Success isn’t common, failure is. More businesses fail, and continue to fail every day, than those that succeed. Several things kill businesses; some more formidable than others. With the more formidable business killers leaving no trace of the business in their trail. The least formidable ones leave some pieces for the founder to pick up and begin again, either more intelligently or (as it’s often the case with those who pick no clue from failure) continue to repeat the same things that destroyed the business earlier, in that vicious circle.
When has business ever been for the faint of heart? Akin to a war, more forces tend to pull down the business than those seeking to raise it to a position of power. Only the founders with sufficient grit can weather the storms of these destructive forces.
Let’s now attempt to identify the most primal of these forces:
If you want to stay in business long enough to run into the seeming luck we all like to call success, you’ll need heavy doses of faith. This include faith in your personality, strengths, and in your ability to achieve your objectives despite your weaknesses.
Faith in yourself demands that you do not allow the fear of your weaknesses and any other obstacle that lay ambush in your entrepreneurial path to cripple you.
This means that you see obstacles as necessary events that you must encounter throughout your journey. You embrace them with a clear and open mind and you give to them the treatment they deserve.
In my four-year journey in self-employment plus one year in entrepreneurship, obstacles always crop up. When they do, I apply a strategy that meet the situation.
I relax and I tell myself, plus my wife tells me and she does so quite well, that this is normal and it shall pass. And pass it always does.
I allot it some time to pass. Just as success need time, obstacles need time to wane. In that interim, business and life doesn’t follow the usual order and manner. The obstacle seeks to upend some plans and disrupt some activities. This should have been allowed for from the outset in the planning process through reserves. I also assign some resources from the personal savings chest or even borrow from well-meaning family and friends to ensure I come out of the situation with my life, sanity, and attitude intact. If you allow obstacles to break your entrepreneurial spirit and attitude, you’ve failed in some way. On no condition should you allow challenges to twist your soul into accepting false beliefs and myths about yourself and the path you’ve chosen. At all times maintain a high-flying spirit, even in the face of daunting problems, although, this could seem impossible but you must keep trying at it.
You must commit to life-long learning. Study the life and philosophies of successful people, and you’ll see that they faced what you’re now facing. You’ll also learn how you can tailor their solutions to your unique situations.
I’ve learnt that some of the problems we face are natural. They are not of our making, the best we can do is accept them. Others are manufactured by our action and inaction. As a result of that, you must be cautious of the implications of what you do and did not do for your business.
Your failure to do the activities that your business needs to survive hard times and explore times of ease, including but not limited to marketing, sales, and the continuous improvement of your product and service offerings, is the root of many challenges that seek to wipe out your business like a tsunami. The founder’s consistency in taking the relevant and useful actions that their business need to grow will help them in so many ways. It will ensure that they’re ever-ready to explore opportunities whenever they arise. That way the founders will develop a tough skin against challenges and obstacles, and will weather most storms with regal ease.
The other ravaging wolves that founders of startups and small businesses must build fortresses against include all kinds of fears and other more physical obstacles like risks, the lack of finance, skills, and knowledge. These we’ll discuss in subsequent posts. Thank you for sticking around.