The Proven Entrepreneur

TPE 13 | Opposite Direction


Sometimes the best course of action is actually the reverse of your first response. Take a breath and ask yourself should I be looking at this situation differently? See it forwards and backwards and then act!

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Move In The Opposite Direction

In this episode, I want to talk about going in the opposite direction. A client calls me. They have done an annual performance review for a highly valued team member that ended with them rewarding that team member with a pretty substantial salary increase. Contrary to the response they thought they would receive, the team member said, “Thank you but I was thinking more of this number,” which was a considerably higher number than they were being offered. They responded, “I was not prepared for that. I might need a day or two to think that through as we’re headed out of town.” That’s where the meeting concluded.

Instead of looking at things as a potential problem, look at them as a great opportunity. Click To Tweet

The client talks to me. They’re on the airplane. I can hear the pilot giving instructions. While the pilot is extremely loud, we’re trying to have a conversation, “I suggest that you go on your trip. You can speak with this team member when you return but I want to encourage you to, instead of looking at this as a potential problem, look at this as a great opportunity.” After a couple of days out of town, we had a conversation. As they had been away from their business and had time to think, the clarity they had come up with was, “I don’t think what that teammate wanted was a problem. The way that we would like to meet with that team member is this.”

TPE 13 | Opposite Direction
Opposite Direction: By counter-intuitively going the opposite direction, you can turn a sticky situation or a potentially sticky situation into a real win for the teammate, for the company and for the owner. That’s the type of wins we’re always trying to find.


“That’s a great idea. What we would like to do is to structure that in the form of a bonus. That bonus is tied to this performance metric. If you perform at this level, that bonus will kick in. If you perform at double that level then double that bonus will kick in.” Merely by counterintuitively going the opposite direction turned what was a sticky situation or a potentially sticky situation into a real win for the teammate, the company and the owner. That’s the type of win we’re always trying to find. Please go to, hit the Work With Me page and see how we might work together. Thank you.


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TPE 13 | Opposite Direction