As a person with an entrepreneurial spirit, I also work with many business owners who have a “similar” personality. I can only call it similar because we see eye-to-eye on many topics, but the one thing that separates me from most of my peers is the level of pain I can endure with the amount of risk I’m willing to put myself through.
Normally, my physical pain level is that of a firm handshake. The pain level I’m referring to is the pain of risk versus failure. I’m not afraid to fail where most entrepreneurs are. I have failed, several times! You can probably join a club and when you join you have to introduce yourself like this:
“Hi! My name is Jim and I have failed.”
The group then answers back, “Hi Jim!”
Actually, I find people who have failed a time or two in business far more interesting than the people who have never failed or tried anything new. Herein lies the problem that I want to talk to you about today.
Success is a temporary condition and failure is likewise temporary.
As a business owner, you can only get to second base if you take your foot off first base. From where you’re standing you can see where you need to go. Second base isn’t that far away. You can even lean in that direction and convince yourself and everyone around you that you’re heading in that direction. But at some point you’re going to have to make a break for it and head towards second base.
Are there some bad things that could happen on your journey? Yes there are. All sorts of things can happen – some of them good and some of them bad. But if you’re driven, focused and ready, the journey is a risk worth taking. Take your foot off first base and go for it.
To Build or Not To Build?
If you’re trying to decide to build a website to help your business grow and discover that it’s too expensive, too time consuming, or just too difficult – I can understand that and will chalk it up to a timing issue. But if you have been in business for a few years, you’re afraid to take the risk because things are going well right now, and you don’t want to risk what you worked so hard to build, then I need to remind you once again that success is a temporary condition.
The Internet isn’t a fad; it’s not going away any time soon and it’s the place where you need to be. Websites are work – lots of work! I will remind you all day long that a website is like adding a second store to your business model.
A successful website is a wonderful thing but it doesn’t come risk free. If you’re a true entrepreneur you’re moving forward all the time and you have the battle scars to prove it. You’re smarter than most people and you stick your neck out more than anyone you know, but change is tough, especially when there’s money at risk.
Here’s how I like to think about a business that doesn’t have a powerful website; if you don’t have a website today it’s like driving all your customers to your competitors.
I have many friends who are now successful business owners with failures under their belts. All of them have said that they would have never been successful without taking on tremendous risk and failed at a few of them.
Here are a few tips that you can apply when you’re fearful of taking on risk.
Always know the financial condition of your business.
Don’t be afraid to look under the rocks to see the creepy ugly things that you want to ignore. Face them head on and deal with them. Most fear comes from a complete lack of knowledge and understanding.
Talk to really smart people who can help you make decisions.
These people don’t have to always be in your field of work to offer great advice. I like kicking around ideas with experienced credible people. You can always find a new way of looking at something.
Focus – Focus – Focus!
Life is a risk and people who embrace this mantra are far better off then those who avoid it. If you can focus on where you want to go, act as if you’re already there and then figure out a way to build it.
Mediocrity is dangerous.
Yikes! I would rather have my big beautiful ship go down at sea then rot in the harbor. Take your business out there and see what it can do. Once you’re ready, you will be amazed at what the old dog can accomplish.
So, whatever you’re trying to decide, don’t be afraid. Focus on the goal and put yourself out there. If you’re thinking about building your e-commerce website, it’s not as risky or scary as you might think. I will show you all the ugly creepy things you’re afraid to look at – along with the good – and help you make the right decisions for your business.