Entrepreneur’s Dilemma … Grit vs Growth

Over the last few months, I have started to question the whole entrepreneurship popular culture. To be honest, I have been an enthusiastic consumer of entrepreneurship books and media of various forms, such as magazines, blogs, and videos, for more than five years. I have been consuming entrepreneurship steroids for five long years, with a premise that if I follow of legendary founders, like Larry, Sergey, Mark, Brad, Evan, Jack and a dozen more, I will be the next Larry, Sergey, Mark, Brad, Evan or Jack. Since only those amazing guys made it to the top and only very few will also do, entrepreneurship steroids typically work like self-help books and narcotics, one becomes addictive to the short term boost of the psyche. And guess what? It fires back. When nothing else grows except our dreams and expectations, we become less immune to the downside and less resilient in the face of challenge.

Entrepreneurial NZT pushes founders to seek growth, but growth is not the commodity that an entrepreneur can pile up.

Entrepreneurs need grit, but because they are humans with limited pool of resources. We cannot retain enthusiasm and perseverance along the way, with the few exceptions I mentioned above and for very obvious reasons. When the entrepreneur runs out of mental resources, one should retain perseverance, not enthusiasm.; simply because enthusiasm is short term, while perseverance is long term.

Entrepreneurial NZT pushes founders to seek growth, but growth is not the commodity that an entrepreneur can pile up. Growth is an outcome; entrepreneur needs mental toughness and stability to pile up capabilities, so that they can capture the next growth opportunity when it comes.

Betting on every horse that promises large sums of easy money; not realizing that the real winner is the jockey.

It is important to differentiate between hopes and expectations. Founders should always hope for the best to come, long for an opportunity to change the world and inspire people, but at the same time they should keep a healthy dose of skepticism and should run a reality check whenever the hopes and expectations are mixed up, because they are not the same thing and they will never be.

Lottery works because people don’t care, people hope they can win some day, but they have little expectations. Can you imagine someone blaming self and the world around him every time he loses the lottery grand prize? Why imagine? They are all round you, betting on every horse that promises large sums of easy money; not realizing that the real winner is the jockey.

If you are an entrepreneur, which commodity would you continue to pile up today hope or expectation? Grit or growth?

Image By Flickr Robert Hensley

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