Are people born to be entrepreneurs? Or is it a skill that anyone can learn?
You might be interested to know that there is actually impressive research on this subject. Nicos Nicolaou from the Cass Business School at London’s City University and Scott Shane from Case Western Reserve University did the study. They found that inherent abilities, those you were seemingly born with, account for about 37% to 48% of entrepreneurial success.
This means that all entrepreneurs, whatever their natural talents, must learn the craft. Some people simply have a larger head start than others. They come into this world with personality traits that are strongly aligned with entrepreneurial effectiveness.
When it comes to setting and managing goals, most of us have considerable room for improvement. Here are three common goal-setting mistakes which people commonly make.
The first is confusing good intentions with goals . To be motivating, goals need a good intention behind them. But good intentions are not goals. A good intention is to lose weight. A goal is to lose ten pounds in the next 60 days by exercising four days a week.
Second is having too many goals, so that it’s difficult to stay focused on all of them or the sheer number of goals and the effort they demand leave you feeling overwhelmed.
The third is failing to group goals by categories, so that we keep goals for our personal life separate from goals for our business life. When we categorize goals properly, we can then focus only on those goals which relate to context in which we find ourselves at a given moment. That is, we focus on professional goals at work, family goals at home, and personal development goals in our private time.
Making Your Time More Productive Mike Armour If there’s one discipline that small business owners must master, it’s maintaining personal clarity on the difference between activity and productivity. The to-do list for any business startup grows continually. By the time … Continue reading
The philosopher Carlos Castenada said that there are four impediments to learning new skills. They are fear, power, clarity, and old age.
The challenge of fear to learning is obvious enough. And by old age he refers to the mistaken beliefs we often hold about our limited learning potential in later years of life.
But how are power and clarity obstacles to learning? Power, he would explain, limits our sense that we need to change. When we have things under control, what motive is there to learn or do something different.
A similar scenario plays out with clarity. If we are convinced that we have a clear and complete understanding of something, we have not motivation to plunge deeper into it and explore it more thoroughly.
As this article spells out, encore entrepreneurs are particularly susceptible to each of these obstacles. And to the degree that these obstacles prevent them from learning, the obstacles stand in the way of success.
In our thought process, beliefs rarely present themselves as beliefs. Instead, they masquerade as facts. Have you ever heard people say things like, “I could never be a good public speaker” or “I’m just messy by nature”?
Notice how these statements sound like statements of fact. In reality, neither of them is factual. They both state a belief. What they actually mean is, “I believe that I could never become a good speaker.” And, “I believe that I can’t be tidy and organized.”
Moreover, by masquerading as facts, these statements imply two things. First, they suggest that “this is who I am.” And second, “Because I’m this way, there’s not much that I can do about it.” The second statement even says, “I’m messy by nature.” If I’m messy by nature, I must simply accept it. Right?
As a result, because we mistakenly treat such statements as facts, they serve to disable us. They rob us of power and potential to change and improve.
But when we modify these statements and recast them as mere beliefs, not absolute facts, we start to see options and possibilities for ourselves. We see the potential for change and even greater success.
Success Comes One Failure at a Time Mike Armour We moved to the Silicon Valley in the early 1970s, just as the Valley was beginning to make an international name for itself. Even though the IBM PC and the Apple … Continue reading
Business startups routinely find themselves short on resources and without the funds to secure them. This very set of circumstances has spurred some of the greatest innovations in business history.
Indeed, the better funded a startup, the greater the likelihood of its early demise. With plenty of money to work with, the startup is not forced to find innovation solutions to its most pressing problems. Instead, it merely throws money at them, until one day there is no more money to throw.
Startups who are short on capital, on the other hand, innovate out of necessity. And great companies, like Southwest Airlines, have been born out of those very types of situations. Reality may force us to accept a shortage of resources. But nothing forces us to be short on innovation.
Studies of thousands of business startups indicate that there is a significantly higher success rate among those founded by men and women who are 50 or older. In addition, as compared to businesses begun by younger entrepreneurs, those launched by encore entrepreneurs survive in much larger numbers when the economy is in retreat.
Only a fraction of the people who consider starting a business actually follow through and launch one. Many factors hold them back. But none is more daunting than fear.
Fear itself is inevitable. We never know when some unforeseen event may trigger it. This leaves us but two choices. We will either manage our fears. Or our fears will manage us. Success with your business startup depends largely on which choice you make.
Here then is a seven-step process for managing the fears which may come with owning a small business.
You can build no greater competitive advantage for your business than establishing a reputation for credibility and then protecting it. We live in a time when suspicion and wariness are rampant. Scam artists abound. Polls indicate that trust in institutions, corporations, and government is at all-time lows. It’s hardly surprising, then, that we’ve learned to be extremely cautious — perhaps even leery — when dealing with people and organizations that we don’t know well.
There are so many abuses of integrity today that people are eager to do business with someone whose word and character they can trust. As part of every decision that you make as a business owner, as part of every endeavor that your business undertakes, you should ask yourself, "Will this add to our credibility? Or detract from it?" This single question will keep you on track in terms of keeping credibility in good repair.