10. Friendship with Failure
Entrepreneurs are not afraid to fail. In fact, they believe that only out of failures will come success. Of course, they do not set out to fail. What they do is to set up controlled experiments to try out many of the ideas they have. It is like they are in the middle of a jungle without any maps or navigation instruments. They have a general idea of where they want to go. But to figure out the right sequence of steps, they will make multiple forays into different directions to get a better perspective of the flora and fauna around. This helps them build a mental map of the landscape one that is bottom-up and grounded in reality, and move forward.
In the real world, this translates to creating prototypes quickly which can be taken to customers for feedback so they can be iterated upon. It is like making a television soap opera wherein regular course correction can be easily done, rather than the big bang approach of a film which becomes an all-or-none affair and takes years to complete. Some of what they do will fail because they are trying out multiple approaches. But entrepreneurs are normally quick to recognise what works and what doesnt, and jettison the things that dont. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of failure. It they are afraid of something, it is perhaps that they havent experimented enough.
11. Get It Done
Entrepreneurs are action-oriented. Making projections, org-charts, business plans are just not their cup of tea, even though these are needed as interfaces to the outside world. Entrepreneurs just want to work on getting things done. The challenge for them lies in how to sequence their activities to get the maximum result from the perennially limited resources that they have. Their business is the Ultimate Reality Show one in which there is no Rewind or Pause button, only Play.
12. Enjoy the Journey
For entrepreneurs, the goal and joy lies not just in reaching the destination. While it is very important to be successful, entrepreneurs recognise that their chance of success is quite small in the big, wide world, and more importantly, the odds are always stacked against them. But what matters to them is the journey, the daily battles, the mindgames, the rock-jumping. This is where entrepreneurs are a different breed of people. If they succeed, they will go on to the Next New Thing. If they fail, they will go on to the Next New Thing. The Game of Enterprise goes on.
As we live through todays challenging times, it may be a good idea to look inside and discover the Entrepreneur in each one of us. If we close one door, many others open. Too often, we are snugly ensconced in our own private worlds and cocoons that we build not wanting to think differently, not wanting to take any risk, not wanting to make the jump. As an entrepreneur would put it, Think: What would you do if you were not afraid?