“I always thought I wanted to be a professional boxer until I fought someone who ‘really’ wanted to be a professional boxer”
There are those who say that experience is the best school, and in entrepreneurship, it seems to be the only one.
Today the barriers to start a venture are set quite low, but you must realize that this door has been opened for you, and hundreds more. Prepare to face competition, where not only will ability be your rival, will and tenacity can level the field.
Many of the stoic entrepreneurs, who have spent years in the ring, are willing to share their experiences and advice. I would recommend reaching out, and not being afraid to ask. It would be worth doing this exercise with entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers, not only with the headliners.
You could find more applicable knowledge from the entrepreneurs that go a few steps ahead, than from the ones that are already at the goal line. Probably the first ones have a fresher view of the everchanging environment and obstacles.
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights”–Muhammad Alí.
The success of a champion is difficult to overshadow, an entrepreneur on an upward trajectory will be under the spotlight.
Some might question whether if his connections were behind his success, or whether the entrepreneur’s hard work eventually turned into a valuable network of people who willingly joined to his mission.
Some others might argue that the success was a given, but only he will know the true price he had to pay. The price is preparation, execution, and diligence. Commitment to his customers, teams, and partners. The sacrifices that had to be made to be able to achieve his goal.
The constant education of the will in order to nurture habits and kickoff the virtuous circle of success.
“To see a man beaten not by a better opponent but by himself is a tragedy”–Cus D’amato.
Just as sometimes you can be your most valuable asset, it is sad to see that sometimes you can be your own worst enemy as well.
Michael Mauboussin in The Success Equation states that success is mix of luck and skill. We can, and should, work to generate and nurture these skills, we are accountable for that. Failing to provide this variable should be considered as negligence since it is a preventable and unacceptable error.
Fear can also cloud the entrepreneur’s vision, and deter him from pursuing his goal, making it imperative to shake off those inner obstacles.
Ever more and more successful entrepreneurs acknowledge the benefits of meditation. This exercise helps us to be present and gives meaning to the relevance of having perspective. It is through some variations of this habit that some gain clarity, peace, or manage to focus on overcoming internal limitations.
Another way to become your own worst enemy, is through laziness.
A categorical defeat is guaranteed for the fight that did not even take place.
If you really have a valuable idea, shake off your laziness and put up a good fight. You should talk about your idea with your friends, research about it, and write about it. Writing helps significantly to be clear, convince yourself, and move.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”Mike Tyson
The famous Iron Mike gives us this legendary quote. A reality shock will make us see the shortcomings of our plan, including that of our alternative plans.
We can either give up and wait for the countdown, or get up and work on our plan, incorporate the new information, and move on. This blow to the face does not have to be fatal, it can be a shock (strong of course) that strengthens our entrepreneurship and character.