There is a fine line between being stuck in the past and learning from it. In both instances, the sword cuts both ways for both positive and negative experiences. I have spent the past decade building a small business that works primarily with small business owners. I won’t make the bold claim of having seen it all, however, I have seen quite a bit when it comes to entrepreneurship. There is a saying that goes, “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success.” I am not ready to attest to that statement, but I can say that 10 years gives you quite a bit of perspective. As we enter 2020, I wanted to lean on the previous decade as we move into the new one. We are calling this series “20/20 Revision” not because we are looking to redo anything that happened in the past, but to apply insight from previous experiences as we navigate our entrepreneurial future.
Ready or not here come the opportunities!
One of the biggest attributes I have noticed in successful entrepreneurs is their ability to know when they are or aren’t ready for an opportunity. If you talk to any small business owner, they will tell you about numerous times an unexpected opportunity crossed their path and how they figured it out. While this resourcefulness is common among founders, the capability to differentiate between something that will take them to the next level and something that will cause a setback is a unique character trait that requires clarity in vision, confidence, planning and patience.
Do as I say, not as I do.
Ask any entrepreneur for advice and trust me, they will give it to you. Over the years, I have leaned heavily on lessons from other business owners as I have built my company. What I have learned is some entrepreneurs may give you advice that they are not actually following themselves. I have also learned that some people are better at articulating lessons learned than others. In order to successfully learn from other founders, you have to be able to read between the lines of what they are saying and hone in on what they are doing. More times than not, you will be surprised by what you learn and even more surprised by who you learn it from.
We in here!
Know that you belong in the room. There is a perfect mix of humility and confidence that exists within every successful entrepreneur I have met. While most business owners are aware of the trap of overconfidence, the negative impact of too much humility can be equally detrimental. There is nothing wrong with taking a minute to look around and ask yourself “how the heck did I get here?” However, don’t let that manifest into imposter syndrome. You are in that room or situation because of the investment you have made in your business. Go ahead and take it in for a second, you deserve it. Now take a deep breath, act like you have been there before and do your thing!
We’re claiming 2020 as a year of reflection, growth and improvement. That’s why as we embark on this journey of entrepreneurship and contemplate the lessons learned along the way, we plan on taking a deeper dive into each of these topics. Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, and have a prosperous new year!