Fail Faster In the early stages of my business, I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of doing the “wrong thing” or appearing foolish. Now I realise that failure is a prerequisite for success. In order to figure out what works, we have to be willing to sort through what doesn’t. My attitude toward failure has changed dramatically. I believe failure is an event, not a person, and that I’m only a failure if I’m not willing to take appropriate levels of risk for the sake of moving forward. The more clear we are about our values and goals, the easier it is to manage the risk of failing.
Relationships Are Everything
I didn’t realise that who I knew and who knew me would have such a profound effect on the bottom line. During my first year in business, I struggled doing things alone. I felt alone and sometimes resented how overloaded I was. Learning how to network effectively created a new world of possibilities for me. One day I realised that businesses are run by people, and people are connected by networks. Until then, I thought networking was a slimy, high-pressure thing that overbearing people did to manipulate other people into doing business with them. When I understood that it didn’t have to be done that way, I became open to the idea of forming genuine connections with people and letting business relationships naturally evolve. We all have invisible threads linking us to other people. The sooner we honour the fact that we’re in the people business, no matter our industry, the sooner we enjoy the benefits of being well connected.
Business, Like Life, Is Unpredictable
Early on in my business, surprises and unexpected developments felt like punishment. I constantly felt ill-prepared for the task of running a business until I realised that it’s impossible to ever be fully prepared. The most successful entrepreneurs are not those who have all the answers; they are those willing to uncover the answers as the questions arise. As with life, there are twists and turns that are impossible to predict, no matter how much we try. Life is not about what happens to you; it’s about how you respond. Business is the same way. As we invest in ourselves with training, books, and coaching, we grow and evolve into mature entrepreneurs who are able to keep things in perspective.
Lisa Nicole Bell is equal parts artist, businesswoman and motivator. Lisa is the CEO of Inspired Life Media Group where she and her team meld art, social change, and commerce to create economically viable media properties.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organisation comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
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