Pretty presumptuous right? Everyone knows that entrepreneurs have a high failure rate and are expected to fail because that’s what makes a small group of entrepreneurs successful – learning from failure and continuing down the path of creating profit by providing solutions to problems that exist in the market. But what if entrepreneurs didn’t have to fail? Or what if a fewer amount failed? Crazy idea? It may not be as crazy as you think. Failure is based on not having the right answers to the right questions. Finding the right questions to ask is harder than finding the right answers. So what if entrepreneurs knew what questions to ask that would guarantee their success?Continue reading “What if entrepreneurs didn’t have to fail?”
I believe we all have a bag of gold. Some people have one piece of gold in their bag while others may have 2 or more. Gold represents the value or currency of our talents and abilities. Each day we get the opportunity to trade our gold out in the marketplace in exchange for more. Trading involves expending effort according to our talents and abilities on activities that produce a result. The more we trade the more opportunity we have to earn a return. The less we trade the lighter our bag of gold becomes.
I don’t like to fail. I use to think that failure was weakness and something that I needed to try harder to be better at, stronger at. I have come to understand that failure is a feedback loop and doesn’t reflect weakness if I am able to get on my feet and keep going. Perseverance produces character and character produces hope. Failing isn’t the end result of your or my actions, but is part of the work being done to help us understand what it will take to achieve what we have set out to do.
When I catch a break, it tends to catch me off guard. Running a business is like running a marathon…uphill! I exert so much effort every day that when I catch a break I try to take a moment to take it in. The grind of tasks, issues and challenges can feel normal over time and any entrepreneur that has been around awhile knows the grit required to keep pushing every day. When a win comes along not only is it a welcomed reprieve from the grind, it is an opportunity to evaluate what is working.
It’s tough sometimes to come to terms with reality. Even as an entrepreneur it can be difficult to hold out hope for the future when your current circumstances suggest there should be no hope. When I feel like I want to put on a brave face I have learned that being honest and dealing with reality is often the best course of action. In fact, when I call someone I trust and share with them the challenges I am having I find reprieve from the anxiety that builds up when I chose not to say anything to anyone.
Wouldn’t it be great if the best decisions you made were able to provide a lasting difference? Wouldn’t it be great if things stayed the same in your business? I have thought about this often and have decided that change is good. The challenges I was able to overcome through innovation and pressure have contributed to the success I now enjoy. Without change there is no opportunity for circumstances to improve. Change doesn’t always have a positive outcome but I believe that change can arc in the direction of positive outcomes over time.
Do my actions and activities change the result? It’s a tricky question for an entrepreneur to answer because we tend to think that everything we do matters. I have learned that every business has an organic result it can generate without much effort based on being in the market and making its products and services available. I have found that it is important to understand what the organic results are that a business can achieve before spending time and energy on new initiatives and strategies. Not every idea is a good one and you may find yourself running in a circle.
I wish it was easy. I wish the things in my head could easily be put into place. Marketing strategies would just work. Sales activities would produce amazing relationships with customers. Operations would deliver products and services seamlessly. Finance would always be up to date and helpful in providing insights about where to invest all my profits. But it’s not easy. Doing any of these things well requires constant focus and energy. So where do I find the energy?
I enjoy a tremendous amount of freedom. Every day I get to do the things I want to do but even in the middle of all my freedom I have days where I wonder: “Is this worth it?” I find I have days every now and then where the volume of noise and issues wears me down. Generally speaking it’s not tasks that I have friction with but rather the people I am leading. Not everyone I work with has the same vested interest in the outcomes that I do and there are days when that disconnect gets tiring. What I have learned to do is to stop for a moment and consider the following…
I use to hate Sundays. More specifically Sunday evenings. I would begin to think of all of the outstanding tasks and issues I would be faced with come Monday morning and would being feeling the anxiety creeping into my chest. Once Monday morning hit I would have a running list of things to do, people to speak with and issues to address usually in my notebook (that I still carry around with me today), and I would somehow get through Monday but realized I need to do something different to get myself sorted out.