Monday, May 12, 2014
CART BLANCH FOR FAILURE??? I THINK NOT
Good day and I hope you are having a wonderful day. Today I want to go over a topic that was pointed out on the TV series Shark Tank. This is a lesson that most self-made successful business people learn the hard way. It is a lesson mentors try to drill into the heads of their protégés. Unfortunately like many success principles there seems to be a need for learning through mistakes the hard way.
The point is, one should never mistake persistence, with beating your head on the wall doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Persistence is a fantastic characteristic. Napoleon Hill said that “persistence is to the character of man what carbon is to steel”, so there cannot be enough said about persistence. When you are in an entrepreneurial venture however, and trying to get off the ground, with excitement in your product, you tend to fall in love with your product. Especially if you are really passionate about the product you are involved with. When you make mistakes, that love of your product will prevent you from seeing the forest for the trees.
You have to listen to what the market is telling you. Rely on those cold hard numbers. If you have been selling and putting money in a product for 2 or more years and the numbers are not showing you a success, or you are spending more money into the business than you are taking out, you need to take a good objective look at your business and decide if you need to change something before moving on, or cut your losses and move on to the next venture, because the market it telling you that it is not in love with your product. Here the advice of good skilled professional advisers is worth its weight in gold. There is something to be said about marketing. Marketing is a great skill set that is imperative to any business. I have heard it said a good marketer and a good salesman can sell ice to an Eskimo. Do you want to be in that type of a business though? Numbers do not lie. It is a mistake to lose everything you and your supporters have in pursuit of what you “think” is a hot product. The market is what determines the success of your product. You should always keep your perspective open.
A great advice I have had from many mentors is to get a product I am working on, out into the market as quick as possible, and deal with improvement and fine tuning of the product only when the market proves to me that I am on the right track. That is a hard lesson to learn. I want to put out the best I can possibly make. Perfection however is a life long journey. It is also a good excuse for not taking action. I can always improve my products, but if I am concentrating on a product that no one is interested in, it does not matter how perfect that product is. I will go broke. I have made this mistake in real-estate a few times. I was so engaged in the deal that I did not want to admit I made a mistake so I kept on pouring more and more money trying to avoid the fact that I was wrong. Instead of cutting my losses and moving on to another deal that was truly a winner, I was stuck in trying and “hoping” to make the deal work.
The other side of the story is that while I may be putting all my energies, and capital into a losing product, I cannot be concentrating on something else that may be more beneficial to the market as well as to myself. When my concentration is focused on a losing product, I am blocking the inspiration and flow of the ideas that can become wining products.
Remember that the fourth step of goal setting as I described in my book Road Map to Life: A real world lesson is coming up with a plan to get what you want. That step may be very vague when you start, but as you take action and receive feedback you need to listen to the feedback and modify your plans accordingly. Do not give up if you see solutions that can be integrated into your plan of achieving your goal, but at the same time do not keep on doing the same thing over and over if you are not seeing a positive result. There is something much better waiting for you if your feedback is such.
It is a very subtle distinction that we have been discussing here. Many may feel this is a cart blanch card for GIVING UP. It is not. You know in your heart if you are just giving up or going after something that is not meant for you. You will learn by practice which is true if you have not experienced it yet. It is a lesson well worth learning early in life. So set goals, and plans. Set them high, and go for it. Learn from mistakes and modify your plans until you succeed. If you are hitting a wall go towards your goals from a completely different stand point. Ask for advice from trusted advisers that have your best interest at heart. You can be what you will to be.