Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winston Churchill - a guiding light for entrepreneurs?

I am very fond of Winston Churchill's quotes and particularly like: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts" and also "never, never, never give up". I have frequently seen those two quotes combined (probably incorrectly) and attributed to Churchill as "Success is not final, failure is not fatal, the thing is to never, never, never give up".

That statement could not ring truer for the entrepreneur. Keep going. Persistence is the greatest virtue of all budding entreprenuers. I have seen the greatest ideas and business plans fail through a lack of presistance and I have seen many poorly thought out, average products and businesses succeed through dogged, single minded, persistance.

Many of the very best entrpreneurs are so because they are very target orientated. They have a clear vision of their target and they keep hitting that target, or trying to hit that clearly visible target again and again and again. This target driven mentality is a hugely successfull asset in the start up stages of a busness (but may not apply so well at a later stage of a businssses growth - but more on that later).

Obviously it will be easier and better if you are persistent with a good well thought out business and product!

My own family motto is "Percusos Resurgo" translated as "struck down I rise again" (a clue to my identity). If you persist you will be amazed at the number of leads and contacts that you made months or years before that eventually turn into business. Regard every "knock back" as a learning experience - learn from it, dust yourself off, give yourself a shake and move on. Make sure that you use what you learn. Einstein said that the definition of insanity was "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". So learn from your mistakes move on, apply what you've learned and "never never never give up".

I really like the posts in Rachel Elenaugh's blog. Rachel is famous for the tv show Dragon's Den and the subsequent collapse of her business red letter days - they are well thought out, interesting and informative and Rachel comes across as very likeable. (I have to admit that I don't like the tv personae developed by the Dragons on the current show - perhaps the "Dragons " have had to "sensationalise" their comments for tv. I enjoyed the snippets I have seen from the first series and the dragons input to the entrpreneurs was helpful throughout. In the subsequent series it's all about the big statement - "that idea is ridiculous", "your mad", "your wasting my time" etc. etc.). Rachel has some view on persistence and learning and self analysing on on her website

John Bird, founder of the Big Issue, puts it's success down to one thing only persistence:

More about persistence can be seen on whcih also includes the fantastic Chinese quotation that "the temptation to quit will be highest just before you are about to succeed"

The art of "friendly persistence" can be seen here

Albert Einstein quotations

Winston Churchill quotations.

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