I remember my first business bank manager approving my first business loan with the comment that the plan was weak but my hunger made up for it.
Now it’s the opposite. My hunger is still important but the quality of the plan is paramount. It’s just 20 years later, and almost another world of awareness.
But these days business people, especially startups, who are in a hurry to get somewhere, (hungry) are always the most risky to invest in. As the hunger grows so to does the demand for a bullet proof business case.
The hunger that was once the mark of a great entrepreneur is now almost the mark of a bad one. Sure, we need commitment, we need conviction, we need to have the integrity to work through the push back that might come. But that integrity isn’t hunger any longer. It’s patience.
Good entrepreneurs work hard but they are rarely desperate.
And, most importantly, if a business owner is getting desperate, it doesn’t show.
What’s the secret to keeping your cool under pressure?
I think it’s a holistic approach to life in general. Keeping all the balls in the air at once is not as hard as people make out, it’s only hard if you turn your back on an area of life and ignore it for a few weeks until it bites you.
I came up with Back on Track to help people keep all the balls in the air by working a little bit on the seven major elements of life on a daily basis. This is the diagram of it.
What I am suggesting is that each of these areas needs daily attention so it’s a proactive approach to keeping all the balls in the air rather than cherry picking change which involves fire fighting problems as they come up, in other words reactively.
The problem with reactive cherry picking is that it’s uncommon for just one ball to be dropped at a time. When things go wrong they go wrong in three’s and then there’s a huge demand on the nervous system, lifestyle and mental health of the business leader / entrepreneur. When this happens it becomes obvious to everyone that things aren’t right. Then there’s a cascade effect.
It’s also important to recognise that it’s hard to fake it. People are much more savvy at detecting BS these days so, a bright smile and some fancy clothes, a boozy lunch and a day on the harbour don’t pass anymore as criteria for confidence in someone. We’re so much more acutely aware of good heart now and we ignore that awareness at our own peril.
Gratitude, Presence, Certainty and Love – the four intrinsic benchmarks of a great entrepreneur and leader – subtle energies that underpin, proactively a good heart and a patient business person.