How to Beat the Awful Statistics on the Number of New Businesses that FAIL in the First Three Years

You might not notice from reading our Blog but we actually love helping our clients with business transactions as much as real estate transactions!

I never thought I’d hear something so coherent from someone sometimes thought of as a “Hollywood Ditz”, but this interview is a very interesting and thought provoking lesson for young entrepreneurs:

Gwyneth Paltrow Talks About the Fulfillment of Running a Business

“I (basically) walked away from a career where people kissed my ass to being grilled by a VC or my board. I used to worry about myself and myself alone, and now I am responsible for the livelihoods of 50+ people.”

“Culture is everything. Hiring is everything. Thick skin is essential. Self-belief is paramount. And very importantly, even though the world thought I had left goop for a minute when my sentiment about wanting the brand to not need me was twisted by the press, business was unaffected. Which means that my original vision is possible. Even though I am solidly in the trenches every day, goop is on its way to being much bigger than I am. A solidly un-Hollywood dream.”

I really like Paltrow’s statement on being accountable to her board.    Perhaps my most financially successful client started his first business right out of college in the early 80’s.  He has implemented this strategy and it has served him well as he has serially built and sold one million dollar business after another over the past three decades.   This particular client has used each of his businesses to accomplish bigger, dare I say, eternal, objectives.   He has always cherished relationships and invested heavily in “building people.”

For first or repeat entrepreneurs, you eventually learn the Bob Dylan lesson:  “You gotta serve somebody.”     No one is perfect, so even if it is you, there is no escaping the reality that you will spend your life working for a flawed boss.     The best hope you have is that, especially if it is you, that your boss acknowledges his blindspots and  self-imposes accountability into his life to minimize the blindness and increase the vision!

Boards of Directors, especially for small start ups, may be one of the most neglected building blocks for success today in America.   There is something good about having a strong independent spirit.    There is something equally dangerous about having a strong independent spirit.    Choose your official or unofficial Board to help you find the good side of your independent spirit and to maximize your own gift set.    DON’T  fill your board with “yes persons” or folks that easily fall into “group think”.    Give your Board the freedom to speak the truth to you no matter how much it hurts.    It makes you look and actually BE stronger!

Now get out there and get recruiting!   And don’t forget the Board!

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