Business Owner Tactics.
June 5, 2014.
Here's the thing: We often use the wrong words to talk about business.
For instance, we use the word "failure" to denote the closure of a firm. That word conjures up a huge host of emotions that get in the way of our understanding what really is happening. (To say nothing of messing with our psyches.)
A much better phrase would be "unexpected outcome", in the sense that none of us expect it to happen.
This occurred to me as I read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Since 100% of us will die at some point, the author Sogyal Rinpoche is surprised at how few of us prepare our souls for this passage.
A penny dropped. The stats on closure confirm that about 96% of businesses will close within a decade of starting. That seems awfully close to death and taxes in my mind.
Just as death is not an unexpected outcome, nor should business closure be.
What if we built our businesses from day one as if they were not immortal? What if we did not borrow against our homes, eating capital that we have been saving our entire lifetimes? What if we started as if were going to close soon, despite what the American gurus say about thinking positively?
How might we do things differently if closure were not unexpected, but the norm? (Which, in fact, it is.)
As I see it, 96% of us would be better off. That seems like a much better result than we, en masse, are currently getting.
On the face of it this sounds awfully depressing, doesn't it?
I see it as empowering. Any single closure is one more step on the path to getting it right. And just as our school term tests prepare us for the year-end exams, maybe we should be a tad more sanguine about these intermediate results?