The flow of the rhythm… the rush of the beat… the adrenaline pumping! Oh, the thrill of dancing!
True music lovers really appreciate the swell of emotions they have when they find a new song. It would seem at first that you could never get tired of it. You could leave it on repeat for days on end and it would retain its fresh excitement for your delight.
Entrepreneurs feel the same way when they handle a successful venture. The sincere success of it all keeps you up late at night and zings you up to be the first to rise in the morning. At that time, it is the sweetest place to be. At that point all seems well with the world – it seems the world is moving to a perfect rhythm. Your rhythm.
How unfortunate though, for, no matter how many times you keep playing it, the song will eventually stop playing. The beats will fail. The rhythm will fall silent, and then the music fades…
This article is to help entrepreneurs. It is to help us catch on early and know when the music begins to fade.
If you got into business for the right reasons, then you got into it because you had a passion for a certain field. It could be anything – agriculture or technology, innovative products to time honored services. Whatever it is you decided to do, you were probably really passionate and really good at it.
I would not have it any other way. However, once you are properly groomed with experience and maturity in the field of play, you come to realize that sometimes, passion is just not enough.
Again, I rely not on my own wisdom. Many seasoned entrepreneurs would advise the young to have the right mindset before they go into business. A good part of that mindset is to be ready to fail. You will not, they say, get it right the first time, the second or even the third. You should concentrate more on that which you learn from failures than that you overlook from success. If that is anything to go by, then it means, at least in the early days, that at some point, it might be time to pack up shop. It will be time to hit the stop button, and build another playlist.
Itemized as usual, are my checklists on whether or not you need a new song:
Is my passion still in this?
Do I still have faith enough to see this through? This has always been top key for me. It is essential that you have a driving force that can edge you into your x-factor when you need that latent energy. If you lose your x-factor, then what drives you? What would possibly make you want to go on. Bills? I thought so. That is not good enough – liability cannot inspire ingenuity. ‘To inspire’- that job is for your drive. If that is gone, you should start burning the bridges.
Has the venture outlived its purpose?
Many times when people get into a business, and it grows to be so successful, its objective begins to change and the vision becomes ransomed for the dollar bills. Any entrepreneur would be delighted at the sight of profits, but not many appreciate the green if the overall vision has been lost. At that point the company loses shape, and lives only for the shareholders. To me, just because you are making profits is no reason to stay in business. Entrepreneurs are social engineers – if your business is not adding potent value to society, then what are you still doing?
What is the future like?
No-one can predict the future, but a wise man once said that the best way to predict the future would be to create it. However, you need to be objective with yourself and ask, can there really be a viable future with what I have to offer? When considering an answer to this question, you have to take into consideration your competition. Are they still in the research and development of what you have to offer, or are they too slowly shifting focus away from such things? If the answer is the latter, then it probably is time for you to shift your focus as well.
What are your mentors saying?
Contrary to popular belief, no matter how ingenious you seem to be, you need another to school you and show you things. These days, with so many success stories, there is a steady flow of mentorship. They are a bunch of wise old men who drop jewels worth of information, so be humble when they give you a direct assessment on your business. That being said, you also need to remember that if indeed they are old wise men, they probably have lost their bite to try something new and exciting. What that means is that if your venture is risk intensive then do not expect their advice to be positive. But if the advice is positive, know that you are on to a winner.
What are the returns on the venture?
You need to be honest with yourself and consider objectively – am I getting back as much as I am pouring in? Do not think of this only in terms of your finances, but emotions, time, how it is affecting your relationship with other people, etc. As much as I am a proponent of try, try and try again until you succeed, I recognize that there is a place for courage to say I need to let go. When at times you go to work and you don’t even know what you are doing there, but stay there just because you don’t have anywhere else to go, then you know you are being drained dry. You are an entrepreneur – your time is always money and should never be wasted on a drudgery venture. It is probably time to deploy your skills elsewhere.
I have much more to tell you, and you to me. Let us keep the conversation going, so don’t forget to drop a comment or tweet at me @Femziy.