One of my recent articles featured my description of why I don’t have hair. And, just for clarification I still don’t have hair. This is a fact, and it is true mostly because there are a number of things that tick me off enough to continue to pull my hair out. There are a few things specifically that just drive me batty.
The fact is that I would rather kiss my great aunt Betty on the lips than listen to another person tell me that they are an ENTREPRENEUR when in fact they absolutely do not have a glimmer of an idea, not even a slight hint as to what that term means.
Some people think that the word entrepreneur is a very cool way to describe themselves. “Yes, thanks for asking. I’m an entrepreneur.” Look, just because you have a great idea and a pick-up truck does not make you an entrepreneur. And for those of you who really are entrepreneurs then you understand that the term is not thrown around quite so lightly. The title of Entrepreneur is one that is earned and worn proudly. It is earned with sweat and tears and heartache and devastating failures and hopefully counterbalanced with remarkable and incredible successes. But you’re picking a fight if you take the term lightly around someone who has paid the price.
Bloomberg reports that 8 of 10 “entrepreneurs” who start a business will fail within the first 18 months. Are you kidding me? This 80% failure rate is a staggering statistic and should be revealed on fifty foot banners outside every business school in the country. How can this happen? Actually, I believe the answer is simple. The fact is that most (entrepreneurs) who start a business today simply are not mentally prepared for it. They dive into the process of starting a business totally blind and have no idea how the world, let alone the world of business actually works. They don’t understand that starting a business has much more to do with will and effort; mindset and attitude, endurance and sheer willpower and understanding acceptable risk, than it does with spreadsheets.
In a recent article on Entrepreneur.com by Steve Tobak, he made a very powerful statement on this exact subject. He said, “Life offers two distinct paths for each of us. The first is the path of least resistance: Get a job, show up, and collect your paycheck, rinse and repeat. The second path is the risky one: Take chances, face enormous challenges, suffer terrible defeat, rise up even stronger than before, and someday, make it big. If you choose the latter path, I can say one thing for sure: there will be desperate times. But contrary to what you might think, those are the most precious times. When you’re desperate, when you feel you have nothing to lose, when you’re most open to opportunity and change, that’s when great ventures are born.”
That is the life of a true entrepreneur. This is a life of knowing that not everything you do is going to work but surviving the failures that you know will happen, heck you expect to happen, just so you can experience the big wins, the gratifying successes.
For those who have earned their entrepreneurial battle scars, you can help. Don’t be shy about giving advice and some survival tips to the new kids on the block. If they’re willing to take it, give them a hand and sometimes a kick in the pants. Mentorship has played an incredibly important role in my life so give some of that back.
So, If you think you have what it takes intellectually; mentally and physically, then welcome to the ranks of the intrepid entrepreneur. Make a run at it and give me a call in 18 months to let me know how you’re doing.
In my next article, we’ll talk about a few simple ways to beat the odds and create a successful and thriving business. But until then, If you do need some direction and advice, let me know. Give me a call or an Email. This is what we do at Grow Southwest and we’re open for business.