a subject that you may never hear about in any business curriculum.

If this had been the only time that I had ignored my wife’s cautions, I might have thought it was just a lucky guess on her part. But, time after time, I have gotten what I thought were brilliant ideas, ignored her warnings and found myself in some sort of trouble. This pattern has also been repeated by others whom I have known. They usually have no idea why some of their projects have failed.

Another time, my wife and I met a local businessman at a social event. On the way home, she said, “I don’t trust him.” He seemed harmless enough, but several months later it became apparent that she had been right. So now, I keep a respectful distance from him.

So, before you make that next major business decision, be sure to run it by your most trusted adviser. – Ken Albrecht

Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y. His blog appears at http://propanenotes.blogspot.com. Also visit www.reliablepropane.com.

Comments are currently closed.

Privacy Preference Center

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?