Why start-ups need a strong backbone
Determination and persistence are two of the key attributes for starting up your own business. Although it is our brains that elevate us to a place where we are able to pursue our dreams of our own company, it is a strong backbone that enables it to grow and thrive.
I certainly don’t dispute that there are a lot of other qualities needed to start and run our own businesses. Creativity, purpose and ambition are just some which need to be nurtured, but if we are to truly succeed, then we have to cultivate a strong backbone. It’s the essential ingredient to success. Anyone can start their own business, but we need determination and persistence to see things through successfully.
‘If you don’t accept “no,” don’t give up, and don’t bow to the status quo, a window of opportunity will eventually crack open, and you’ll be standing in front of it. If it doesn’t crack open, just keep prying with a crowbar until it gives.’
– Anthony Iannarino, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need
With a few exceptions, all start-ups face a variety of large and small challenges throughout their life. Intellect and ambition help us to navigate difficulties, but it is our ability to withstand these which will ultimately see us to the other side. So, be determined to persevere, hold fast and do not jump from one idea to another when encountering difficulties, which of course all start-ups face, and you should survive and even succeed.
The life of a business plays out much like life itself: there are times we have to just put our heads down and keep at it, even when it seems easier to just give up. Perseverance is not just about ploughing on and doing the right things, it is also knowing where to go, and how to deal with setbacks so we can learn and grow from them. Having a strong backbone alone will not make you successful, but without it you will never get anywhere, and with it you can go further than many.
So, what are the most important things to do?
Set your goals. Knowing what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there is essential for every new start-up. Challenges might seem insurmountable, but with goals – large or small – you have a target to work towards, which will get you closer to what you want. Don’t try and plan 2 years ahead, start-ups require short term plans with longer term goals.
Have the right mindset. You need to have the right way of thinking to see you through the tough spots. Expect obstacles because you know that overcoming them helps both you and your business to grow. Keep a positive attitude to adversity, because opportunity lies within it. A strong backbone provides you with self-confidence and a self-belief that you will make it through, no matter the issues thrown at you.
Don’t fall prey to inaction. If you have the right mindset then you will know that if you do not put your plans into action, then you will not achieve what you want. There may be risks to take, but you cannot rely on luck or chance, you need to push yourself to get the results you need.
In a start-up there is always uncertainty. By their nature we are doing new things, forging new relationships. Be adaptable and resilient, because your plans are likely to change. Your original idea will be brilliant, but it is more than likely that your ideas will change as they develop and you learn.
It is your energy and excitement that continue to drive your business forward and lead it to success. As a new start-up owner, you must have the motivation to dedicate yourself entirely to the venture, even when the hours are long, or you have to find creative ways to solve issues.
One final point about having a steely backbone is that you need to keep the passion and enjoyment of your business idea alive. Remain positive.
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I love to work with entrepreneurs, small business owners, and family teams, who have developed their passion and realised they have the talent to create a successful business.