An entrepreneur mentioned the other day how her first business venture at the age of 24 hit the rocks because she had brought the wrong people on board into the business. These were people that she trusted but they turned out to be crooked. It’s a business lesson she had to learn the hard way.
Why is it so that we first have to learn business lessons by getting our heads smashed before we can move on? Perhaps it’s because we are naïvely trusting of other people. Look what nearly happened to Little Red Riding Good when she put her trust in a stranger. She nearly got eaten up alive. Although mistrust of other people iss bred into us at an early age we often have to learn the lesson for ourselves before we pass through the first gate of learning entrepreneurial ropes.
It’s as if all the lessons that we were told about trust, responsibility, respect and perseverance mean nothing to us until we have learnt to appreciate the value of each. These days when such a high value is put on academic book learning, we tend to forget how vital experience is as a teacher.
Textbooks can only really provide an intellectual framework. You’ve got a get out there yourself, get your hands dirty, bump your head, fight the fierce lion and learn to deal with people who have been scraped from the bottom of the DNA barrel. Experience teaches you to be highly alert to scam artists, freebie seekers, cunning pushers ahead and other low-life greedy scumbags.
A real example of just how careful you have to be in judging people involves a bean counter who destroyed a 30-year-old communications business because she hollowed out so much money from the company before the directors became aware of her criminal activities. A well established, well run business destroyed through someone who was greedy and crooked.
The entrepreneur that I mentioned a few moments ago has learnt her lesson. She is much more selective about who she trusts now. She’s gone on to accelerate her business despite the obstacles and difficulties in the particular market she has entered.
Two final comments:
1 However low some people place experience on the totem pole of learning, sometimes it’s the best teacher. Leave the textbook, ideal world scenarios to the snotty nosed professors and get hip to where the real action is.
2 Learn from others who have fought in the real-world business front lines, not those who sprout their pearls of wisdom from PowerPoint slides while namedropping and patting themselves on the back.
If you are looking for a guide into the real-world of turning ideas into viable concepts, products and services, you can follow a practical, hands on step-by-step process that gives you a kick in the pants when you aren’t shaping up to your true potential. Let us know if you’re ready.