Taking the Reigns

susie almaneih entrepreneur You’ve taken the reigns of your future and decided to join the ranks of the entrepreneur. With so much freedom afforded to you by owning your own business, you’re only limited by the goals you set, and the drive you use to achieve them. However, this much room can be daunting to some. Here are a few lessons applicable to any business looking to get off the ground.

Its important when starting your own business to be certain of the passions you’d like to persue. This is more than a hobby, it’s your future, and will hopefully be until the day you choose to retire. Realistically look at what you’ve chosen to do, and be sure that it’s something you’re prepared to do, day in and day out. When you’ve truly found your passion, be sure it’s something marketable. You’re looking to start a business, and while you may be passionate about a great many things, you’d like that desire to ideally lead to revenue.

After devising your business, you’re going to need a marketing plan. In the world of social media marketing and email outreach, it’s important to know how to get the public’s attention. Design an approach for various platforms to maximize visibility. Without a social media presence, you may as well be invisible in this digital age.

With outreach comes feedback, and that alone is worth its weight in gold. Take any analytics and responses to your company seriously. Track how your various approaches are received by the general public and build upon that data. This information can mean the difference between success and failure for a small company. If the resources are available to you, attempting a small-scale launch of your business model can further illustrate areas that may need improvement.

With the shell of your company constructed, you need a team that’s willing and capable to move it forward. As an entrepreneur, you have the luxury of stocking your own roster of like-minded individuals. Choose only the best minds capable of fulfilling your vision. In doing so, you build a strong foundation to support your business, and your dream.Susie Almaneih business leader sticky notes

When you’ve settled on a business model and team, it’s time to devote yourself completely to your cause. Though your journey on the road of entrepreneurship is far from over, you’ve now leapt over the hurdles that so often snag most. You have a clear vision, an organized business, and a team that shares your goals. As you grow alongside your company, remember that while it may be your responsibility, it’s also your success. Own your dream, and never let your fear of the present dim a bright future.

The Upside of Failure

One needs not indulge in the words of Thomas Edison or Bill Gates to confirm that failure is not the mutually exclusive opposite of success. Failure is very much part and parcel of success, just as crawling and falling are the first and necessary steps to walking. While it is an unfair blanket statement to say no success was ever achieved without prior failures, it is fair, and even conducive to understand that no failure stands without the inherent potential for learning and improvement.

Elizabeth Gilbert, a once unpublished author, in her TED talk viewable here, constructs an argument based off of personal experience that success and failure are concerns external to, and thus irrelevant to, true achievement. While she may agree that failure is the intuitive launchpad to great innovation—showing what works by revealing what doesn’t—she places real emphasis on intrinsic passion, arguing that the consequences of an action (such as critical opinion for a work of art) do not matter to an individual who is sure of his goal, something Gilbert calls a “home.”

Facing intimidating competition in the realm of publishing, specifically from the recent release of “Eat, Pray, Love” in spite of its unfavorable succès d’estime, Gilbert considered giving up, dropping out of the race to moving to the country to pursue a different career path. For the first six years of her dedication to publishing a novel of which she was proud, she was rejected without pause. What kept her going was her belief. After being rejected, Gilbert always returned back to writing. She explains “I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing, which is to say that I loved writing more than I loved my own ego, which is ultimately to say that I loved writing more than I loved myself.” She later adds that writing is her “home,” or her sense of self. She adds “your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.”

After watching “Eat, Pray, Love” Gilbert said she found herself associating with the failing artist. She says this resonance is what showed her the connection between “great failure and the way we experience great success.” In her own words, “Failure catapults you abruptly… into the blinding darkness of disappointment.” “Success,” she adds, “catapults you just as abruptly…into the equaling blinding glare of fame and recognition and praise.” What she argues is the importance of either’s influence on the subconscious. Both failure and success are external evaluations of more personal, internalized goals.Gilbert realized, a true passion remains untouched by opinions and critique—good and bad. After her first book was published, and failed, Gilbert was relieved by an unexpected feeling; she felt “bulletproof.” She felt what anybody feels after completing a task that once seemed impossible. She grew stronger than her obstacles, she grew past her defeats, and she broke through—now, able to call herself an author. What’s more is her initial success pushed her to continue writing, no longer fearful of extrinsic concerns such as failure or success. She writes for herself, and that is why she is successful.