Besides being wildly successful, what do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson have in common? None of them knew shit about starting and running a business. When it comes to your success in business, knowledge is not the ultimate answer. There's something that you need to have before knowledge to have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and it's something that Bill, Steve and Richard all had.
I read an article in Entrepreneur magazine about Gordon Ramsay a month ago that got me thinking about this topic recently. The article was about how most of the restaurants in Kitchen Nightmares fail after Gordon helps them. If these people get expert help from a foremost authority in running a restaurant why don't they succeed?
The author of the article suggests that the reason these establishments don't work is because some people aren't cut out to be entrepreneurs.
This is a lazy answer to a larger problem in business. There are two things that stand out to me for why these business aren't successful.
Reason #1: You Can't Tell People What To Do.
I love watching Bar Rescue, Restaurant Impossible and all of the other shows like Kitchen Nightmares. The problem with these shows is they offer a lazy variation of what great business coaching is all about. Great coaches don't tell people what to do. They assess who the person is and they help that person come up with solutions to their own problems.
As soon as you start telling people what to do as a coach, they are now working towards your vision and not theirs. Once they start working on someone else's vision, they start to lose passion for that interest very quickly. This approach may work for some but it will fail for most.
Reason #2: Most People Don't Have The Desire and Are Unwilling To Do The Work That It Takes To Be Successful.
In case you were wondering what the success trait is that you need to have to be successful, desire is it. When I am coaching someone, I can't want it more than the person I am coaching. If that is the case then our coaching relationship is doomed to fail. How did Gordon Ramsay get to where he is? He worked his ass off for it. In working with hundreds of clients, I know that most people want the prestige that a person like Gordon Ramsay has but they aren't willing to do the work to get there.
If you don't have the passion then you won't do the work. If you don't do the work, you can't have the success. It took six years for Richard Branson to have a significant win. Six years. That's six years of rejection, doubt, financial uncertainty, etc. Most people haven't identified something that they want that bad.
Rather than say that people can't be entrepreneurs, I say that anyone and everyone can be an entrepreneur. If you lack passion and won't do the work, then your chances of success are slim. What is something that you are willing to work six years to see through without a lot of financial reward and recognition?
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