Just like a brilliant novel and an epic (Star Wars) movie, every business deal has a story – a preamble, a beginning, middle, and end. Each story offers a slight twist to the last, typically with different heroes and enemies, and typically with lessons learned along the way. Nobody told me this in my accounting and business courses at Cal Poly. There was no “story of the deal 400” class available to take. When I joined the corporate world, deals and projects seemed to come together from ‘strategic planning sessions’ and project management tracker spreadsheets. That’s how business is done – or so I believed.
At Caliber, the phrase ‘every deal has a story’ can be heard in the hallways and throughout our business culture. I’ve come to learn, as we have closed deal after deal, that there are some common threads between each one. Here’s a few on my mind today:
- Good people and bad people exist in every story [deal], you must navigate to find who to trust (good people) and who to manage or avoid (bad people) to have a happy ending.
- While the numbers, the structure, and the fundamentals are all important, it is the human elements of a deal that matters the most. Who are the people, what drives them, how did they get into this situation, how can we be the hero to help them move forward?
- History exists for a reason: to consult it at it and consider it as we make decisions. Deal history, behavioral history, and any other relevant history is a critical part of the story, not just the picture being painted today.
- Great networks make great deal-makers. It is the power of a great network to check references, help advise on elements of a deal I may not understand, and to ultimately make me as a deal-maker appear highly capable. Relationships matter and I hope to continue to grow mine.
Thanks to all of you in my professional network for your sage advice, personal references, and honest feedback. It’s been a great 10 years building Caliber and I look forward to the next couple decades and beyond!
Post by Chris Loeffler
Caliber Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
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