Have You Lost Money Lately?

Lost Money
Losing money is part of being a business person. It’s the risk part that the sheltered worker does not understand. Photo from Jeff Wheeler’s Flickr photostream.

Talk to any entrepreneur that has truly traveled the path of risk and they will tell you about scars on their back from the money they have lost in bad deals. It is part of the wins and losses of business. The more knowledge and savvy you gain, the less money you lose in bad deals.

For the employee, they are immune to this conversation. That is because the losses are absorbed across the company. The mistakes are not so personal and focused. It’s play money.

This is also true for those that consider themselves “intrapeneurs“, a term I consider a fabricated way of helping someone feel good about themselves without taking the real risks entrepreneurs face every day. They play with house money (their company’s money that is) and take risks in ventures using a bank account that is not their own. What a deal. Pretend to be entrepreneurial for social currency but all the while retain the safety and security of an employee.

The entrepreneur relates well with others like her. They have understood failure by taking risks, learning and continuing forward without a clear roadmap. They make their own. The loss of money is part of the price of learning and also allows them to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

I can’t say that the person who has never risked anything has really done business like owners. They may have transacted in the service of their employer, but they are not in similar company when they are with entrepreneurs. The mindsets are different.

So, as all the security blankets are coming off in this continually changing world of ours, consider your wins and losses of your own money a scorecard. They help you understand how well you are learning and if your risk taking is managed well.

If you are not even in the game, then you may not have much of a choice as the option to spend other people’s money for your own security is becoming less of an option these days. Get practicing on small ventures and cut your teeth learning how to make and lose money like an entrepreneur. It will get you emotionally tuned to the journey towards eventual success. It’s hard, but I am not sure there is an alternative.

So, if we talk, tell me how much money you have lost lately. I will be able to relate and encourage you to keep going on your winning.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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