Work hard in silence and let your success be the noise.
Entrepreneurs naturally have a strong belief in their business idea and how they will make an impact on the world; they are driven to find solutions to the problems (inefficiencies, conveniences, why can’t it work this way?) around them. But it’s only when that belief is translated into action and into a product or service that we can use does it become real and successful.
The biggest factor in entrepreneurial success is belief. Of course there are ways – quantitative and qualitative – to predict failure or success of new business ideas but it is belief behind the idea and behind the entrepreneur that gets the idea noticed, funded and adopted by society.
Business plans identify and describe the opportunity and talent behind an idea but it is belief that brings entrepreneurs, investors and market together.
Making the idea work = belief.
Get funded = belief.
Get noticed = belief.
Be successful = belief.
“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
-John D. Rockefeller
And here is a great TED talk on “grit”….perseverance and strength to follow one’s goals and to achieve them through hard work, patience and taking advantage of opportunity. Happy Saturday!
“ Failure is only postponed success as long as courage coaches ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory. ”
— Herbert Kaufman
“We mount to heaven mostly on the ruins of our cherished schemes, finding our failures were successes.”
Amos Bronson Alcott
My sister Christina gave me Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I been “savoring” Outliers because it’s a fabulous read, it talks about cross cultural success (yeah!) and it shows how, as individuals and as a society, we have active roles to play in promoting more success stories.
I was away at a retreat this past weekend where I questioned my definition of success (more at a later post). Nevertheless, here are three key takeaways from Gladwell’s excellent book:
1) Success is a group project – Gladwell shows how outliers become outliers and people become successful as a result of being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of various fortuitous circumstances. He talks about how we are “caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from earth.” Success is a group project because it’s not just up to the individual to triumph but an individual taking advantage of the various opportunities that present themselves. More opportunities = more success stories.
2) Culture is important – I’ve lived in Ecuador for more than 8 years and worked with many organizations across Latin America, US, Canada and Europe. Every so often I have the opportunity to tell people about the theories around High Power/Low Power Distance. It helps explain why where you are “from” sometimes impacts our communications, habits and decisions-making.
3) 10 000 hour rule – Experts become experts through practice. Roughly speaking, it takes 10 000 hours to become an expert. No magic here, just good old fashioned hard work!