Inc.com’s Article on How Great Entrepreneurs Think gives insight into the behaviors of successful business starters. The findings of a researcher at the University of Virginia looks at the contrast between corporate managers and entrepreneurs. They are different breeds of people.
I have seen the same pattern repeatedly. People that require a map for every decision to move forward are not successful entrepreneurs. Those that are not afraid of failure and are able to improvise continually are able to navigate the unsure terrain and ambiguity of the entrepreneurial journey.
Entrepreneurs Are Agile Not Reckless
There is a stereotype of recklessness which accompanies entrepreneurs. This is more appearance than reality for successful entrepreneurs. I would say that what a traditional businessperson might deem as conventional, prudent or superior is actually slow, expensive and imprecise. There is an appearance of control with analysis in decision making, however, this assumes a world which is static and controllable. In reality, we live in a world that moves fast and is complex. This is more true today than in times past. Thus, it is better to fail fast than to try and aim for perfection. The latter is an illusion.
If you are going to sell services, for example, you will learn much from getting your first customer. Trying to win the customer and learning to position your offering will teach you much more than analyzing an entire market and looking at quantitative analysis of the data only to decide to move with a high risk investment or abandon it all together.
Your first customer will teach you much about how the market works or if there is a market. It will also teach you about how to win your second customer and so forth.
If this sounds precarious or you might disagree, you may not be an entrepreneur. My advice is to stay inside of an organization. You won’t understand. Or you will go through painful experiences. The entrepreneur’s journey relies heavily on improvisation based on facts. The goals and successes emerge iteratively through a process of failure and refinement. It’s an exciting journey for sure.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below.