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Drill for oil or mine for salt?

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

great lakesI recently watched a show with my children called “How the Earth Was Made”. This episode was about the Great Lakes. Who would have known that 1,750 feet beneath the surface of the earth and under the lakes, there lies the world’s largest underground salt mine?

This incredible salt mine was found accidentally while they were drilling for oil. The estimated trillions of tons of salt provides 35% of North America’s salt, from seasoning our food to salting the roads.

As an entrepreneur and a consultant, I have seen so many times when one find salt while drilling for oil. The key is would you recognize the salt if you saw it and are you willing to give up pursuing the oil in order to investigate the new potential. Many business owners would have given up when they struck salt instead of oil but it is my believe that the true entrepreneur is willing to turn that lemon into lemonade.

In the process, there is no doubt that the initial experts that were called in to help drill for oil were traded in for experts in mining for salt. In business that is the same, are you as the entrepreneur willing to give up the “sacred cows” in order to  take the company to the next level, to be able to see what is actually there instead of looking for what is not. This is easier said than done. I have heard of very accomplished entrepreneurs that became so attached/in love/committed to an idea that they went down with the company like the captain going down with his ship.

With that said, I have seen more people leaving and giving up before they even reached the “salt” with their visions dulled and passion weakened.  So this is more so for myself…as I drill and prospect for oil, am I willing to settle for salt?…salt from one of the largest mines in the world and how deep am I willing to go before giving up on my initial pursuit?  Times like these would call for a serious decision tree exercise.

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