Planning the launch of your own business is one of life’s most enjoyable experiences. From the day you first start thinking about your new company until you actually open for business you are living on Fantasy Island with Tattoo and Mr. Roarke. On the island you create an ideal vision of your fully formed business. You should dream big. Because ginormous dreams cost exactly the same as itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot dreams. And that dream you create during the planning phase is the blueprint for the reality.
But the moment you open for realsies, your business will face an unavoidable limitation. And that limitation is You. When you are an entrepreneur your business is only as good as you are.
I have been thinking about that since 2016 when I first launched The Weaponry, my advertising and idea agency. Knowing that you are the great limiter is a scary motivator. It means your business will either be forever limited by who you were and what you knew when you first launched. Or it means you have to continuously push yourself to get better so that your business can too. I have chosen the second option.
Let It Grow. Let it Grow.
I have chosen to grow. As a result, I am on a high knowledge diet. I am constantly seeking books, magazines and blogs that grow my knowledge and perspective. I am listening to podcasts. I am meeting with other entrepreneurs, both informally and in formal meet ups (although never in formal wear).
I am learning. And getting better. Although I feel as if I have no choice. Because only the growing entrepreneur can grow a business. And as Andy Grove, the famed CEO of Intel once said, ‘Only the paranoid survive.’ (But remember, you need 2 noids to be considered paranoidal).
I am also learning from my mistakes. I am identifying flaws in my thinking, and gaps in my knowledge, and addressing them like Gettysburg. It forces me to be both honest and self aware (but not a werewolf #MichaelJFox). You have to know your strengths and use them. You have to know your weaknesses, and hire great people with strengths you don’t have.
You are your own greatest limitation. This is true for entrepreneurship, relationships and most other kinds of ships. But you have an endless opportunity for improvement. It simply takes a growth mindset. Read, ask questions, study and learn. End each day a little smarter than you started. Seek feedback. And use that to help create a better plan, a better business and a better you. Because once you leave the fantasy world your success depends on it.
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