Where Would We Be Without Supply Chains

Where Would We Be Without Supply Chains?

If you just started your investing journey

You may be tempted to think that just because you are a customer of a company, you know its true value. However, stop and think for a moment. Just because you’ve experienced stellar service or have experienced bad customer service, doesn’t mean that your individual experience is indicative of what has happened with other customers.


Every customer’s individual experience is subject to variation, this is because a company’s supply chain naturally creates output variation.


The best way to know if a company you like is a worthy investment is to combine your general experiences you had interacting with them and with their numbers. Look at their fanatical statements.


Try to gauge how much future revenue and profit they will gain. How are they fairing the public eye? Who is their competition and are they losing market share? Also, try to get information on their supply chain. Who in their ecosystem are they dependent on? What can you learn about these other companies? Can you invest in them as well?


If at the very least all you do is consider the possibility that it is unwise to gauge the value of a company based on your individual experiences, you’ll be in a better position as an investor. Also think about how their supply chain works and how it affects all of the customers involved, not just you.


If you then begin to do the homework, the real gritty research, you’ll be surprised by what you learn (not only about the company but, also about business overall).


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Finite and Infinite Games

What type of business are you involved in?

If you have children or have ever been a teacher, then you know that kids have two types of games that they like to play. The games that children play can be categorized as finite or infinite, and they have a tendency to choose one over the other.


A finite game is one where there is a winner and a loser, and once those roles are assigned based on some result or conclusion the game ends. An infinite game requires imagination. Rules are created in the moment when playing infinite games. The goal of any infinite games is to have it go for as long as possible. The value of an infinite game comes from how long all parties involved can sustain it.


The overall quality of these games increases with an increase of players and how long those players have played similar games in the past. Additionally, the relationship that these players have with each other can also affect the quality of the infinite game.


The games that children play can be seen in the financial games we play with each other as adults. “In every conversation, someone is buying and someone is selling.” In the exchange of ideas, we are trying to add value or take value from each other. When doing business, most of what we do on a daily basis is selling a product and/or service to other people, for our own business or on the behalf of our clients.

Are you positioning your sales for the best type of game?

Certain types of businesses can benefit from the win or lose scenario found in finite games. There can be zero-sum conclusions in business, however, only one party benefits from these types of interactions and relationships. Instead, it’s better to find ways to create infinite games with your clients and business partners. How can we create long term relationships that compound in value over time?


The longer we work with people within our teams and on a customer-to-seller relationship, the more value is exchanged over time.


We need to consider how our businesses are set up for long term relationships. Every facet of our business, from marketing to customer relations, has to take into account the long term implications of each action made. We may not have complete control of the type of game we are playing, based on the industry we are in. Yet, most successful companies are playing infinite games.


The longer you provide value to people, and create new packages of value in products and services, the longer you’ll stay in business. Capitalism is the most basic infinite game, so it only makes sense that an infinite game is the best to play in any business relationship.


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Business Is An Ecosystem

Your value is determined by how you feed families

We all have different ambitions. Some of us have an idea of what we would like to accomplish in our careers and we have different metrics we use to measure how close we are to achieving these goals. One aspect of my career that I’ve been thinking about recently is how I want to measure my own success.


I used to think that my annual income was the best way to see if I was making any progress. After two years of working professionally, I saw how stupid this was and how chasing money wasn’t leading to any fulfillment. I decided the best way to reset this way of thinking was to quit my dream job and move to China. The plan was to live there only for a year and then once I found my answer, return home. However, as the old saying goes, “man has a plan and God laughs.”


I’ve been living abroad for a year and two months now. As of writing this post I have now moved to South Africa where the adventure continues.


I still haven’t found the answer to, “what’s the best way to measure my success?” Yet, I feel like I’m getting closer. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my own work affects other people. Not necessarily how my work directly affects my clients but, how it affects people in my team. I used to think that becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t for me, but maybe it is time for me to revisit that idea and stress-test it against something new that I want to pursue—feeding families.


The moment I realized I was a working adult

I have always had this desire to make my family proud, to have an impact, and to receive recognition for my work. These can be dangerous chips on my shoulder if I don’t manage these desires correctly, so I have begun to think about how I can channel these desires into something practical and attainable. That’s when I started to think about the importance of having food in my house, of being able to work to keep those I live with well-fed.


I was never able to sustain a job during college. For whatever reason, employers didn’t see me as a viable candidate. The first job I did get, I quit after eight days of working because I couldn’t stand making burritos all day for $8 an hour. My second job was working at a mall selling watches and it was extremely boring.


It was only after I graduated and I got my first marketing job that I started making a decent income. And I only noticed how this income changed my life when I was able to not only buy groceries for my family—I actually had extra money to spend on myself. When you grow up in a household where there’s only one parent, this becomes a huge milestone.


One easy way to measure success could be by “stacking plates”

I think that when I realized how much money I was making, that is when I started chasing the wrong goal. I was seeing my future in the wrong way. As I mentioned before, I wanted to chase money and that kept me from being happy. Now I want to chase feeding people, feeding as many families as I can. This doesn’t mean I want to start a non-profit or volunteer, I still like the idea of working for money. However, I want to expand upon what I am currently doing.


I’ve started to think that it may be a good idea to start a business (once I know what to sell) in order to grow as a professional. My personal ambition is to have a team of around four to five people to start with and have the company make enough money that all of us don’t need to worry about our monthly expenses.


In the ideal scenario, everyone working with me would be able to live comfortably. We no longer have the need to look at their current bank balance before going out to buy groceries. I’m sure there’s a whole list of different reasons why people start businesses, I guess this one just so happens to be mine. And who knows, I may get other reasons that make this decision seem logical and practical, or this may be the only reason why I want to start a business.


Our impact in the business world comes from how we help others. The more useful we are, the more successful we can become. If for example, I’m able to feed five households by creating a small agency, I think it is safe to say I’m on the right path. I don’t know though, I think this is something I am going to have to still think about.


Image credit: Unsplash

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