The quality that best characterizes business owners is passion; it sets the engines of entrepreneurship rolling with the proprietor behind the wheel. It’s the same passion with fuels the drive to attain his purpose and achieve his vision. But every business venture starts out as an idea. Entrepreneurs will always believe they have stumbled across the “next big thing”. Passion turns to excitement until reality puts the entrepreneurial dream in its proper perspective.
Statistically, entrepreneurs who start a new business are already at a disadvantage. As you’re reading this article; in the United States, 1,569 new businesses are starting out. Of those 1,569 new businesses, 1,520 will close down by the end of its first fiscal year. The failure rate of start- ups is universal; in Canada for every 397 new businesses that start every day, 375 will declare bankruptcy by the end of the year. According to Small Business Association, more than 50% of all small businesses will shut down five (5) years from the start of operation.
If your business is a start up with unprofitable operations, you should not be discouraged because failure is part of the process.
In the first place, as you have seen statistically; you are not alone in this situation. Yet, 98% of all new businesses registered every day all around the world are defined as small business. Going back to the example, in the United States close to 600,000 new businesses are opened in a year. In the United States, with over 320 million citizens, the spirit of entrepreneurship still flies high. Small business owners are hailed as the new heroes of the economy; defying all odds and forging ahead to the journey toward unprecedented success. Damn be the storms! Along the way, small business owners generate employment and stimulate aggregate demand in the economy.
The challenge for entrepreneurs is accepting the reality of failure which has its roots embedded where all business ventures start.
Entrepreneurs have this belief that the road to business success is a straight, narrow and clearly defined. They believe that if you plan and design strategies meticulously and implement processes accordingly, the road to business success should be within sight.
In reality, the road to business success is far from being straight, narrow and clearly defined. It has peaks and valleys; the heights and depths of which are beyond estimation. It curves; winding to who knows where. It is riddled with potholes, mud holes, quicksand and subject to the harsh conditions of the elements. The reality is the business environment has been on a constant cycle of transformation since the end of the Cold War. Businesses are no longer confined to the regional because technology, social media and the changing political, economic and cultural landscapes have made the environment global in scope. As we have seen with 9/11, the economic crash of 2007 and the Euro Zone crisis of 2009; what affects one region of the world affects everything else.
In the Old Economy, business was predictable and highly structured. Businesses pursued the “Perfect Plan”. In the New Economy, business is unpredictable. The “Perfect Plan” will not exist. Business should shift its focus away from strategy planning and strategy and toward implementation.
Implementation requires the entrepreneur to have the ability to foresee change amidst this wave of global transformation and conceptualize revisions in strategy to adapt to the ever evolving conditions in business. Confronted with the specter of failure, you have three choices: fight, flight or freeze. In order to develop the ability to foresee change, the entrepreneur must not run away from the fear of failure. Instead you must run toward fear at full speed and break through it to expand your barriers.
When you embrace fear, you will gain:
Clarity – Because once all the smoke clears, you see what is important.
Camaraderie- Because you will ultimately discover those you can depend on.
Creativity- Because your boundaries of imagination have been expanded.
Resilience- Because once failure knocks you down, it’s when you get up that forges your will to succeed.
Freedom- Because now you know that failure is a reality that hurts deeply. You would never want to go through it again.
Understand that failure happens for a reason; to make sure you succeed.
Felix is a virtual assistant at Outsource Workers. The company helps entrepreneurs find affordable virtual assistants and reduce costs.