My father has run some large businesses in his lifetime and his wisdom is so invaluable to me as a much younger business owner.
I have often reached out to him for guidance on big decisions that I needed to make but I’ve realized that engaging him for medium (or even small) scale ones is just as beneficial.
I’ve never been good with creating a consistent communication channel with my parents (or anyone for that matter) but it’s worth another shot, right?
In a recent sit down I was walking him through the modeling of my current venture and how things were going, both the good and the bad. He listened, as he is wont to do, and took it all in before simply stating:
John, good doesn’t happen on accident.
He further expanded this posit contextually by applying the current situation with actions and results. He challenged me to think more critically about my previous “hits” and all my previous “misses” at bat.
Luck is accidental (and can be overwhelmingly “good”) but what happens in business tactically is rarely luck. Tightening down the ship in a variety of different ways is not something that happens organically – it happens on purpose.
Much of my previous experience was very much accidental and that happens a lot when you’re in startup mode. You stumble upon ideas and you implement them without knowing if it’s a decent or terrible idea.
You encounter opportunities in a random coffee shop or you make a hire via Twitter. When you’re in startup mode you count on these things happen and you hope that fortune smiles favorably.
But when a startup grows up and becomes a business things become less accidental and more on purpose. There’s more at stake and the organization and leadership needs to acknowledge the call to mature with it.
The alternative, of course, is to perish (and perish fast) holding too tightly to the “startupy” feel ignorantly (and arrogantly). A startups clear objective is to no longer be a startup – some people never really get that.
Make good happen on purpose. Build confidently and swiftly. Create your own luck, if you will.