I can vividly recall my knees actually trembling when I signed my first rental agreement as an aspiring business owner more than 25 years ago. It was my door-opening commitment to becoming an entrepreneur.
Even today, as I reflect on that decision, I often focus on the question of what fuels such boldness to go out on a limb and risk failure
Ultimately, the answer lies within the heart of every person. Yes, heart is what it takes to step out with a focus on success and trust. This is what energizes an enduring, entrepreneurial spirit, whether as a business owner or a member of a large organization.
Finding a better way
Heart is indeed the relentless commitment to courageously find a better way. In fact, America’s great inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison once wrote, “If there is a better way to do it, find it.”
Trust in oneself and a commitment to succeed are the visible habits that demonstrate finding a better way. Edison made failure a friend. His laboratory was a learning organization. Never satisfied with the status quo, Edison liked to say that his purpose was to make life easier and more enjoyable for others.
When he failed, he quipped, “Now I know what doesn’t work.” Notice, he never questioned the rightness of what he was doing. He was willing to try and fail again, if necessary, on his path to success.
The magic of commitment
I have had the privilege to work with hundreds of companies led by extraordinary and bold executives, leaders and entrepreneurs. Here are their strategic and bold secrets to the genius, power and magic of commitment.
- Be clear about what you want to do in life. Paint a compelling picture of your desired future vision, one that captures your heartfelt longing to make a difference, is inspirational to others and puts a smile of the faces of associates and customers.
- Have fun, think outside of the box. Remember the bottom line is a result, not a cause.
- Believe in yourself, do what you love to do, and believe in your vision of something bigger and greater. Then align and collaborate with people who can help you create positively contagious momentum.
- Be on the lookout for transmitters of hope. Their words of encouragement are easily identified. Recalling one summer day running, I was first greeted by the words, “It’s too hot to run.” Soon after, I then heard different words from a second person, “Keep going!” Transmitters of hope help us maintain optimism and composure in the midst of the challenging terrain and the sometimes uncomfortable weather of entrepreneurship.
- Be truthful, embrace change, fail fast, learn and adapt quickly.
- Lastly, remember, no matter what the challenge or the market conditions, there is always a better way, an opportunity for continuous improvement. As one greatly admired leader expressed, “Take risks and be bold, without exception and without excuses!”
Donna Rae Smith is founder and CEO of The Bright Side Inc.®, a transformational change catalyst company that has partnered with more than 250 of the world’s most influential companies.