Make it Rain

Marriam Webster defines it as such:

Rainmaker

1: a person who produces or attempts to produce rain by artificial means;

2 : a person (such as a partner in a law firm) who brings in new business; also a person whose influence can initiate progress or ensure success

I was talking to someone. An accountant; he was starting his own firm. We talked about the thrill of startups, we discussed the myriad of tasks involved in running a business. When you’re an entrepreneur, or a solopreneur, you get to—you’ve got to—wear a lot of hats. You start a business and you need to do so much. You have to market it, you need to brand it. Web presence, logos, social media. You have to manage the workflow. Get the clients in. Get the work out. On time, on budget, and at a profit. You have to design that workflow too. What tools will you use? What processes?

And then, other tasks. What about staffing? What about business development. What about, well, everything man?

So I’m talking to this entrepreneur and he says, “You know what I want to do? You know what role I relish?” When I asked for the answer, he says, “I want to be the rainmaker.”

Ah yes, of course, the rainmaker. The one who brings in the biz. The catalyst, the spark-plug. Every business needs a rainmaker. It’s such an important task. A crucial one at that. And yet, so many of us, especially those of us of a number-crunching persuasion, well we don’t really know how to be rainmakers. We don’t know where to begin. The funny thing is it’s not about where to begin. No no, it’s not about the beginning at all. It’s about the ending. And the points in between.

Which reminds me of this tale, this allegory…

Somewhere, some remote area somewhere, there were these rainmakers, a group so well-versed, and therefore so well-known, in the art of the rain-dance. If there was a dry spell, if things were looking bleak, people from far and wide hired this group for the sole purpose of making it rain. Such was the success of these rainmakers that others began to travel great distances, just to study with this group of uncannily successful rainmakers. People would sit and ponder these rainmakers. They’d observe the most minute of details. No small thing was left unnoticed. No minor movement undocumented. Copious notes were kept. Observations discussed and debated. Did they dance clockwise or counterclockwise? What chants were they singing? How did they hold their arms, their legs, their tongues? What sequence of steps? How many to the left and how many to the right? 

Then, after studying every aspect of the rain-dance, the observant students left their enviable masters, and they returned to their homes where they would begin their rain-dance, making sure to mirror every movement of that successful group. But no matter what they did, no matter how thoroughly they copied the rain-dance, they couldn’t make it rain. They’d get tired, call it quits, “Let’s call it a day,” They’d say, “We’ll pick it up again tomorrow.” But tomorrow was no better. Nor was the day after. And eventually, dejected and despondent, the hopeful rainmakers gave up. They quit. And they asked themselves, “What sort of voodoo was at play? What magic potion did those rain-dancers possess and not reveal to us?” Eventually they refused to even try, convinced that those rainmakers were touched by the gods, or worse, cursed by demons.

But there was no magic, no dark science. There was none of that at all. There was, though, this one little thing. What no-one observed, what no-one understood, is that when that successful group started their rain-dance, they danced, and they kept on dancing–consistently and persistently–never stopping, not once ever stopping, until it began to rain.