Friday August 6, 2021
LinkedIn Recently collected Business Owners Advice to their Younger Selves
And it became a treasure trove of interesting and helpful advice with answers ranging from practical and functional to humurous and sincere. Yet from among them all (or contained within a bulleted list) one answer stood repeated among the others.
Words varied on the most popular advice: Don't focus on the "What if's", "Steer Clear of limiting beliefs", "Don't think too much" - the message was the same: Work is done in action, not in thought.
Action beats deliberation.
"If you want to be successful, you have to take risks and create equity" - Chihiro Kurokawa, MBA wrote in. "There is no alternatives".
Planning in business can only do so much for you. You can set goals and make plans and prepare all you want but without implementation or action there is never going to be any result, positive or negative. Consensus was the same: sometimes you can do everything right and still get a negative outcome. It takes a willingness to do and adjust to succeed, or "'earn as you go'.
Because you are dealing with the beast called “The Unknown” you can never, FULLY, be prepared for anything. Take a breath, be in the moment, and when problems pop up do your best. That is literally all you can do. - Reggie Walker, former NFL Captain.
When I Started my First Company over 20 Years Ago, I didn't have everything Planned.
There have been plenty of starts, stops, and hurdles big and small along the way since then. Did I see every obstacle coming? With hindsight, would it even have been possible?
Truth is, trying to catch every mistake before it can happen is like trying to catch rainwater in a bucket full of holes. It is far, far better an approach to life to focus on action, experimentation, and adjustment than it is to try and have a blueprint at every step on the way. For my part, I believe that there is a bias among would-be entrepreneurs to view success backwards. We look to a person's success and think "they had a plan, they knew what they were doing". No successful enterprise has ever worked like that.
The idea is to jump in and start. Stop reading books, stop overthinking and just dive in and make some mistakes - you will learn!
The best way to learn is through doing. It pays more to get started, learn along the way and keep moving forward than it does to delay and wait for perfect conditions or perfect answers.
As I've written before, the way I've discovered to approach business is to do a little, fix a little, and do a little more. Do and fix and fix and do, and you'll be on to something.
Sometimes we imagine it's harder to jump in than we thnk. If you're struggling with finding your place, perhaps it's time to ask what's making your decisions and why. Self-reflection is tough but giving up can be even harder in the long run.