So you’re considering starting your own business. You’ve done your research. You know you’re ready. But then you hear those dismal statistics. Nine out of ten of startup businesses eventually fail.
Ninety percent failure rate? How is that even possible?
This statistic isn’t presented to discourage you from starting a business. Quite the opposite. Most of these businesses failed because they gave up too soon. The owner or owners hit an obstacle or two, tossed in the towel, and walked away. What should they have done?
Find a way around the obstacle.
One of the first questions most entrepreneurs ask is “When will I know it’s time to quit and give up on my dream?” They expect to be handed an expiration card with a date stamped on it. After this date, you’ve used up all your attempts and it’s time to close up shop.
Take it from some of the most successful business people worldwide: that’s not how they viewed their ventures. They were determined to succeed despite setbacks, mistakes and regardless of the situations were thrown their way.
Why is it important to have the ‘never say die’ mindset?
If you give up, you’ll have nagging doubts that had you only stuck it out another year, another month or even another day, you could have made the business work. You’re going to find with living with that regret for the rest of your life.
Events have been known to turn on a dime. A business disaster today could be transformed into an unintentional advantage by tomorrow.
Do you really want to live with that regret?
Perhaps it isn’t a large boulder in your way. You may be plodding along, but not nearly as fast or as successfully as you had envisioned. You wonder if you’re ever going to have your “breakout” moment.
That moment when you discover your business finally takes off like a rocket. Is this all there is, you ask, as you wonder if the efforts you’ve been investing in your business is worth it.
Quitting isn’t the answer. Instead, re-evaluate your initial expectations. When you began your venture, perhaps you overestimated the demands of the market. Sure, you have orders dribbling into your online business, but after five months, your business plan showed you should at least twice this number.
Instead of giving up, adjust your expectations. Go back to your initial blueprints and make any changes based on where your business currently stands. The key is to approach your business with flexibility. Some weeks you’ll find that your business might be running ahead of your expectations. Some weeks it might be lagging. But that’s not a reason to quit.
You’d be amazed how many individuals close up because they insist on comparing themselves and their businesses to others. A similar business opened at about the same time as yours, but unlike your venture, it appears to be growing by leaps and bounds leaving you to feel like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
Never compare yourself to others.
That’s the surest way to depress yourself and demean the efforts and energy you’ve already invested. Just as every student learns at his own rate, entrepreneurs grow their businesses at different speeds. That doesn’t mean they’re more successful than you. It only means this is where their business stands right now.
Accept where you and your business are at this moment. Take stock of that and then make decisions and keep growing based on this information.
The last thing you want to do is wallow in your mistakes, to regret your past and any replay them over again.
Instead, assess where you stand now, what resources you have at the moment and then go from there. Instead of regretting your mistakes, analyze them and learn from them.
Don’t scale back your dreams; kick your actions up a notch or two. As human beings, our ability to see the large picture is many times blurry. We tend to be myopic. We can only see about ten to twelve feet ahead of us, so to speak.
Not only that but we’re not good at predicting the future. More often than not we dwell on the worst-case scenario. Instead, we should be saturating our minds with all the successful possibilities that are ahead for your business.
Regardless of what the statistics say, don’t give up on your dream business. If you can see your business in your mind’s eye, feel the excitement of a successful, smooth running organization, then continue on. You may need to be more flexible with business plans and you may need to adjust your timetable. Whatever you do, don’t throw it all away.