Knowing when to be a cowboy

Cowboy Pondering
Creative Commons License photo credit: crowt59

It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to display a cowboy mentality.

I don’t mean so much a “shoot first and ask questions later” thing as much (though it certainly exists) as much as a “I can break any horse” mindset.

Maybe you can, but consider the difference between breaking the horse and training it to carry a rider.

Ultimately, it’s the same thing, but the journey is different. The mindset is the difference, just like it is with your clients.

Sharpen the saw

This reminds me of the old carpenters’ saw, “Measure twice, cut once.”

The cowboy mentality is important when you need a decision to think big , reach for the moon, and push ahead when everyone else says it’s never been done that way before.

It doesn’t work so well where product quality are concerned. Do you want to break that horse?

Customers, like horses and other animals, get “gun shy”.

Too much cowboy in the quality department can cause your customers to look at your next big thing with a jaundiced eye until someone else proves it’s OK to use (or worse, they’ll wait to buy). While that’s a downer for you, it also doesn’t help them. They’ll see a kickin’ new solution but know they have to wait to use it.

If you aren’t careful, that’ll make you seem like an impediment to their work (even the work they haven’t yet done). If it becomes a trend, it can make you irrelevant to those customers.

Isn’t that the opposite of what the cowboy in you is trying to achieve?