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Note to Entrpreneur's: It's Your Fault

I think one of the most important things than an entrepreneur needs to believe is that you are in control of your own destiny. It's is not a product of chance or luck. Rather, it's directly related to the smarts, savvy, effort, etc. that you put into your business. Plain and simple, success happens when you will it to happen, failure happens when you don't.

What this means is that when things don't go well, it's your fault. Didn't get that round of financing? Don't tell me the VC's are idiots or didn't "get it." You didn't pitch it right. Or you went to them too early. Or too late. VC's fund companies every day - they didn't fund your company. That's your fault. How are you going to fix it?

Same thing with customers/ users. Not getting any traction? That's your problem - not the PR firms fault, or the economy or the sales team. It's yours. You hired the PR firm - they screwed up because you let them. The sales guy didn't close because you allowed him not to. Great products with real customers are born every day - so far yours isn't one of them. That's your fault. How are you going to fix it?

The real trick is not to give the "it's my fault" attitude lip service, but to actually believe it and live it. Never let your guard down. No whispering to friends/ family that "if only so and so did this" or "if only that hadn't happened...." Always blame yourself. Its the only way your problems get solved.

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Comments (9)

Steve:

So you're saying that VCs are blameless? Yeah, right.

"Always blame yourself. Its the only way your problems get solved. " - Rock solid advice.

mike:

If you blame the VC's for not funding your company, that's the end of the conversation - your company is not getting funded. If you blame yourself, you can change things (team, product, positioning, model, etc.) to get you where you need to go.

The more recent favorite scapegoat is "the economy". Life is so much easier when you can blame everyone else for your problems.

On one hand, I agree that when you blame external factors, you aren't focusing on ways that you can improve your performance. The more time you spend on improving, the better. On the other hand, you can break the morale of yourself and your team easily if you suffer a number of setbacks in a row and fully own the responsibility for it all.

I was a gymnast for 15 years and what I learned was that you focused on the things YOU could control: your training and preparation, and forget about the other things: the judging, the other competitors, the arena, etc. This was a healthy attitude that produced optimal results.

mike:

Totally agree - blaming yourself doesnt mean moping around bringing everyone around you down. it means focusing on the problems you need to solve and taking action to solve them.

Mike,

I think you're ready to teach the EST/Forum class now.

Ajith:

Great blog...The only way to take control of any situation is to work on things you can change/improvize.No point in blaming others / situations where you have no control .

scroggy:

I was just reading the summary of the report on Lehman.. How the CEO says he didn't know about how the books were being cooked. How Ernst and Young said everything was according to GAP. Nobody accepting fault. Just denial. The lack of accountability, especially by the CEO, is just amazing.

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