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Monday, October 24, 2011

The One Word Entrepreneurs Do Not Say

Sometimes words have multiple meanings depending on the spelling.  They may sound the same, but are spelled differently.  The word spoken of in this article is not any of these.  In fact look it up, the meaning is not ambiguous and it is short.  That said the word when heard by real entrepreneurs carries multiple meanings.  To everyone else, it carries it true defined meaning.

I spent most of my career listening to people use the word.  Most often telling me things about companies I worked in or help.  It is amazing word is used by many of those I interact with because I always thought of most were at least entrepreneurs once.  Yet, even today when I am told the word, I still get a bit surprised.  The difference now is that my reactions have changed and I am more subdued on hearing it.

You cannot start a new company, turn-around one in trouble, or manage a business without having someone tell you the magic word.  It scan be an advisor, investor, employee, a family member, or most anyone.  The word is so simple, yet to me it means something entirely different.

I always like a challenge. Sometimes the challenge can be much more than I bargained for but that is what keeps work somewhat interesting; i.e., doing things that others believe to be impossible. Most of the time I do not go searching for the impossible, it usually comes looking for me.  But I get rejuvenated when someone uses the magic word around me.

What is the magic word: CAN’T.  I bet you know the dictionary meaning, but do you know the entrepreneurs’ interpretation?

I have many ways I interpret the word and wanted to give you a few to think about. Try these:

·       I challenge you to make it work

·       There is a lot of money in this for someone that figures it out

·       How many work-arounds can I come up with to show everyone they are wrong

·       How can someone be so stuck on failure and not see the upside

·       Haven’t they seen what I can do

·       Where is this person’s imagination

Most entrepreneurs start companies with the odds stacked against them.  They believe strongly in what they do.  For them, the word CAN’T is something they do not want to hear and do not believe.  They know there is a way to make things work; it just takes time to find the right approach.  They will work extensively until they find it.  “I bet you CAN’T get your company going.” Now get to work and show me wrong.

Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon .