Simply repeating the mantras “act as if” or “be the ball,” as well as countless others that would speak to the fact that if you want to succeed, you have to be seriously committed to what you are doing, is hardly ever enough. Something that no one ever discusses, however, is that commitment, in and of itself, is not going to do anything without a firm belief in what it is you are doing. You can fake concern at a corporate, pencil-pushing job, but when it comes to running your own business, impotent goals and lack of belief in what you are trying to accomplish, will thwart all efforts, and in short-order. That said, no one would start a business unless they believe in what they are doing, right? Not necessarily.
Some people are just busy arbitrarily chasing the dollar, with no concern for what they do, or how they earn it. Belief in chasing the dollar can stoke the fires of success, yet likely in a particularly ephemeral way. Finding your burning desire, and deciding to capitalize on that interest, will lead you down the path where you will eventually introduce yourself to your own success. It is enthralling, and as much as the process of building a business, and hopefully subsequent success, is grueling, it is likely the most worthwhile undertaking you will ever commit to.
David Leuschen, Founder and CEO of Riverstone Holdings, spoke at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. People generally clamor to get to any speaking engagement he does. The reason being is he has perhaps one of the most respected of business minds in this country. On one occasion a few years back, he took time to discuss the merits of what it takes to succeed in business.
One point he discussed was to get out of the lines! He says that too many people spend their lives living within the lines. Now for every person that ventures out, one must stay in, but that said, those stepping out should be those starting their own ventures. The second point draws on the old Woody Allen phrase, “ninety percent of life is just showing up.” He basically means that if you spend time in one career, learning all you can, eventually it will serve you in ways you had not ever realized.
There was not much talk of embracing risk, but that is a necessary component if one is starting a business. Being entrepreneurial means you are, in a lot of ways, almost addicted to taking some risks. There is nothing wrong with taking a calculated risk, or an all-out gamble. If you always have contingency plans, you will likely always find your feet on the ground. Have a plan.