Luck is a word that very often is used with a negative connotation. "Oh, she's so lucky she had the chance to..." or, "He's so lucky he was at the right place at the right time." Jealousy comes to mind quite often when I hear the word "luck" used. Luck as it relates to business is something I think can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I started a 30-day cold shower program after I realized that many of my other entrepreneurial heroes like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss also use cold showers to prime themselves for their day. Why? Because, as I discovered first hand, a cold shower is like a Rorschach ink blot test for all the crap you carry around in your mental backpack. The crap that holds you back from greatness.
At 23 years of age, Nasreen Sheikh radically redefines what it means to be a Nepali woman. She is a Sunni Muslim living in a predominately Hindu community and is the founder of a fair-trade sewing collective called Local Women's Handicrafts. Nasreen is an outlier in her community. Typically, most Nepali girls marry between the ages of 15 and 18. The pressure to have a married daughter began to increase with each year Nasreen remained single however, and in 2014, Nasreen's parents decided that they had to take action. For Nasreen, this arranged marriage would have meant the end of Local Women's Handicrafts.
A great challenge an entrepreneur has starting out is overcoming their financial limitations to transform their ideas into reality. Investment doesn't come over night and often than not, you already need a pilot project, prototype or some part of a business developed before you can gain serious consideration.
Giving up the reigns puts someone else in the driver's seat, which is a guaranteed recipe for calamity. Trust me, every pitch you'll make will be challenged... but the longer your maintain control, the more powerful a base (and shield) you build. What's more, you may inadvertently address, even eliminate, someone's genuine concern as your presentation rolls on to its finish.
Let's face it: it's always personal. Even when it's not. Even in business. Every business owner is first and foremost a person and the way we view the world is through our unique human perspective. We put a lot of ourselves into our businesses and careers, and therefore, by default it is personal. Enter the personal brand.
As I've said in this space often, my lessons learned can be profound or simple. They may be revolutionary and new, or old news that needs to be repeated. The point here then, this week's lesson learned is a simple, old one of the value of perseverance. Or put another way: Success knows no substitute for tenacity.
While we cannot make up for the experiences we lack, we can certainly draw from the knowledge of those who have lived before us. Regardless of your age or the stage you are in your life, I believe mentorship is an invaluable tool. There is a reason why maps were created. Imagine a road trip without the aid of a map?
Nothing is normal or weird. Never focus on what the norm is or what is standard procedure. Rules are there for interpretation, unless they accompany jail time. Keep every solution open as an option. Never rule out a possibility because you've put options into "boxes". Unwrap every option like it's Christmas morning.
With technology easily replicated overnight, corporations truly need to address consumer issues rather than paper over them. Whether it is complaints concerning customer service, product reliability or the overall product or service experience, addressing these issues will be critical to maintaining corporate competitive advantages in the future.
The latest stereotype regarding entrepreneurship is that it is populated with 20-year-old master programmers who survive on a diet of ramen noodles. While this may be true of Silicon Valley it is hardly a true reflection of all entrepreneurs. Some may question why anyone in this highly unstable economy would choose to transition from the relative security of a corporate position to the instability of entrepreneurship. The reasons are varied but include the following.