by Kathryn and Michael K. Redman, co-authors of “Fulfilled: The Passion & Provision Strategy for Building a Business with Profit, Purpose & Legacy“
Isn’t it amazing that in the middle of chaos and confusion and frustration that entrepreneurs somehow see opportunity? What is it about us that looks at the impossible and thinks, “Well, maybe…”
For those of us who are entrepreneurs we are not surprised at all that during this crazy time we are all experiencing the number of new DBA’s has risen dramatically. New businesses are being launched.
In many ways times like these are when entrepreneurs are their bravest. Why is that so? Because entrepreneurs think differently. Noted thought leader, Alex Charfen, even believes that there is an Entrepreneurial Personality Type that society has missed entirely. He posits that many of our potentially great entrepreneurs are languishing in jail cells because somewhere along the way they didn’t fit into the mold that public school and the world at large had built for them.
That kind of makes sense doesn’t it? Just think about the great entrepreneurs who we revere. They were and are outsiders. They all seemed a little crazy until they weren’t.
Thomas Edison was sent home from school as a young boy because he was ‘unteachable’. The powers that be at his school sent a note home with him to his mother that basically said that he was too weird to ever amount to much. His mother told him that the note said that he was too special and important to be in a regular school. He went on to become Thomas Edison. After his mother passed away, he found the note the school had sent and realized what his mother had done for him. She saw his greatness and his potential and she lifted him on her shoulders and helped him become all that he could be. We all need somebody like that in our life. Do you have one (or more) of those kind of people around you? People who understand your uniqueness and encourage it? If you are one of these people who are thinking about striking out on their own just know that you cannot and should not do it alone.
Billionaire businessman Richard Branson is another outsider who has done well. He speaks openly about having Dyslexia and the impact that has had on him. Not surprisingly, he dropped out of school in his teens and his future looked bleak. After he was already a rich man with four of the largest corporations in all of Europe, he was hosting his leaders and directors for a few days. At the beginning of the first day’s meeting, one of his lieutenants stood up and started discussing the net profits of each company and how they were faring in that regard. He passed out a handout that Branson immediately set aside without even a glance. One of his long-time associates noticed, and after everyone left the room for a break, he approached Branson, quietly. “You don’t have any idea what we’re talking about, do you Richard?” Branson acknowledged that his reading disorder had kept him from reading about and understanding the concept. Without a word, this obviously good and caring friend went out and brought back a large piece of poster board. He sat down next to Branson and began to draw a picture of the ocean. “This ocean is your gross profit, Richard.” Then, he drew a net bursting with fish being pulled out of the ocean. “This is your net profit.” “So we’re doing well then, right?”, Branson asked. “Yes, we’re doing very, very well.”
It’s easy to think that it somehow makes us vulnerable or ‘less-than’ to need help in one area or another. But one thing we have learned in our decades of helping business people is that everybody needs instruction or guidance in some area. Nobody knows everything, even if they act like they do. Trouble in business often comes when entrepreneurs go it alone and try to steer their company through the rocks that wind up sinking their ship.
So, is now really the time to start a business?
Yes, it is. I know. It’s a crazy idea. It seems safer to stay on the shore rather than try to set sail into uncharted waters. But the safety you may feel in a large company with a regular paycheck is a mirage, an illusion of safety. You’ll never know if you don’t try. If the sea is calling, set sail.
But… when you sail, take the right people with you. They will help you on your journey. They’ll encourage you when you need it (and God knows, you’ll need it, even after 2020 is over and done with).
We’ll see you out on the high seas.
Kathryn and Michael K. Redman are sweethearts, best friends, and the husband-and-wife team behind Half a Bubble Out (HaBO), a marketing and business consulting firm. They’re also founders of HaBO Village, a membership website which helps leaders build Passion & Provision companies, full of profit, purpose, and legacy. For more than 17 years, they have helped business leaders across the world grow their companies through marketing, business coaching, and leadership development. They have also penned their recently published first book, “Fulfilled: The Passion & Provision Strategy for Building a Business with Profit, Purpose & Legacy“.