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The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma July 29, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in The Daily Grind.

Posit: every five years, four out of five businesses will go under.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur whose start-up belongs among the casualties, how would you take that information? Do you wish that you’d known how tough it would’ve been beforehand, just so you could quit ahead? Do you simply resign yourself to the law of large numbers? Or do you look to the one business that beat the odds and ask yourself what they got right that you didn’t, raring for the next opportunity?

Now imagine that the roles are reversed: that you are the lucky fellow whose business has survived. Does the statistic help put your success in perspective? Do you pat yourself on the back and say, “Damn…I must be good”? Do you pause to consider that you may have just been lucky, and that it will take plenty of effort just to weather the next five years? Or are you that rare soul that dares think “Well then…I better find the means to be able to start four more businesses every five years”?

Success isn’t always a given. Sometimes failure is. But it can be that all that separates one from the other is something as simple as your attitude. It can determine whether you snatch victory from the jaws of failure or failure from the jaws of success. And that’s a huge difference.



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