Lesson 6: Entrepreneurial Success Is a Lottery Game

Paid employment is not typically your hope for financial independence. This leaves other available options open but unless you are hoping to get a substantial inheritance from your distant unknown relative, win a lottery, turn into a celebrity or a top athlete you have a very few other options ruling out the plain-outlawed ways for riches. The old fashioned ticket for success has been to establish a business and make your clients happy. Entrepreneurs are rewarded at the end by trade sales or making their companies publicly listed. Certainly this is still a relatively feasible way but don’t expect it to be any easier than the other options.

Entrepreneurial life is not for everyone. Your venture takes all your time, effort, and money and still it may not fly. Over 80 per cent of all new companies fail within the first three years. There are plenty of variables at play and you have to find the right combination but still your controllable factors are maybe around half of the total equitation.

It is not enough to have a brilliant concept. It is not enough to have the right people (but it certainly helps). You need to be at the right time at the right place with the right product together with the right business model and still beat the existing competition and substantially grow your company in line with the increasing demand. Sounds like fun? Surely it is but the trick is that it is often mere luck to have all those variables in place at once. Analytical work does not help you to find the formula—you have to jump into the water and learn to swim. Unfortunately you cannot predict and forecast everything, and therefore adaptability and huge tolerance for uncertainty need to become your friends. If you study successful entrepreneurs you may find out that they are not exactly sure why or what was the killer ingredient in their concept. Many will try to replicate their original triumph and succeed never again. Trial and error is often the best approach packed with plenty of experience and competence—and the next trial is always easier than your first. Persistence is needed but failing year after year might at some point turn into a plain stupidity…

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