How To Avoid The Illusion of Success ~ 2

BoatIf I dig deeper into the success picture that you currently display, would I find a solid foundation or some flaky structure?

The truly wealthy are careful to study, understand and apply the process of success so that success becomes their name. To these guys the process is more important than the appearance of success.

They know that wealth is sustained by consistent, hard work and systematically applying success principles – not gambling through life.

This might be shocking to some of us ‘entitled’ millennials, who believe that simply putting up a YouTube video and having it go viral is all that we need to ‘make it’.

You’re better off using a time tested approach – which is to: roll up your sleeves and do the real work. Grow from level to level and be your best at every level.

Make it. Skip the fake part. I’m tired of watching entrepreneurs struggle to keep up with things for which they lack capacity.

The illusion of success is a stressful take on life. I suggest that you figure out what it takes to succeed and pay the price. Don’t fake it, make it!

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How To Avoid The Illusion of Success

PinnochouI like accountants. In business, they’re skilled at telling you the truth – the raw, deep cutting truth about your financial status. They slice it thin. If you think you’re rich and they think you’re not, chances are, you’re not.

My appreciation for this group came after I attended a seminar on business accounting and began to see the fault lines in the ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ thinking. Now, I can’t stand the idea. Faking it is an exhausting venture.

One of the pressures that budding entrepreneurs face is: trying to maintain the appearance of success beyond their means or capacity. I’ve been there; not fun!

At some point, you actually forget that you’re in business and focus on the elements that make you look successful, leaving little or no time for you to patiently explore actual success habits and practices.

When the appearance of success is more important than solid success systems, the entrepreneur is in trouble.

The ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ thinking is a waste of energy and resources. In some cases, the short term benefits are undeniable, but if prolonged, it eventually blinds you to the workings of long term success.

Why Passion Could Harm The Entrepreneur ~ 2

BAR CODE - THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY by Emo  5th Sep 2009 close up shotPassion is a starter. It gives you enough motivation to get going. I would advise that you don’t ‘go-out-to-sea’ without it. Raw passion is required to birth an idea; make no mistake about it.

However, it is important to move from raw to refined passion (it means making raw passion practical and useful).

Refined passion has every element of the raw, plus the added advantage of boredom-proof, consistent action. It’s not tied to emotional fluctuation. This is the forte of professionals.

For instance, my refined passion drives me to seek out a good accountant who would help keep my finances in order. Refined passion makes me care about the legal details of what I’m doing.

My refined passion makes me want to be the best professional that I can be and not shabby in my dealings. I’m deeply passionate about my blog. That’s why I write every day, whether I’m in the mood or not.

It would help to spread out your passion, beyond the feelings of excitement. What does your raw passion mean in practical terms? How does it play out? What does it look like?

Why Passion Could Harm The Entrepreneur

FlowerThe annoying part of the movie, The Titanic, was that Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio) died in the freezing chill. I was upset. The lovers had a good chance of survival.

Jack’s attempt to put Rose (Kate Winslet) on the rescue boat failed because her passion for them was firey. She couldn’t imagine being apart. At the end, he died.

There’s an intensity about passion that defies logic. Gripped by its urgency, you feel the heat in your bones. It’s an intoxicating drive that can only be appeased with action.

Entrepreneurship is the passion trade. Burning with intense desire for their vision, entrepreneurs plunge into the dictates of their dream. Nothing can stop them; it must be done – and done now! It’s sometimes described as ‘raw’ passion.

Now, that’s the challenge.

I’ve played in the passion arena long enough to know that passion is not enough.

Passion can be blinding when not properly appropriated. As entrepreneurs, we catch a vision and the passionate drive can make us skip vital details.

Interestingly, if one is not careful, the same passion that launched the idea could destroy the dream.

Hustlers Vs Entrepreneurs

PaintingHip-hop and other sub cultures made the word, ‘hustler’, prominent.

The picture we’ve been shown is an individual who’s street smart, knows how to ‘work’ the hood and get results – usually financial. Also, hustle is used by folks to mean they’re working hard on the daily grind.

Is the entrepreneur a hustler? Or is there a difference?

The lines differentiating the entrepreneurs and hustlers are somewhat blurred. Some would argue that they’re the same.

I’ve not drawn a conclusion; I’m still observing. Then again, we might just be dealing with a mix-up in terminologies. Maybe what’s most important is getting the job done, the methods irrespective.

My interest in this issue was sparked when I encountered a hustler who made our business exchange unbearable because he sincerely believed he was displaying solid business practices.

Eventually, time proved him wrong. His false confidence tried to give off the aura of a savvy business man, but trained eyes could see right through.

This is my take:

Whatever side of the divide that you fall, please try to avoid ‘ignorant-pride’ and by all means, know what you’re doing or at least, engage a learning process.

Why Your Product Is Not The Business

productThe feeling that comes with birthing an idea is, for the most part, indescribable. The moment when you finally make your idea happen is truly exciting.

Therefore, it’s understandable why entrepreneurs get laser focused on the product that they’ve developed, convinced that it would alter humanity’s routine.

Many entrepreneurs believe that once the product is ready, they automatically have a business. This sentiment is sincere, but often, they’re sincerely wrong!

In their minds, all they need to do is create the product or service, kick back and wait for the big bucks to roll in. I wish it were that easy.

A business is the processes, systems and thinking behind a product that ensures the sustenance of every element of the venture.

Your product is only an element, it’s not the business. A business is a combination of leadership, people, finance, environmental factors, products, processes, marketing, brand management, etc. It’s the system.

A product is the possibility of building a business; the hope of establishing an enterprise. You have something tangible to exchange in the marketplace and qualify to display your conviction in the public square of ideas. That’s it.

Mistakes: An Entrepreneur’s Learning Opportunity

MistakesThere’s a strong link between mistakes and perfection. For one, every form of perfection was made by imperfect hands – art, music, architecture – every single perfect work was born by imperfect souls.

People who attained high levels of mastery did so by making mistakes – and lots! Hence, perfection is effective imperfection.

In my experience, entrepreneurs hate making mistakes. We want to get it right the first time – always. Sadly, our flawed nature gets in the way and creates an uncomfortable itch that constantly reminds us of our limits. It can be annoying.

Despite our mistakes, we can still be functional if we understand that: perfection is the creative use of our flaws.

When a 3year old makes mistakes, an adult’s typical response is a smile acknowledging the cuteness of the child’s ignorance. In the grownup’s mind, the kid is yet to understand how the world works. The infant is quickly forgiven.

Generally, what we forget as adults is the importance of mistakes. We rarely have systems in place to accommodate and utilize them.

Making mistakes is how entrepreneurs grow. In fact, the presence of mistakes is a sign of growth.