If an individual shows up to a marathon race after training for two days and expects to finish in the top 10, many of us will laugh in their face. Even if by some fluke of nature they achieve this dream, we would call it a miracle!
We instinctively know that running a marathon requires months and even years of training in order to stand a chance of finishing, not to mention attempting to be in one of the top 10 places. It requires dietary control, hours of running, proper sleep and a gruelling regime over a long period, all of which can never be accumulated in just a few days!
Many may not realise but that is the same for those starting any business. Some want to go from an idea to conquering the world with their product without any experience, preparation or long term training. The media probably has a lot to do with perpetuating this fallacy as it can masquerade the truth that someone has been in the trenches for many years and portray their accomplishment as some 'overnight success'. They might even find an outlier and reference him/her as the one to emulate since the person went from idea to success in just a few months. Such cases are never the norm. The person who wants real success and who wants to win the marathon of life must focus on the real requirements if they want to succeed in their entrepreneurial marathon.
The accountants who developed the cash flow forecast have got some things correct. The first column is what they call the 'Pre-start' stage. This is to account for actions that should have been taken before the business officially starts. This seemingly inconsequential column is so important to any business. If you have not carried out the essential pre-start activities, you will experience tremendous struggle in the early months of trading, or sometimes even failure, because the pre-start was not properly handled.
The young millionaire, Peter Voodg, was asked, “If you had less than $1000 and you wanted to start a business, what would you do?” I bet you the average person will go register the business, create a Facebook page, set up a website, hire an office space, buy a laptop, create a product and so on. But his response was “I will find those who are successful in that industry and take them to dinner and ask them questions. That will save me years and introduce me to ideas I had not thought about.”
That is contrary to the way most people think. Someone even reading this would say “I am not spending my hard earned money taking some rich guy to dinner so that they tell me a few things.” Think about what you said - “..... Some rich guy …..” There is a saying that 'birds of the same feathers flock together'. You called this person rich; if you also want to be rich, does it not beg the question that you should find out how they became rich?
There are two clear ways we all learn:
- You learn by your own experiences
- You learn through other people's experiences
The smart people learn what they can from those who are ahead of them. The ignorant lot want to learn everything in life by their own experiences. Learning by your own experiences is the most expensive and painful method of learning! You go through so much hardship and sometimes even give up when you conduct your entrepreneurial journey through this route.
Sincerely speaking, there are lessons you will have to learn by experience anyway so focusing on learning everything yourself is not wise to say the least.
Part 2 of this article to follow soon!