Open mind? Necessary. Career back up plan? You don't want it bad enough. People always asked me when I was starting my business “what's your back up plan if the company fails?” I would tell them “It's not going to fail.” Why should we spend time architecting a plan B? I believe a Plan B is composed of fear, worry and a small percentage in your head who says “this idea might fail.” Why operate with the fear or failure? You need to be driven by your goals and let nothing stand in the way of making your company a massive success.
As an entrepreneur, no venture you pursue comes risk free. A risk is not a wall where you turn around, but rather a wall that you climb for the greatest reward. Risk is simply, to me the question of “what could go wrong?”. For the most part, risk is two dimensional. The first dimension is the likelihood of it happening and the second dimension is how serious the potential consequence may be. If we can identify and foresee risks then we are able to manage them which in return better equips our ability to operate towards our company's mission. You need to have a keen sense of awareness where you can mitigate risks in a cost effective and timely manner. To me, awareness triumphs intelligence 100% of the time as an entrepreneur.
Once we have identified all dimensions of our ventures risk, we can allocate all of our energy and total concentration to our company's operations. Now, by no means am I suggesting that entrepreneurs should be blind and naive and continue traveling down a road of horror when an idea is not working solely for the sake of ego and “not giving up.” If your product or service is sold to a market then the market, and not yourself, is who you need to listen to. Having an open mind is actually accepting failure and then accepting you need to travel a different road to reach your business goals. I always want to see things every way humanely possible. This is how great ideas are progressed and risk is minimized by being aware of it's potential if you steer certain ways. A lot of great business people will tell you that in turbulence they learned more than any education has taught them. Learn from what the hard times have taught you and implement the lessons into an even better business plan.
If you give up and want a career change after your first failure you don't want it bad enough. To me, failure only comes as a result of giving up. Never does it come from actually trying something and not having a favorable outcome. Think about all of our mentors, business. They always speak about “the time they pushed through” and the time “they didn't give up”. They often have tenacity, drive and a will to make their business take off.
At the end of the day, if you can manage risk why should we ever abort our goal and run towards “Plan B”? Actively scope out risks and constantly be present. To me, you should only accept one outcome. That outcome is success. No hiccup, risk, or bump in the road should de-rail your vision. Throw out your career back up plan. Open up your mind, and let your Plan A and dreams drive you into the black. Promise yourself that you will hustle harder than anyone and work until your idols become your rivals.
This guest post is courtesy of Kenny Goodwin, Jr. Founder and CEO of Spin My Ad.