When The Going Gets Tough

starting a business | Dec 03, 2017

This one is a bit heavy on my heart today because as I prepare my taxes for 2015, I have a giant write-off from a company I invested in several years back.  Long story short, I should have known better.  However, I made a pretty big rookie investor mistake.

I invested in a product versus a person.

That may not make a whole lot of sense.  After all, it's the product that will be purchased, and it's the product that the whole company is based around.  But what I learned was that even with the greatest of products, if a person behind the scenes isn't willing to work, your product is worthless.

I saw the signs, but I chose to turn the other cheek.  I thought the product would rise above the mess, but it never did.  Now I will never see that money, or the promised return.  I just owe a little less on my taxes.

A similar topic was brought up this morning at a networking event.

How do you get people to buy into your product or service when you're just starting?

The first answer is obvious, you need to make sure you have a product or service that people actually need.  However, once you've moved past that point, I believe your character is more crucial than the product.

I've been around the block to know it happens all too often.  Someone gets a brilliant idea.  Someone even develops the product, but then when people aren't falling from the sky like they imagined, that same person walks away.  They couldn't persevere, the money wasn't as easy to come by, and they suddenly have to problem solve.  Problem solving wasn't part of the business plan.

Before you jump into a business, you really need to ask yourself one simple question.

Are you truly willing to do whatever it takes to make this business a success?  And I mean really, really, really willing to do it?

Unfortunately, for many the answer is no.

So when it comes to getting people buy into your business, whether it's an investor or client, let them know that you're around for the long haul.  Let them in the behind the scenes, and into your world as you develop and grow.  Let them see you're legit, and that this isn't something you're giving a try, or thought might be fun to do.  This is something you're passionate about and willing to give your all to see it come to fruition.

Yes, you still know there's a possibility of failure, but you're not getting to that point without a fight and without giving it your all.

To me, products and ideas are a dime a dozen, but character and tenacity are the two most important qualities of any entrepreneur.

Let's hear some stories.  When was a moment you pushed through, when you had to dig deeper than you imagined you could.

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