Break old Limiting Beliefs, don’t be afraid to make Mistakes, Learn & keep trying till it leads to Success
Topics: Solve 1 Problem well, Knowledge, Weakness, Empathy, Success is un-stable, Vision.
Limiting Beliefs. We all want to be successful and have the potential for success. However, many of us have had to fight limiting beliefs about success since we were children. Those beliefs may have been introduced by the education system, religion, cultural norms or, even our own parents. Before I decided to quit my job as a business consultant and become an entrepreneur, I knew I had to overcome my own limiting beliefs. I knew my desire to succeed would not be enough as long as I did not root out the fears and mis-conceptions that clouded my judgement.
Research. To this end, I decided to study the lives of success-full icons in business, science & politics, such as Edison, Disney, Jobs, Branson, Albert Einstein, & Mother Teresa. I analyzed their struggles, failures & achievements thru the lens of different frames of reference, including classical philosophy, religion, behavioral psychology, strategic planning & SWOT analysis. The result was the following seven (7) timeless principles of entrepreneurial success.
1. Solve 1 Problem well is a better success than solving none. In fact, it could lead to solving them all. Sometimes, business becomes so difficult that all we can see are problems. When we find ourselves in this situation, let’s remember that by solving just one problem, we can – by extension – solve many of the others based on intrinsic systemic connections. Yes, successful people know the importance of turning their business struggles into scalable knowledge.
Example: Thomas Edison might be one of the most iconic examples of this principle. We all know that he invented the incandescent light bulb. What many do not know is that other successful versions of this revolutionary device had been previously created by other people. His smashing success came from combining his version of the electric lamp with other crucial lessons learned from solving other problems over the years, such as electricity generation & transmission. This allowed him to design, build & sell the first practical, commercially-viable lighting system in the U.S.A.
2. Knowledge is just an “approximation” to Reality, not reality itself. Whoever wants to be success-full must possess knowledge – but more importantly – must be able to challenge it. When we cling to current knowledge as if it were an absolute truth, it becomes the seed of our future failure. In today’s ever-changing world, knowledge can be as short-lived as the blink of an eye.
Example: Albert Einstein might be the most iconic symbol of this principle. With his Special & General Theories of Relativity, Einstein broke the universal model of Physics by re-interpreting the behavior of light & gravity. His theories – now proven – have given way to technologies we now take for granted such as nuclear power plants, positron tomography & GPS systems. Einstein challenged conventional knowledge and literally changed the world forever.
3. Weaknesses are Blessings in disguise. Weaknesses are the seeds of the greatest strengths & success. Conversely, uncontrolled strengths always become weaknesses. In fact, the greatest human strengths – namely courage & humility, only flourish in the soil of weakness.
Example: $B Richard Branson has experienced the strengthening results of fighting, and then working with, a complex weakness. Branson found out he suffered from dyslexia in his early twenties. This cognitive – not intellectual — obstacle led him to pursue & value simplicity as the cornerstone for his business ventures. He also realized the value of surrounding himself with talented individuals and delegating accordingly. So, even tho’ simplicity & delegation are key success factors for any business, for Branson, they are a matter of survival. This is why he takes them so seriously.
4. Empathy enhances your chance of success. True empathy is about self-confidence. If we know who we are & what we want, we will be able to understand others more clearly & relate to them more effectively – regardless of petty differences in personal tastes & styles. Similarly, we will be able to choose our partners, allies & employees with clarity of purpose. All of this will help us identify synergy opportunities that were previously invisible, & resolve problems that were previously unsolvable.
Example: Nelson Mandela took this principle to another level by reaching out to political opponents in order to end Apartheid in South Africa. After 27 years of unjust imprisonment, Mandela’s ability to establish empathetic relationships, allowed him to form a political coalition, comprising white & black politicians, in order to re-found the Republic of South Africa as a fully democratic, non-segregationist state.
5. Success is more than a List of Achievements. It’s a way of learning from both winning & losing, in order to keep moving forward – regardless of the circumstances. If we are humble and know where we are going, both are equally useful for our long-term endeavors.
Example: Walt Disney embodied this principle to its core as he was no stranger to failure. Disney was fired from his first Cartooning job – due to declining revenue; and he had his first two businesses, go into bankruptcy until he finally achieved a sustainable business model with The Walt Disney Company.
6. Success is meant to be Unstable. Definitive stability = death. Entrepreneurship is the relentless pursuit of finite periods of unstable success. The key to long-term success is, then, to keep moving forward realizing that everything will always be changing/unstable.
Example: Steve Jobs was no stranger to this reality. He became very successful with his first company, Apple, from which he was later fired due to the financially under-performing Macintosh and clash of visions with then-CEO John Sculley. He then revolutionized the micro-computing industry with the ahead-of-its-time NeXT workstation, only to find out it was economically unfeasible for mass production. In parallel, he made a fortune with Pixar, the digital animation spin-out from Lucasfim, which he helped fund and later sold to The Walt Disney Co. All throughout this time, Jobs experienced first-hand the volatile nature of high-stakes business success – leaving behind a legacy of resilience & reinvention.
7. Adopt a World-View that enhances your Vision. A vision of the future defines your objectives. A world-view defines the path to those objectives – based on a working model of the world. If your world-view is fundamentally flawed, your vision will never be realized. Successful entrepreneurs have a keen under-standing of business, the economy & life in general – that is reflected in their worldviews.
Example: Mother Teresa’s charity work – an entrepreneurial endeavor of massive success – is an enlightening example of this principle. Motivated by a higher calling & a fervent religious belief system, Mother Teresa committed her life to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.” Her vision of the highest virtue would have been unachievable without a sensible world-view to support her ministry. Mother Teresa knew she needed to relate to politicians, diplomats & business people to fulfill her vision. (ie, It is this clarity that allowed her, among other important achievements, to rescue 37 children trapped in a frontline hospital by brokering a temporary cease-fire between the Israeli army & Palestinian guerrillas. Working with the Red Cross, Mother Teresa traveled to the distressed hospital to extract the young patients).
Conclusion: These principles have guided my path as a business owner, speaker & mentor. I have also found that these principles address people’s most common mis-conceptions about the risks, challenges & benefits of becoming an entrepreneur.
Comments: Do you know any other principles that an Entrepreneur should have to Succeed?
from Entrepreneur.com 24 Aug 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz