Category: Commitment

“At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Norman Lear, who is 92 years old, was on the Tavis Smiley Show last night.  Mr. Lear said he couldn’t remember from whom he heard the quote but a quick Google search identified Mr. von Goethe as the source.  Mr. Lear shared a moment of decision when the studio threatened to fire him.  He checked with his attorney to see if they could take his wife and kids.  Then he said, “back up the truck.”

The point is to take action on your dreams.  Until you decide to commit to something, nothing is sure.  This includes people out there who want to help you.  Once you make a move, someone you know will come along and say, “you need to talk to this person.”  Opportunities will cross your path that seem random but they are not.

We spend too much time on all the risks that keep us from moving forward.  The world needs great ideas and great leaders.  We are waiting to follow someone.  Get on with it!

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“We’re always on the lookout for enormous boons” – Dr. Who

The GoPro action camera seems to have come out of nowhere.  But it didn’t.

Nick Woodman’s recent interview on Charlie Rose shed some light on the innovator’s process of discovery.  Mr. Woodman was on a surfing pilgrimage and wanted to capture his experiences first hand.  So he crafted a small camera and put it on a wrist band he could wear while on his surfboard.  Before long, other surfers wanted cameras and a company idea was born.  But it didn’t take off at that point.  Woodman went on to drive race cars and the same problem presented itself.  So he took his wrist camera and strapped it to the frame of the roll cage in the car.  Other drivers wanted one.

Stellar success comes from diligent hard work over time.  We tend to hear about it all at once when the media discovers a “new” idea but it usually takes years of slow but steady progress.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

 

 

“Ideas without commitment are worthless” – Adam McCall

Adam McCall is an incredible serial entrepreneur who has been involved with startups from wilderness outfitters and wakeboard boats to alternative fuels and specialty plastic resins.  He recently offered his thoughts where this quote was shared.  It’s context was a discussion about generating ideas for a business.

There is no end to good ideas but rarely do these ideas come with a level of commitment to see them through.  Starting a company is hard work.  Some of the challenges can be foreseen but most will slap you in the back of the head at random, and sometimes all at once.  It’s just the way it is.  Entrepreneurs have the kind of thick skin that overcomes these challenges, one by one, as they come along.

This same reality goes for those who you choose to be a part of your company.  A good idea can attract a lot of well intentioned people but they need to be of the sort that are able to solve a lot of problems as they come; without regard to title, position or ego.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Dear Boss: I am writing to tell you your services are no longer needed.” – Chris Guillebeau

Sooner or later, your startup will require your full time attention.  For one reason, investors don’t invest in part-time ventures.  But the main reason is there is simply too much to do in very limited time.

Having a job to pay the bills is a good thing, especially if you adjust your lifestyle to a level of simplicity that allows you to provide some initial funding.  And yet the sooner you can make the leap, the better for your startup because you are always competing against time – the time to get your product to the market quicker than your competitors and the time to capture enough market share to sustain the business.

Read “The $100 Startup” By Chris Guillebeau

 

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

A lot of people in middle age have had entrepreneurship thrust upon them by way of a job loss or other major life change.  Perhaps it’s the kick in the behind that got them going on starting their own company.  Maybe it’s a point of having no other choice.  Regardless the reason, they are now on their way.

Others choose to retire but not.  A serial entrepreneur I know is fond of introducing himself as one who is constantly failing at retirement.  He’s pushing 70.

Solving problems for people is not the domain of any particular demographic.  While youth may have energy and cutting edge technology on their side, those with years experience have been through failures that have informed their leadership and ability to make good decisions.

You don’t have to be in your twenties to start a company.  You just have to have a customer with a problem you can solve.

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Never start a business where you end up hating your customers” – Steve Blank

Another great point made by Steve Blank to his recent Lean Launchpad class.  This was in response to a question about whether or not to go on with the business now that the team had validated the market.  Check the Video

I think you have to really want to make a difference when you start a company.  There is no guarantee it will be a huge success.  It may only be a huge success to a small group of people.  Regardless, making a fortune as the primary motivation starting the company will not carry you through the tough times you will face.  I think that’s what Mr. Blank is trying to get across.  Your customers may not always love you; or they may love you to death.  Either way, it has to be for them and the problem you are solving.  The money alone won’t be enough motivation.

In this season, isn’t it appropriate to highlight the the giving aspect of the startup?

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

 

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Do you want to spend the next 3 or 4 years doing this?” – Steve Blank

This is from a video of Steve Blank addressing one of his Lean Launchpad classes at the end of the course.  The question was asked, “How do we know if we should move forward with the company?”

In characteristic professor mode, Steve answered the question with a few questions.

When you start a company, it will take a few years to get it going.  What that means is up to you.  It could be profitability, break-even, funding or acquisition.  Regardless, any venture takes time and it’s a good question to ask yourself when deciding to launch a startup.

Here is a link to the video:  http://vimeo.com/groups/213077/videos/81260482

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson