By Mark Andrew Beach
The Law of Rhythm is the cadence, rate or pattern of time and sequence in which everything is manifest. It is easy to confuse the Law of Rhythm with other laws such as the Law of Polarity, Law of Vibration, Law of Gender/Gestation or even the Law of Perpetual Transmutation. So how do we tell this vital law apart from the others? Or more importantly, how does it work with the other laws to help us create what it is we desire?
Another way of looking at the Law of Rhythm is the old saying that goes like this: “what goes up, must come down and what goes down, must come up”. So how does this apply in our daily work? I like to think of the old cliché, “When one door closes, another door opens.” I have personally stood back in amazement as I have watched this law in action.
I have been working this past year with a group of partners developing a number of large business enterprises. Rather than just consult, I am actually a partner in the group. For one of these enterprises, we elected to work with another company in our geographical area that are manufacturing in the same space we are in. We had the management and real estate, and they had the manufacturing expertise, so we decided to form a typical business marriage; a joint venture.
In the beginning, everyone was excited and we all dreamed of the prospects this venture had to offer. However, as detailed negotiations were being worked out, our JV partner decided they did not want to work with us as partners anymore. They wanted to redefine the relationship to a point where it was unacceptable to my partners and I. We quickly reached a point when we all mutually determined we could not move forward together as we all hoped.
The Law of Polarity teaches that there is opposition in all things, so it is easy to see this law at work here. However, the Law of Rhythm reaches that while things may seem down, good times will once again be on their way by having another door open to us.
My partners and I were devastated. We had invested more than one million dollars into building improvements and equipment, as well as a mountain of creditors all wanting their money. One door had not only closed, but it had been slammed in our face. The “high” we were on seemed to be on a collision course for a low. It was then I rallied the team together and said, “Look, there has got to be someone else out here that is in the same line of business, as they have got to be looking for a place and team like ours to expand from a small business to a large one, like what we offer. If we can find someone like that in the next week or so, then we will get the project back on line and all we stand to lose is about one to two months of tool up time.”
My partners were encouraged by this positive take on the downturn of events, and it was only a few days later I found and introduced my partners to the owner of a similar business. Upon meeting with him, he expressed a great desire to take his business from where it was doing about three million dollars a year in business at full capacity to where we could help him take the business to ten times that amount and more. In fact, the deal we negotiated with this new joint venture partner was actually significantly better than the one we had with the prior partner. We signed a letter of intent and we were now turning back upwards in no time.
Now let me stop here for a moment and suggest a slightly different perspective. As I am describing the ups and downs of this past year, take a piece of paper and draw a wavy up and down pattern on it across the middle of your paper. Here you see the clear undulating pattern of the rhythmic ups and downs. But now, tilt the right side of your paper up about forty-five degrees. What does that do to your perspective of the downs versus the ups? Have you ever moved up on something in your life and then hit the proverbial plateau? Is this not what you see right now?
That said, let me get back to my story. Things were going great with this new partner, we were even manufacturing product together and enjoying new revenues. Then, when we landed a particularly large contract, he appeared to drink the same “Kool-Aid” our old partners had drunk. He decided he did not want what we had to offer in terms of bigger and better business growth and so he hemmed and hawed for a couple of weeks until we all agreed to go our separate ways. In some ways, this “break-up” was more painful than the first, again, because of all the time and money invested, plus we had created more of a family culture that when it ended felt like we were really losing family. Another down, or better reflected, another plateau?
At that point, most of my partners became really discouraged. However, I was not ready to give up yet. I believed I was on to something big and so I kept my mind open to any number of possibilities. That was when my old investment banking teacher and mentor came back into my life. I told him about my challenges and he explained to me a number of things we can do to overcome our current situation in an even better position than we were when we lost our second JV partner.
Another law, the Law of Gestation teaches that there are idea planters, idea nurturers and idea harvesters. During this time, our ideas, plans, connections, etc. had matured and grown…
Another point I had made to my partners was that we should not try to JV with someone else when we have all the resources we needed to move forward as a team on our own. That said, we began to see our business from a new perspective that allowed all of us to easily see the next step up.
This is exciting because our project is now showing more promise and success than ever before. Each time we were met with a tremendous difficulty, another (better) opportunity manifested itself. Yes, our path to success this past year can best be described as a serpentine angular climb upward at about forty-five degrees, rather than an up and down wavy pattern. It all has been very rhythmic in fact.