In lighter moments I have, on many occasions, amongst friends and with family or with business associates, taken to repeating the following adage: “I only eat what I kill.” Any professional that considers himself or herself a Rainmaker, namely those that create new business for there firm will be able to relate.
According to Jose Ortega Y. Gasset, one of this century’s most noteworthy philosophers and academics, “hunting is the one activity that is most singularly representative of, and universally associated with, society’s elite — the aristocracy”.
In his best selling classical book published in the 1950’s, Meditations on Hunting, Ortega Y. Gasset traces the history of the hunt from its most remote, prehistoric beginnings to the present, illustrating in great detail along the way the honor accorded to the hunter by all classes of men and women in all periods of history.
And why shouldn’t it be? For what is a hunt? And wherein lies its greatness?
True Rainmakers are hunters. We are not always successful hunters, but hunters we remain. And therein lies the excitement, the thrill and the privilege of what we do.
We know the single minded pursuit of our quarry — sometimes lasting months … even years — in which our senses and instincts and reason are stretched to a wire-like keenness, while our opportunity — our one shot — draws slowly ever closer to hand. We know the rush of that first sighting, when the blood begins to course more vigorously, when the sweat breaks from our brow and our hearts explode in our throats. We know the thrill. We have seen our chance. We take aim and fire. Nothing remains. We wait. The seemingly interminable waiting that is the fate — that has ever been the fate — of every one of our predecessors. For our quarry has darted off. Silence.
We are alone. And then that most destructive of activities, the thinking, begins. We replay in our minds every aspect of the pursuit. Time contracts. Minutes become hours. Hours, days. We agonize over every detail of our final moment, when last we were face to face with our prey. If only our sights had been more deadly. If only we really intended to close our deal.
And we wait. And we sweat, our torment increasing with every torturous replay of events; events that, had a thousand onlookers been observing, still would have remained unnoticed. But we notice. And that is what makes us alone.
Of course not every hunt ends in success — and in truth only a minority of our pursuits will even end up in a sighting. Yet on this, Ortega Y Gasset remarks: “It is not essential to the hunt that it be successful. On the contrary, if the hunter’s efforts were always successful it would not be the effort we call hunting, it would be something else…. The beauty of rainmaking lies in the fact that it is always problematic.” One of the greatest problems that we as sales people may encounter in the future is actually one that has always existed: the scarcity of real prospects.
Always has it been so. And always will it be.
But for those of us who are and remain in our hearts — hunters — for those of us who, as Ortega Y Gasset describes, possess the “universally privileged nature” of the hunter, we will adapt. For we cannot do otherwise.
We the Rainmaking professionals steeped in knowledge and cunning, ever testing each other, encouraging each other, ever eager for chase, and no more — never more — ashamed to be called by our proper name, and to take our fair share of the spoil.
Mark Borkowski is president of Toronto based Mercantile Mergers & Acquisitions Corporation. Mercantile is a mid market mergers & acquisitions brokerage. Mark can be contacted in confidence at mercantilemergersacquisitions.com