“Why did the duck cross the street?” I think most people know this joke and I guess what makes it timeless is that it is easy to remember, maybe not the most funny joke in the world, but definitely easy to remember. For those who don’t know it then the answer is as simple as it is memorable: “To get to the other side.” (insert huge laughter and applause here)
We are on the topic of failure and more importantly, how to never fail again! In Step 1 we talked about “the Dream” and the why this dream. Step 2 is about never giving up on “the Dream”.
I was invited to speak to 2 classes of design students ranging from 11-16 years old. My topic was to speak about being an entrepreneur. When I went into this talk I thought long and hard about what it meant to me being an entrepreneur. Especially since I am not a “hugely successful and accredited” entrepreneur or even an entrepreneur that has an “idea” or “business” that is out in the world yet! Basically I had nothing to point at and say, “That is what I did as an entrepreneur”. I only had a rough prototype of VoiceBitz which was in it’s infancy and so I was worried about what could I do or say to these kids that could be qualified as real entrepreneurial advice?
Well what I came up with was a deeper look into why I, myself, chose to go down this road of entrepreneurialism. What I had as an entrepreneur to tell was “Why I grind?” A look at what made, and makes, me keep on plugging away at this project that brings no money, no glory, no fame, and nothing to hang my hat on or toot my horn about (yet!) Why, why, why? Okay, like most new startup entrepreneurs, we are told that you need to be sure that you want to go down this road because it is long and can be lonely and is without question challenging, and so I had done this “talk” before this point and answered “”Yes, I am ready and willing”, but this time, going before a class of kids and explaining it, was definitely an eye opener for me. To have to put it down in words and materialize that into a presentation format for some very bright students that were to be the potential future entrepreneurs of the world! Yes, a bit of a wake up call.
Well, anyway, this is what I came up with: “Why did the duck cross the street?” Yes, I answered the question of entrepreneurialism with the answer to why the duck crossed the street. It does not have to be the most ground breaking reason in the world like, “My father died of XYZ disease”, or “The endearing Mexican Walking Fish will be extinct in X number of years…” No, the reason, the why of being entrepreneur can be as simple as “Getting to the other side” or “Waking up in the morning”. What is most important in this picture is that your why is truly important for you. Yes, I said it, important for you!
I know, I know, this is against what the experts say because they ask you right up front: “Who is your customer?” “Why do they care?” and while that is also quite important if you plan to make any money on your idea/future business, if you want to make sure you have what it takes to make your dream come true then do like what The Hip Hop Preacher ET – Eric Thomas -says: “Want it as much as you want to breathe.” If you make sure you have answered why it is important for you to make your dream come true and then make sure you want this as bad as you want to breathe then and only then, If you do that, you will never fail again!!!
It has been stated time and time again, but I can say in my experience that I would have given this up a long time ago if it didn’t mean as much as it does for me. And I can also say that no matter what I do with this dream I will never fail, I will only have made attempts at finding the right formula. Failure is not an option, this is just too important, and therefore I will not give up the dream of making it a success.