Getting the Upper Hand

Getting the Upper Hand

Back by semi-popular demand (thank you to my 4 loyal readers, ok 3), we present the latest in our award winning Seinfeld on Startups column. Which award it was really isn’t important right now – instead let’s keep the focus on growing your firm. Today we are going to take a peek at The Pez Dispenser – Episode 14 of Season 3. What a classic – we had “the preemptive break up”, “I’ve got hand”, and Kramer’s beach cologne. Which reminds me I probably need to squeeze two columns out of this episode – look for more on beach cologne down the road – I can sense your anticipation.

George finds himself dating a classical pianist, Noel, and fears that she is going to be dumping him soon. He explains how Noel has the upper hand –or “hand” as he shortens it, and he has no leverage at all. That’s what typically happens when you are short, bald, chubby, and live with your parents. He takes off on a neurotic rant about this fear of being the “dumpee”, to which Kramer subtly suggests that he be the one to do the breaking up. (Because, you know, he’s a pretty hot commodity). This is the type of stuff that happens when you get too many geniuses in the same room together.

Georgie-boy pulls off a Pre-emptive Breakup with Noel – leaving her shocked and fighting to save the relationship. George now has the “hand”, the leverage a normal human being would think he could never get. How is this possible, I mean, look at the guy. “The “hand” is tough to get”, as Jerry tells us. But if George can pull it off, so can we!!! The question is how? Since this is a blog about nothing, I’m tempted to end it here and allow you to come up with your own strategies.

Here are a couple of my golden nuggets:
1. Offer something to those you’ll need something from down the road – BEFORE you ever need to ask them. If it works in politics, it can work for you too.
2.  Make your customers and vendors feel special. This is easy to say, but really hard to do. But the more they feel like you are looking out for them, the more they’ll look out for you.
3.  Stop reading this drivel and make something happen!!

Dan Beenken, Director, UNI Small Business Development Center

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