I’m obsessed with tracking, measuring and demystifying the learning curve that business owners journey. In the long process of going from wannabe to overnight success, there are many highs and lows – each as unique as the individuals experiencing them.
However, there are some slopes of the learning curve that are universal. Today I’m going to shed light on the one that paralyzes the pursuit of wealth, freedom and impact.
When someone makes the transition from civilian to entrepreneur, initially they’re just a “wannapreneur”. They’re getting started and they don’t really have their s*** together – which is fair enough really. You’d think this would be a very scary time for these folks, but it’s quite the opposite.
People generally make the transition from employee to renegade with a reasonably healthy dose of optimism. Sure, they might be a little freaked out before they make the big decision, but the courage to finally do it usually goes hand in hand with a perspective of a bright future. After all, to the naive newbie… freedom, wealth and glory is all just around the corner!
Invariably and rapidly, the entrepreneur then smashes headlong into the steepest learning curve of their life. Suddenly things don’t seem so simple any more. Obstacles stack up, the money isn’t working and panic rears it’s ugly hear.
How to people cope? They search for answers.
This is the phase of late night google searching, trawling through blog posts and the business/self-help section of the bookstore. It is here, surrounded by all the wisdom anyone could possibly need, that the arrogance rears it’s ugly head.
Arrogant entrepreneurs read piles of this stuff (it’s an addiction!) and disregard it.
“Great idea but that doesn’t really apply to my niche…”
“That wouldn’t work for my thing…”
“Even though it says this is mandatory now, I’ll figure it out later on…”
These are just a tiny selection of arrogance fueled internal dialogue examples – the kind that cripple entrepreneurs, preventing them doing the learning that moves them up the curve.
It is this rationalizing self talk that allows a business owner to disregard the wisdom of the been-there-done-it experts by believing they’re so special the rules don’t apply.
The humility transformation
An incredible thing happens to entrepreneurs and it occurs at the moment they “get it” and, simultaneously, their business takes off. They realize that all the advice was right.
They gain the humility to see that all the rules really do apply. That yes, they should be on social media. No, they cannot succeed without a proper business plan. Yes, sales and marketing make the business. The list goes on.
It’s a conceptual paradox, but people who’ve gotten it really feel it. All the experts are right and success is synonymous with realizing this.
The acceleration of business success I’ve witnessed, when people start bringing their business into line with “what works”, is phenomenal.
The truth is simple.
The really game-changing businesses are built by entrepreneurs who find ways to apply universal rules and strategies creatively, despite their unique situation.
It’s the combo of your-awesome-idea plus killer-business-basics that begets extraordinary success.
All the experts ARE right. If there is a problem, it’s only that there is way too much good advice out there to action all at once.
Successful entrepreneurs get overwhelmed by taking action in the best possible way. They’re so busy following the how-to guides, actioning tips and being awesome that they run out of time. This means that, naturally and perfectly, they can’t read too much more.
There isn’t any more time to hunt for answers when you’re too busy implementing the ones you’ve already found.
I know what you’re thinking – some business guru tips are better than others. I agree. However, if you’re still focusing on that you’ve missed the point entirely. The entrepreneur who takes the time others spend hunting for “the perfect answers” – using it instead to simply action some answers… is going to rocket to success.
No matter what guides you follow, the real value lies in the learnings gained from real-world action.
Disregarding great business advice is an insidious form of self sabotage and it’s driven by the sensation of feeling special. Feeling like you’re the exception to the rules.
Business is business. The same rules apply to all.
Want to know what’ll really make you different? Try being the kind of entrepreneur who takes the first great idea you stumbled on and makes it happen.