Editor’s note: You cannot build a successful business with an approach that minimizes the chance of failure. Here’s why, according to veteran Triangle entrepreneur Chris Heivly.
DURHAM – It turns out, we do get to choose how to be an entrepreneur.
I have a modest and maybe even overly simple personal philosophy with which I view my life — I compartmentalize my entire existence into three basic buckets: social, business, and family. This plays out in many different ways, but today I am focused on my walls around business.
I get to observe thousands of entrepreneurs in action, and occasionally if not accidently these observations yield some high-level insights. And, like in many of my articles, I want to take the conversation up to a higher level. Today we are going to discuss philosophy.
My aim today is to break down entrepreneurial philosophy into two fundamental paths:
- Pursuit of gain
- Avoidance of loss.
You cannot build a successful business with an approach that minimizes the chance of failure.
Entrepreneurship is not a limp-in game where you manage downside risk. The best companies and founders do not factor in the consequences of the worst-case scenario, though each one knows it is a possible if not probable outcome. The best simply dismiss that thought. In doing so, they lighten the load and open up the door for better outcomes.
Outstanding startup founders have a philosophical ethos in which everything they do is a pursuit of gain. (I heard this gain/loss dichotomy expressed in a recent Tim Ferriss podcast and I cannot seem to shake the simple two-sides thought.)
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