Success Looks Like…

Some of the best advice my father ever gave me (besides these three right here) was a constant reminder that very few things change in life, especially in terms of business and the challenges therein.

As I walked (and ran) myself through the many organizations that I’ve been a part of as well as experimented with my own entrepreneurial itch I’ve always touched base with him asking for his advice, counsel, and wisdom when it came to the significant choices that lay before me.

At some point he’d ask me how I was feeling about the relationships, the business modeling, the opportunity, and what I was anxious about – in other words what I was intuitively fearing in light of the prospect of success. The were always the same:

  • People – Was I choosing the work with the right people? Were these people of integrity? Did they really mean what they say? How humble are they?
  • Time – Was the timing right? Do I have enough time to do this well? Do my partners? Are we being realistic about the amount of time required to stick with it to see the results of our labor?
  • Interest – How interested are we really in this project, product, or business? Passing fancy or life-long dream? Somewhere in between?
  • Experience – How experienced is the team in regard to the work ahead? Novice or knowledgeable?
  • Talents – Do the people on the right team have the right talents that will fill in the gaps of each other’s weaknesses?

Notice how my fears never had much to do with the actual viability of the product, the quality of the idea, or even the financial challenges that lay ahead – those things have never really worried me much.

And although all these things needed to be vetted the result in terms of fear was always the same: Regardless of how many times I’ve done this (with success) the fear of starting something new never, ever changes.