Intrastate I-45 is approximately 285 miles and runs from Dallas to Houston. It is one of the most traveled freeways in the United States which also makes it one of the most accident-prone. As I was traveling my familiar route on I-45 to church from the Northside of town on Sunday, we were delayed by road construction. Cars were lined up bumper-to-bumper during the cool of the morning awaiting permission to continue their journey at a normal speed limit or above. On the right of me, a young man in a convertible had perched his crouched body on the back of the car and was using his I-Phone to post presumably a Vine. In his attempt to capture the moment, he almost took a tumble forward off the back of the convertible as the driver moved up unexpectantly.
Having time to muse over his boldness to do the unusual for a six-second moment of fame, I thought about entrepreneurs in the start-up phase. They often move forward with the same amount of risk when starting a business. It took me down memory lane as I wandered through the recesses of my brain, remembering how I was going to conquer the world with my writing business. Even become a member of Shark Tank, helping other entrepreneurs also realize their dreams. I was fearless and dauntless, taking risks that felt right but befuddled the minds of my business mentors. I reasoned, "What did they know, they were old and what I was doing was light-years before their time." Youth does that to us. It gives us an inordinate amount of self-empowerment and leads us to believe we can do almost anything.
The Reality Check
We can, but it takes the seasoned entrepreneurial traveler to bring balance to a young upstart. That's why in real life, we are given parents. Somebody, that has wisdom, needs to be available to pull back the reins of our horse cart when it does go haywire. As the traffic cleared, I saw the white convertible soaring past me, headed to a destiny unknown. Yet I wondered if someone in the car had the common sense to advise the young man to be more careful the next time.
As business owners, we can't afford to travel on "fast" the entire time we are building our businesses. Our framework suffers if we are too much in a hurry to get to our destination. "Slow and steady [does] win the race" if you are building for the long haul. You must choose if you are going to be a "Silicon Valley Has Been" which equates to traveling in a Pinto or a "McDonald's Here to Stay Forever" which equates to traveling in a Volvo.
The Moral of the Story ...
As I continued my journey towards my destination, I casually looked over to the other side of the freeway. Unfortunately, traffic was again lined up, but from the opposite direction. Several cars had been involved in a horrific accident and were scattered indiscriminately along northbound I-45. My heart was saddened not only for the car's occupants but also for what they represented. Rand Paul claims that 9 out of 10 businesses fail each year. Even if that is a bit overstated, if 50% of business start-ups fail, that's still too high. In America, where free enterprise is an American staple like Ford, Chevy, and Dodge, we should be more adept at equipping our businesses for success.
My Question to You Is ...
What's your speed for business success? It should be the speed that allows you to build a great framework and motivates you to get safely to your destination. Anything else can lead to your business becoming a fatal casualty.
Sharon C. Jenkins is a serial "authorpreneur" and a consummate entrepreneur. Her main mission in life is to help authors and small businesses increase their "brandwidth" and to successfully pursue their passion for writing excellence. She is the Inspirational Principal for The Master Communicator's Writing Services. Her writing services and books are tools that assist others in realizing their literary dreams and achieve excellence in their business. She has two great loves in her life: writing and helping others.