Management has to be aligned with market conditions or else everything else breaks down.
I talked to a banker last week and he pointed out that I was one of the last two or three CEOs that he knew that still owed a major part of their own deal. Most CEOs are either hired guns or have been so diluted in this market that they’ve become hired guns.
I’m working on a synagogue renovation this week, and as part of that project I am running around trying to find cheap cabinets, doors, and other stuff to make it work on a budget. I am doing a $25-50,000 remodel for $10-12,000. Since I have “ownership,” I care and cannot spend money stupidly. It amazes me what I can find for 10 cents on the dollar plus a few hours of my time.
Getting business done in an industry recession when money is limited is about getting stuff done without spending loads of cash. I went to an AGM yesterday; No problem. I drove, and instead of an expensive hotel I found a $56 per night two-bedroom Airbnb that is clean and safe.
Recessions are when you hopefully clean up projects, restructure stuff, find solutions, and work on making the project work. Every step you take forward in a recession counts as 2-3 in a recovery. You can get deals done that might not get done in a bull market, and if you are working every day stuff will get done; Maybe not the stuff you wanted, but you can move a project. At the end of the year, you will be shocked what you’ve been able to accomplish.
Since I own a lot of my company, I am incentivized to run it on a budget and responsibly. I am not going to be perfect, but I am going to continue to work on doing stuff on the cheap. I am going to get work done come hell or high water. Downing tools for me as an owner-operator is not an option; I am going to get stuff done.
The fact is, in a recession people:
- Open doors: Everyone has time for meetings.
- Say no quickly: Lots of rejection this year, but then again there is a 100% chance of a rejection if you don’t try. If someone rejects you be respectful of their issues. Lots of time it’s not “no,” it is just not “now.”
- Really look at stuff: The number of people who have done serious due diligence on my company and given us their results has given me faith that the bigger boys in this business are not that bad, and maybe even want to help.
- Respect different: I started the year as a lucky CEO went crazy finding an asset. I think I am ending it as a CEO who is seen as getting stuff done.
The recession is not going to last forever. I don’t think public junior mining is ever coming back to where it was, but there will be a viable industry here in a few years’ time and I hope that by working through this period I have a seat at that table.
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