Business Growth Strategy – The Cheese Disc Philosophy

Jeff and Rich Sloan relate the lessons learned from the "cheese disk" incident, namely to keep yourself open to new opportunities for your business.

This “cheesy” but educational little tale features an entrepreneur who came to us for help to commercialize and find investment funds for his invention, the Cheese Disk.

From this experience, we developed a “philosophy” that has since been used in our own business dealings, and we believe there’s a lesson to be learned for you, too.

Our story begins.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

But seriously, folks…

An entrepreneur brought us a prefabricated, partially cooked disc of cheese that could be made on a huge machine. The equipment embedded the cheese with a random pattern of pepperoni and other pizza toppings. The idea was that large chains like Pizza Hut could use the disc to prepare a pizza in 20 seconds — put the refrigerated cheese disc on the dough, slide it into the oven and finish baking.

Cool idea.

So we took it to a group of potential investors. They listened politely. Then they said no. The pitch had a hitch. The pennies that would have been saved by The Cheese Disk were overshadowed by other resulting expenses. The investors said they didn’t “think it was the right thing for them,” or something to that effect.

However they shaded their decision, it was still no.

“Pretty short story, guys. Pretty sad ending. Is that it?”

Of course not!

Despite the unforeseen, fatal flaw in the project, we still wowed these prospective backers with our presentation. They liked us; we liked them. We forged a friendly relationship that lasted for years. And they invested millions in other products we brought to them.

So the Cheese Disk Philosophy was born and became one of our important business mantras.

As outlandish as something may sound to you, always stay open to new opportunities. Take meetings with people you don’t know. Whether the result is a thick packet of financial investment or something completely unexpected, it’s worth the time and effort.

Our Bottom Line

Opportunities arise from your willingness to meet with people, expand your network and create relationships. Don’t be a snob. Don’t lose heart. Give people a chance. You never know if the next Cheese Disk will lead you to a million-dollar resource for lucrative investments in the future.

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