Tip #542: My GSA Misadventure

three businessmen walking

“Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead and . . . if the future road looms ominous or unpromising . . . then we need to gather our resolve and . . . step off . . . into another direction.” Maya Angelou

There is good that has come out of this ill-fated and completely avoidable misadventure.

  1. The process and requirements forced me to focus and articulate my areas of expertise
  1. I had to give serious thought to what differentiates my services from others who work in similar areas.
  1. I learned about the importance of identifying my company as a certified woman-owned business. That is not something that I have played up in the past.
  1. The massive documentation I had to develop will be very useful in future proposals and marketing efforts.
  • Creating the narratives of projects that I have completed was very instructive.
  • Writing the capability statement gave me a head start in defining what it is that I do.
  • The responses I have written to the requests for proposals contain information I can and will use again in future (and hopefully, more successful) proposals.
  1. I got practice pricing potential travel and lodging expenses, which was illuminating in itself.
  1. All may not be lost. I do have another year to watch and see if there is work I can do for the federal government.

And what hard lessons have I learned?

It is important to conduct thorough research into any venture that appears attractive. I should have spent a lot of time on the GSA website. I also should have checked out the websites of more of the women-owned contractors who did and did not get contracts- and called to talk with them about their experiences.

  • I need to ask more questions to get a complete picture of the requirements before I voluntarily jump onto the merry-go-round.
  • If the application is incredibly difficult to complete, that is a good indication that the application process will be incredibly difficult.
  • If the application process is so complex that it requires paid expertise to complete it, then the implementation (marketing) phase will also require paid expertise.
  • If you want to do business with the federal government, you need to be in a financial position where you do not need the business.
  • If the solution to stress creates more stress, it is not a good solution. The reason for wanting to get onto the GSA Schedule was to reduce my stress about the paucity of work and finances. Sadly, the process of getting onto the GSA Schedule kept me highly stressed for two years and didn’t do anything to get me work or improve my finances.
  • I need to be aware that I was guilty of magical thinking: getting on the GSA Schedule will open the door for lots of federal lucrative contracts. I didn’t consider how difficult it would be to introduce myself and build relationships with federal agencies.
  • When I consider taking a risk, I need to think through my decision to its practical and most likely conclusion. I can’t allow my desperation to muddy my view of the most realistic outcome.
  • Nothing involving the federal government is ever simple or easy.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, be wary, because you don’t have the full story.

May your learning be sweet.


Related Posts

Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You!

Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST

Over the river to grandmother’s house- we have an idea in our mind about how the holiday should be. But planning, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, and preparing the house all take a toll. It’s easy to become anxious, worried about creating a perfect, memorable holiday. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some other winter holiday. There are traditions to keep, favorite foods to prepare, and decorations to put up. It’s exhausting.

Then there’s the actual day. You will want everyone to feel happy and get along, but you know that the stress of the day can easily result in overexcited and grumpy grandchildren and irritable adult children. You imagine that all the time and effort you put into creating a lovely day could end up being wasted and unappreciated.

Holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. Let us help you get clear about what is not worth worrying about- and give you practical coping strategies that will help you stay calm when things don’t go the way you want them to go.

Join us for this highly interactive half-day virtual workshop on how to Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You on Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST. Your investment is $120. We guarantee that you will have a much less stressful holiday.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to Deal with Difficult People.

In this course you will define the behavioral characteristics and underlying needs of difficult people, assess situations in which you effectively handled a difficult person, review five steps for handling difficult people Laurel & Associates now offers courses through Teachable. Learn at your own pace.
Popular Post

Share This Post