Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Perseverance and Flexibility

Last night during our Business 101 class, I was remarking on the qualities of an entrepreneur.

Two qualities common to entrepreneurs are they show perseverance and flexibility. One participant asked how can you be both?

As an entrepreneur you persevere in working to make the business a success. You persevere in the face of difficulties; you persevere when prospects say no.

You are flexible in reacting to what happens once you get started in the business; you learn from your mistakes and you adapt to changing circumstances.

Often, I observe prospective entrepreneurs swapping these two - they are too flexible in reacting to difficulties ("well maybe I won't start my own business" or "here is another idea I have for a business"), and over persevere in their initial business idea ("these customers are so stupid to not see how wonderful my idea/product/service is").

Further, the qualities of perseverance and flexibility are reflections of your behavior, not actions. It is not about saying "I am going to be flexible on this", rather how you behave in the face of an issue. You would not want to print up big printed letters "Persevere" and "Flexible" and hang on the wall in your office, as IBM used to hang "Think". If the terms are useful at all, they can't be so vague as "persevere unless you need to change, and be flexible, except when important not to be".


Our next Business 101 will be February 15th, so if you are still interested in starting your own business, persevere and come to our next meeting!

No comments: