Many entrepreneurs about to start their businesses fret over every detail, as if their business is a rocket ship preparing to take off into space. It’s a common misconception that there is no second chance to recalculate your course once you’ve taken off.
This is far from the truth.
Businesses are rarely overnight successes; take Instagram for example, who launched three separate times with three separate apps before they hit their eventual home-run.
Running a business requires you to change constantly and readjust depending on the road ahead. You don’t need to worry about everything being 100% perfect from the start because you can always correct course along the way.
Many entrepreneurs fight the urge to have a business that can do a little bit of everything – even if it it’s an area they know little about.
This is one of the fastest roads to failure.
Spreading yourself a mile wide and an inch deep is a bad idea. When you look at all the best startups that have made it, they all have one thing in common: they have taken one thing and they became the best at it.
Take DropBox for example, who came out at roughly the same time as Google Drive. On paper, most investors thought DropBox would be crushed by the multi-billion dollar Google machine. Included in this list was billionaire angel investor Chris Sacca who pleaded with DropBox to not fight the war against Google because it would be a losing battle.
It turned out that the majority of investors, including Chris Sacca, were wrong. DropBox was able to focus solely on file sharing and as a result, they managed to become the massive 10 billion dollar business they are today.
Entrepreneurs are constantly being faced with challenges – it comes with the territory. As a result, it’s vital for us to remember to take friction and spin it into something positive.
Paying attention to the friction points are key to creating a successful business. As business owners, we need to be constantly learning and testing products and processes to kill redundancies, execute faster and repurpose what we already have in place.
It’s important to remember that taking steps backwards often allows us to propel forward like a slingshot. Perhaps it was said best by Cynthia Occelli, “In order for a seed to reach its greatest potential, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
There will be times where your business is in a rut and you just need to keep fighting to make it successful. There will also be times where you are forced to cut ties and remove something that is a cancer – whether it’s an employee, or a part of the business itself.
Twitter successfully made this maneuver back in 2006 when they made the switch from Odeo.com (an online audio platform) to the microblogging site that they are loved as today.
There were two primary reasons they decided to start over:
- They realized that there were very few people in the company who were truly passionate about audio
- A little known company called Apple was starting to release Podcasts.
Within two weeks, they renamed their organization to Twitter and redirected the ship away from the ice fields.
If you get to the point where your business is inevitably destined to go down, then it may be time to cut your losses and salvage what you can for your next venture. Pivot or perish.
Successful leaders know they are great before anyone else does. Believing in yourself and your capabilities is the single most important characteristic you can have as an entrepreneur. If you have a vision, don’t let anyone tell you no. If you want to be successful, don’t ask people for permission. Be bold, listen to yourself and follow your gut.
There are thousands of expressions and quotes that drive people to be better versions of themselves. Some are good while others, not so much. These expressions however are ones that continually inspire the masses and rarely lead driven entrepreneurs astray. Use them wisely and best of luck in your future endeavors.
Need help putting some of this advice into action? Take a look at how we go about setting distinct, measurable goals.