I have just been mailed an article worth reading. Actually the sender is Ferran Montserrrat, not only an MBA mate, but also one of my best friends. In fact, he is a provider of such interesting info as it comes:
The One Thing All Successful Entrepreneurs Have In Common: A Case Study
What entrepreneurs need most of all—above motivation, focus, hope, financing, marketing skill, a brilliant idea, etc.—is desire.
Unless you truly want to make something happen, the odds are nothing will. Without that desire, nothing else matters…or occurs. Your life will be filled in other ways.
Any idea you have for something you would like to bring into being could be great. But you need to do something to make it a reality. Thinking is terrific, but absolutely nothing happens unless you take smart steps to translate your idea into action.
You need to put your thoughts into action to see if you are right about there being a potential audience/customer for your ideas (and learn what you need to change if there is not).
So far, so good. But what causes people to act? We do some people feel compelled to move from thinking to doing, a step that the rest of the world—those folks who think they have a good idea for a book, nonprofit, website, retail concept, new initiative at work, or civic initiative—never make.
That line of demarcation: Desire.
People who create something new wanted to do it; often they say they had to do it; they felt compelled. To reduce it to a word, what caused them to act wasdesire. They had a desire—sometimes an overwhelming desire, but always, at the very least, a desire—to act, to create something.
Now it could have been a desire to get away from something they didn’t like (e.g. “I just can’t stand working for anyone else (and one might say this is simply a restatement of the desire “I want to work for myself” but it is desire nonetheless.)
Desire is a word we rarely use in connection with commerce. And when it surfaces, some people are quick to try to eliminate it because it sounds squishy, unbusiness-like, and, of course, hard to quantify and teach. But it is the right word, defined as it is as “a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment.” Its synonyms are even more accurately descriptive: aspiration, longing, passion, and yearning, language that—as the Random House Dictionary of the English Language correctly points out—“suggests feelings that impel one to the attainment or possession of something . . . that is (in reality or imagination) within reach.”
Desire is what compels people to create something new, something that they want to bring into being.
I know this sounds strange at first. On the surface, it seems there are four questions you might ask before starting any new venture:
- Is it feasible i.e. is it within the realm of reality?
- Can I do it, i.e. is it feasible for me?
- Is it worth doing? Will there be a market for what I want to sell; is there potential to turn a profit; will people appreciate what I am trying to do? In other words, does it make sense to put in all this effort?) And finally
- Do I want to do it?
But it is this last question that is the one that really matters: Do you want to create it?
Why? Either the venture is something that you want, or it’s something that leads to something you want. If it is neither of these, there’s no reason to act or to answer the other three questions.
There is simply no way you are going to give it your full effort if your heart isn’t in it at least to some degree.
Once you want to do something, everything gets reframed. The negative emotional response to all the unknowns is reduced. The reality hasn’t changed. You still don’t know what is out there, but you’ll find a way around the problem, because you care about what you are trying to do.
Let’ say you work in sales and your boss gives you the assignment of figuring out how to sell the company’s products inUzbekistan
Here’s how our four questions play out:
Is it doable? Who knows? You haven’t a clue how to set up a distribution and service network in an underdeveloped country.
Can you do it? Maybe. Maybe not. You’ve never done anything like this before.
Is it worth doing? Who knows the size of the market and whether it will be profitable?
Do you want to do it? Well, no. It’s the boss’s idea.
Situation #2 is exactly the same, but you are the one who wants to sell inUzbekistan. You think there is a huge opportunity and you have a compelling desire to give it a try, in no small part because your spouse’s family lives there.
What’s the likely result in both cases? It isn’t a hard question.
In the first situation, where desire is not part of the equation, you aren’t in any hurry to do anything because the situation is so uncertain and unknown. You will keep thinking about what you are up against and search for more data.
After all, it’s better to study carefully and make sure all the bases are covered than to launch, have it not work out and then have everyone say “you didn’t think it through.”
At best you will take a lot of time and at worst you will put it at the very bottom of your “to do” pile, never taking any real action and hoping your boss never follows up, even though the opportunity might have been real.
But the presence of desire alters all of that. Because you want to do it, you are much more likely to take a first, small smart step toward solving the challenge. For example, the next time you and your spouse are visiting your in-laws, you stop in and see some local distributors and set up an exploratory meeting with the Minister of Commerce’s staff.
Here’s one last reason that “want to” is so important. Nobody will be committed to what you’re doing if they don’t see your desire, your belief in your idea, and your willingness to try to accomplish it.
So, before beginning anything new, ask yourself this: Is this something I really want to do. If it isn’t you are likely to be happier and more productive spending your time on something else.
Paul B. Brown is the co-author of Just Start: Take Action; Embrace Uncertainty and Create the Future.
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By Paul B. Brown, on 4/07/2013 at Forbes.