Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur–Either You Are, or You’re Not!

I’ve just about finished updating my annual Business Survival Reality report for 2015, and like prior years it doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for a lot of hopeful entrepreneurs.

Business Survival Cover - 2015The failure rate is higher than what anyone ever admits, and no one seems particularly concerned.

I know there are many specific reasons businesses fail, but I’m wondering if there is not some root cause to so many businesses turning out badly.

I wonder if there are too many people starting businesses who really shouldn’t try being an entrepreneur.

These thoughts were going through my head when I ran across an article by Mark Suster, a former successful entrepreneur turned Venture Capitalist.  It’s interesting to hear Mark’s views from both sides of the entrepreneurial issue—entrepreneur and investor.

You can read Mark’s entire post here, but I thought I would share some of his thoughts below on what being an entrepreneur is all about:

“Being an entrepreneur is about finding your inner self confidence:

  • To be constantly told “it won’t work” but to keep plugging away anyways.
  • To be kicked a lot and still keep standing.
  • To hide your demons so that you don’t scare the bejesus out of your employees.
  • To inspire others to join your cause when by all rational accounts they should not.
  • And having the cojones to have them join you anyways. Pottery Barn rule. You hire them, you own them now. As in you’re responsible for these lines on their future resume. Don’t fuck them up.
  • To swallow your stresses and insecurities and keep your optimistic game face on in the office. And on your home front. Maybe even try to believe it in your own head.
  • It’s about wanting the right speaking slot at an important conference and hounding the organizer until he lets you do it.
  • It’s telling your creditors that you need 60 extra days to pay. Please. Yes, most entrepreneurs will be nodding their heads right now. Not fun, hey? But that’s what it takes.
  • Firing? Hell, get used to it. It’s a necessity. You better be good at it. Develop a thick skin for it. Not put off the difficult fires. You don’t have the spare budget to suffer fools. Hire fast, fire faster.
  • Friday night in the office while others are at the bar. Sundays in the back of a plane. Center seat. Smelly dude next to you.
  • Investor emails. They are forwarding you yet another mother fucking link to an article about your competitors. And wondering why the hell are we not doing THIS like they are. Enough already!?!

Entrepreneurshit. It never ends. It’s not all glamour. It’s mostly not glamorous at all. It’s just something you have to do. Often because you’re unemployable.

Your impertinence would get you fired in 2 days for telling your boss he’s a fuck wit. And it’s why you probably will quit on day 366 after the acquisition.

You’re unemployable. You’re an entrepreneur.

It’s not for everybody and you shouldn’t feel bad if you aren’t one of those that chooses this life. You’ll probably be healthier and wealthier.”


Having been an entrepreneur and crisis manager over the last few decades, I can relate to everything Mark said—it’s a tough business and not everyone is suited for it.

So, I wonder … of the 6+ Million businesses that “disappeared” last year, how many of those business owners would have even started up a business if they had known exactly what it took to be a successful entrepreneur?

We’ll probably never know, but I strongly encourage anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur to do a personal self-analysis and think it over carefully. Very carefully.

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My updated Business Survival Reality report will be online in the near future… keep watch at this blog for the announcement.

Better yet, visit the subscription box above and sign up to get an occasional post including the announcement about this release.

Entrepreneurs and the Super Bowl

Super Bowl viewers in San Francisco, Kansas City, New York, and Washington DC got to see an ad that other viewers across the country did not see. It was a 30-second public service message produced by the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurial Activity.

The ad is part of the Foundation’s “Will it be You?” program that challenges viewers to turn their ideas into new businesses. The message was in Kauffman’s popular “sketchbook” animation format and was shown at the Super Bowl to honor entrepreneurs and encourage new viewers to take the entrepreneurial step.

Here is the actual ad that was shown:

(email subscribers need to view the video at my blog site—here)

The Kauffman Foundation wants viewers to visit their “Will it be You?” website, to view the resources and programs offered by the foundation to help people start and grow their new small businesses.

If you are thinking of starting a new business, or growing one you may already have, it should be well worth your effort to check out Kauffman’s website.

If any of you saw the message, did you also check out the “Will it be You?” website?

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The New Normal

“The New Normal—GET USED TO IT. The legacy of the financial crisis will be overregulation and slow growth.” These are the words of Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO and award winning author of When Markets Collide, in a recent article in BusinessWeek. El-Erian went on to say; “…some may want to deny the new reality. That’s a mistake. But being caught in a regime shift with backward-looking beliefs and operating models, is much worse.”

Without a doubt, things are going to change dramatically over the coming years and we will be doing business within major new concepts. It can be exciting, or devastating, depending on how well we adapt to change.

So, because it is the weekend, I thought I would include something from one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Mark Johnson. This is one of the first performances Mark and his crew put together after he brought some of the “Playing for Change” musicians to the U.S. for a tour.

(email subscribers can view on my blog)

Change is a stimulus, and it can create tremendous opportunities for creative thinking and new innovations. The time has never been better for entrepreneurs than it is right now.