If I start walking from anywhere in North America and keep walking in a straight line until I hit an ocean, is there a possibility I will encounter the Grand Canyon without intending to?
Life is full of unintended consequences, both good and bad. We often find ourselves where we had not intended to be.
But is that good enough? Is it good enough to end up wherever chance deposits us? Even if there is a chance it will be good?
Taking that chance is exactly what many small business owners do in starting their businesses: they just start. They point themselves in some general direction and just start walking, as if the act of walking itself is enough to get them to a desirable destination.
When people find out I spend my days in the world of business, they ask me "So what makes a business successful?" My answer is always the same: sales, a vision, and a network.
I also know what will prevent you from being successful: the failure to commit to a vision. Not lack of money. Not lack of education. Not a lack of good employees or the absence of business experience. All of these things may slow you down and even derail you. But only one thing is 99% fatal: a failure of vision (I'll give you 1% as the generous assessment of the same luck it would take you to encounter the Grand Canyon in a random walk across North America).
To spell it out:
- Paint it minute detail. The clearer the vision, the greater the chance you will get what you want.
- Create with others. The inside view, the perspective from within your own head is unreliable for almost anything that matters. Great visions are usually the product of great conversations.
- Be realistically stubborn. In my experience, as many visions fail because someone gave up too soon, as fail because they were flawed. Do your best to eliminate the possibility you are on a Quixotic journey by creating a reliable reference class through study, conversation, and testing. Then hang on for one day longer than you think you possibly could.
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