You know that part in the movies when someone throws a grenade? Rambo, for instance, jerks the linchpin with his teeth, tosses it and waits. There's always this delay, but we all know what's coming.
We also know that "what's coming" never happens without that linchpin being pulled. It's the most important component of a grenade. It's what holds everything together. It's the essential element.
The question I want to try and answer in this post is: What is the linchpin to creating a successful startup? In other words, what's absolutely "essential" to making your startup succeed?
Is it the idea? If I could just come up with a great idea, then I would be successful.
Is it cash? If I could find an investor? And had access to $50,000, then I would be successful.
Is it distribution? If I could just get my product into Wal-Mart, then I would be successful.
It's tempting to answer "Yes" to any of these being... that linchpin to a successful startup. But after 10 years in entrepreneurship, here's what I would answer: What's going to make your startup successful is You Growing on Purpose.
If you're growing personally, I promise that your business will begin growing and you will find some measure of success.
Is the idea important? Yes! But it's not everything.
Do you need money to startup? Sure. But not as much as you might think.
Is distribution necessary? Absolutely.
But the #1 requirement is: You Growing
Here's why I say that. Wise people throughout human history have understood that, if you want to accomplish something outwardly, a measure of achievement has to be gained inwardly.
And that applies to startups. What most people miss is the fact that so much of a startup is really just you: Your ideas, your values, your thoughts, your hard work... It's because of this fact that it's of supreme importance to develop a dedicated time of personal growth. You've got to start growing on purpose.
Here's another way of saying what I've been talking about: Your startup will only go as far as you decide to grow. The moment you stop learning is the moment you start limiting your potential and the potential of your company.
When I say grow personally, I mean create a time and space each day to do ALL of these:
• Read books that expand your mind
• Learn new skills that can be applied to your business
• Journal daily about your struggles, your accomplishments, in short, your life.
• Nourish your spiritual side by praying, meditating and worshiping your Maker.
• Write. Write. Write. If journaling is more about reflection, writing (as I'm thinking of it here) is more about gaining true understanding. Here's how this works for me: Books expand my mind; writing supports that expansion.
• And finally - at least for this list - teach what you're reading and writing. Share what your learning by communicating it to someone else. Don't be afraid to approach your spouse, friend, parent, brother or sister and say, "Hey, check it out, here's what I'm learning..."
When you've read it, written it, and taught it, you've learnt it. Follow that progression and you won't find success, success will find you.
If you've found any of this helpful, would you help me by sharing it?