Sculpting an Entrepreneurial Elephant
In a college art class (a long time ago) we were told to sculpt a “successful elephant” with a lump of clay. The puzzled guy next to me asked how to start making a successful elephant. Consistent with my smart-ass nature, I said, “remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant”.
I meet a young entrepreneur last week and he asked ”how do I make a successful business”. After a quick flashback, I answered: “remove whatever will make it fail.”
But, after thinking through why I was getting a blank expression, I realized the problem was he didn’t yet know what will cause failure. Of course, he didn’t know how to succeed, either. I quickly revised my answer to “try everything that sounds smart, be willing to fail, remove that and then leave everything that works; whatever is left over will look like success.” Failure is a part of the entrepreneurial process – just don’t make it a permanent part.
I don’t know if that’s wise or not, but I thought it is pretty cool.