Tips for Entrepreneurs – #1
There’s nothing quite as exciting as a new idea—especially when you’re convinced the idea is worth a million bucks (or more). But watch out! Great ideas are rarely born fully formed, and a new idea is like a two-year-old. It’s loud, it’s self-centered, and it’s completely without perspective.
Good business means stepping back and letting the ego naturally deflate out of your million-dollar idea until you can see it for what it really is, with its strengths and weaknesses. In fact, learn to watch out for ego in all its forms. Good business leaders are guided by reality and actual profit, not empty volume, slick campaigns, and their own brilliance. Bounce your idea off trusted advisors who will give you the straight story.
Don’t let your ego get in the way.
Featured as Tip #18 in The Evolution of an Entrepreneur.
From the Jack Nadel Archives
Before the advent of digital watches, we were presented with the Watch Band Calendar, an aluminum tab with a calendar of the month that wrapped around the wristband. I really didn’t like the product but, because of my relationship with the person selling it, I sent it to my salespeople. I was shocked by the orders we received, and ultimately, this product, which I did not originally like, was one of the most profitable products we ever sold. Twenty-two million Watch Band Calendars later, I learned to love this super product!
How Does This Tip Apply Today?
Michael J. Fox made the DeLorean famous in Back to the Future, but this sports car is famous among businesspeople for another reason. The DeLorean was created by John DeLorean, a renegade auto exec who reportedly walked away from a huge salary to create his signature automobile. It featured a stainless-steel body, Italian styling, and gull-wing doors. If the news reports are true, DeLorean made one very basic error: He fell in love with his idea at the expense of his business. Plagued by production problems and runaway expenses, he refused to change course (a classic ego-driven mistake). The DeLorean Motor Company crashed and burned, relegating the famous sports car to the could-have pile of great ideas that just didn’t work.
Tips for Entrepreneurs
This post is part of my regular “Tips for Entrepreneurs” blog post series, featuring shared experiences and wisdom from my career as a global entrepreneur that I outline in an easy to understand tip format with a brief story/snippet from my own business experience, as well as a current anecdote about how this tip applies in today’s business environment. These entrepreneurial tips are also featured in my award-winning book for entrepreneurs, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, featuring 50 of My Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business.
Referenced for How Does This Tip Apply Today? materials:
“Nerves of Stainless Steel: Auto Maverick John DeLorean,” The Selvedge Yard (blog), May 29, 2009, http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/nerves-of-stainless-steel-auto-maverick-john-delorean/