Entrepreneurship Success: Gaining A Thick Skin and Risk Tolerance
When business schools teach entrepreneurship, too much time is spent on writing a business plan geared towards throwing darts at venture capital firms and getting interest in a company before it is even built.
This is hardly an effective plan because it wastes valuable time that could be spent on the business. Moreover, there is no reason for the entrepreneur to start a business only to give it over to 3rd party bankers who could and will pull the plug at first sight of turmoil.
Instead of chasing investors, the entrepreneur should be learning about business via getting their website up and diving in.
Until actual business and subsequent revenue is coming in, there is no real reason for the entrepreneur to take days speaking to an accountant or spend hours blogging about whether they should register their company as a LLC or a corporation. Taking others’ advice is the last thing the entrepreneur ought to do.
This advice is not coming from a columnist. It is coming from someone who started a highly successful company that is consistently eating up market share and now has multiple talented employees from a studio apartment in New York City.
If the entrepreneur wants their business to grow, they must start today. Forget a long, drawn out business plan, here is what the entrepreneur needs – 2 traits that must be quickly acquired:
Thick Skin – people are sensitive to rejection and human beings do their best to avoid rejection at all costs. Conversely, the entrepreneur must become completely desensitized to rejection as they must quickly come to terms with the fact that they are going to encounter resistance and judgment from others every step of the way.
Although I hate the term, entrepreneurs must “put themselves out there” and must buck the trend by ceasing to worry about what others think or what others say. Only if the entrepreneur develops a think skin, can they make a successful run at seeing the other side of the rainbow.
It’s great if the entrepreneur is born with this, however is not necessary as if the entrepreneur wants to be successful, they learn to desensitize themselves to resistance and this can be acquired over time.
Risk Tolerance – in college, too many entrepreneurs are taught to focus on controlling numbers and because of this focus, they don’t learn how to tolerate mass amounts of risk. Managing a high amount of risk is not easy nor is it fun, but it is necessary.
Entrepreneurs, until the business is completely done with its growth phase and can no longer grow at a fast pace, are going to have to live with a gut feeling that is indescribable.
Inevitably, there are certain periods in a company’s growth that will put excessive stress on the entrepreneur.
These company growth stages that tend to induce a large amount of stress include the transition to an office, the hiring of multiple highly paid employees who are crucial to the success of the business and also training these individuals as the entrepreneur must learn that they cannot control everything.
The ability to step back and “let go” cannot be taught anywhere. It is a feeling that can make the entrepreneur dizzy.
Regardless of how mentality taxing giving over control to employees can be for the entrepreneur, it must be done. It has become evident to me that entrepreneurs must gain an excessive amount of risk tolerance in order to succeed.