Have you seen the rush of product launches on the web recently? Seems everyone had a massive brainstorm of ideas some time back and… oh boy, they seem to deliver on their promises now. Books, new courses, not to think of new membership sites, podcasts… are created every week. It goes at lightning speed.
Well, that comes with business’ life, you’ll tell me.
“Entrepreneurial life is the culmination of risks you take and decisions you make to move on at any cost.”
Moving on. It seems a fair path to success. Go get the next one: “an entrepreneur’s job is to rush full steam ahead, pushed by the divine wind of fortune”.
But let’s consider the ones who do experience super-success for a moment, only to die a few years later.
How many are still there to talk of the Business mistakes they made in the name of “betterment”? How many are still struggling to bring credibility, clients and money back?
Imagine: those guys have tough skin. They’ve been here a few times already.
What about you? Do you have the experience, or the support, or the knowledge they had at the time? It things would go too fast, and if you’d lose control, could you lick your wounds and get back on your feet immediately?
No one can tell you when you should take action or not. But you can (and should) consider those 3 questions before making an imprudent move.
Leading: Are you flying blind?
Running a business keeps you on your toes constantly.
And you’ll be surprised how quickly you can detach yourself from reality. Are you still taking the time to gather all information (qualitative and quantitative) that you need? What are the risks you can envision? When it comes to making decisions, don’t base everything on vague assumptions. Take extra time, review your copy, and source robust facts.
Facts won’t be enough though. Have you considered the dangers of emotional attachment? A choice made in a stressed state is a reaction. What you need as a wise leader is to become responsive. There are countless examples of people who, in hindsight, said “at the end of the day, deep inside me, I knew it”.
If it does not feel right, it probably isn’t. Make decisions when you’re calm and collected. And trust your intuition.
Business: Are you serious, or bluffing?
Do you play poker with your friends? “All-in” is always fun, right? Why do you decide to put all chips on the table? It’s because you believe you’ll win.
The same lesson goes for any risky business decision. Don’t go all-in, unless you know you’ll win. What does it mean?
You are supposed to last until the Return On Investment (ROI) materialises.
In your Bank account.
If the ROI looks fantastic but you don’t have the financial resources to last until the big pay-off (or to survive a complete fuck up), you’re living in cloud cuckoo land my friend. (And probably setting yourself up for failure at the same time)
Launching product after product involves a lot behind the scenes: a clear strategy, a team, maybe a little cash in advance, and to know exactly where you are going. Don’t throw yourself on new business adventures on the sole vision of possible outcomes. Consider the journey, who and what you’ll need to get there.
And make sure you have everything lined up before you start your trip.
Managing: Are you driving above speed limit?
The people who can drive cars safely at 200km/h are pro’s. They started small. It took them years to learn to anticipate, build the right reflexes, and do everything faster. (That’s why they earn crazy money for it: it’s a risky job)
If you plan to push your accelerator flat to the floor and build an empire in, say, a few months…
First, (apologies for the blunt statement)
You might want to have this ego issue checked.
Second, I suggest you to talk to your mentor about it. He’ll probably “have a view”
Overnight success takes years in the making. If you are not 100% in control today, pushing too hard can have serious consequences: loss of clients, lack of credibility, and financial burnout.
Expanding helps you establish a solid business foundation, when inflating is just make it bigger without substance.
It’s no waste of time to stop and have a look at the rear-view mirror. Make sure you are in control, where you are now, before rushing into the next sprint. Remember: a business matures over time. And so do you! If you haven’t seen it all yourself, you will lack the discernment to handle your first crisis successively.
We all want more, and our social environment tells us exactly the same. Nowadays, a success has to be big, and fast. However, knowing when to pause and evaluate your strength is the trademark of a wise entrepreneur.
I will leave you thinking of that good old Icarus, who did not follow the wise trajectory his father set for him, and ended up so close to the sun that it melted his wings!
Have you ever had a business crash? Share your story in the comments.