Recently I was reading Robert H. Schuller’s book entitled ‘The Be Happy Attitudes’ on a flight, and I came across the Possibility Thinker’s Creed. Candidly, I thought that was a good motivational piece for an entrepreneur, though Robert used it in the context of happiness and general life. Let me reproduce that creed below.
When faced with a mountain
I will not quit!
I will keep on striving,
until I climb over,
find a pass through,
or simply stay and turn
the mountain into a gold-mine-
with God’s help
I simply started musing about how relevant this creed was to all entrepreneurs. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to be a go-getter. You need to be ready to face mountains while smiling. You need to be resilient, tenacious and audacious (reminds me of Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope – quite a nice piece).
So, what lessons can an entrepreneur learn from this creed? Let’s take a look.
- Challenges are a common part of entrepreneurship. If we were to take a sample of a thousand entrepreneurs worldwide and get their business history say over a period of 3-10 years, I believe we would discover that close to 100% had business challenges at one time or the other. Isn’t this true? Of course mountains are not simply any business challenges, they are BIG CHALLENGES. I guess you have an idea of what I mean. If you are not cut out to tussle adversity and difficult times in your enterprise then you might not fit in the world of entrepreneurship! Now, don’t say I’m threatening budding and young entrepreneurs, OK? I’m just speaking the truth in love. If you have never faced any mountains in your enterprise, you have got to be grateful I think, but this should not blind you and hinder you from preparing to face mountains in future.
- An entrepreneur should learn not to quit. By the way, there are some people who simply run for nothing – I mean swift running out of fear when there is nothing particularly chasing them. Don’t you agree with me? There are entrepreneurs who will be tempted to quit when they face slow market growth in a short-while, face stiff competition from a new entrant, find challenges raising the capital they need for an important investment etc. Haven’t you met such? I think that total failure is just your inability to think out of the box, re-strategize or re-invent yourself and your enterprise. No single business success comes easy. You have got to work for it Mr. Entrepreneur! Even when you have lots of scars arising from business fights, you could take a break and resume, of course I’m assuming that you have learnt some good lessons from your failures hence you have acquired some wisdom to proceed and succeed. If you are the type that never learns but swings from one failure to another, that’s up to you. Possibly you need some hard knock from a business consultant or mentor.
- Your business strategy is vital. Yes – I mean business strategy; not just some crazy thoughts and ideas that come into your mind haphazardly or in your dreams after a hard day’s work. Do you know what I’m talking about here? You could read my article on business strategy here http://www.thewiseentrepreneur.co.ug/?p=2487. What about your business war and turnaround strategy? Do you know that times of business failure or war might mean new strategies other than the ones you might have had before facing your mountain or war? Does your strategy guide you on how you will climb over, pass through, tunnel underneath your business mountain; or simply stay and turn your mountain into a gold mine? I leave this to you.
- Be resilient, tenacious and audacious when faced with business challenges. Entrepreneur, this is another important point from the Possibility Thinker’s Creed above. I think one of the most resilient, tenacious and audacious people I’ve met are Nigerians, whatever the objectives are, in general life not just business. Don’t blame me for my thoughts – you are entitled to have your own anyway! It’s a free world. Of course you see these traits everywhere on the planet, but certainly there are exceptions. I’m applying this now in the business sense. Are you strong willed with a dogged persistence? Are you able to withstand and recover quickly from difficult business situations? Will you take surprisingly bold risks (good, ethical and lawful ones I mean) to recover from your business pitfalls, or overcome your business mountains?
- Make lemonade out of the lemon the business world gives you. Again, Mr. Entrepreneur, you have got to learn to fall forward – in other words, stumble while progressing and learning from your mistakes. Every setback is a set-up for a step-up. You never know what could happen or result from your business mountain. You could just stay around that mountain and discover some gold there. Don’t you think so? You might also discover amazing things while climbing over or tunneling through that mountain. You never can tell. Can you?
For a swift close now, my advice to you is this. From now on, never ignore The Possibility Thinker’s Creed! OK?
Until then – best wishes to you as you apply the above lessons in your enterprise.
The Wise Entrepreneur