Failure, Success, and Can-Do Attitude
This part 2 of the series focusing on the “Can-Do” attitude. In part 1, we started the discussion of the “must-haves” that are crucial to an entrepreneur’s success. Thank you to everyone who has added comments and furthered the conversation.
I’ve been watching the Ryanair/AerLingus/Hanger 6 situation and noticing how each player has been portrayed in the media. Michael O’Leary has definitely used the Can-Do attitude since he began leading Ryanair. One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed over the years is his capacity to be a lightning rod. To be fair, I’m not sure which annoys people the most- his success, his personality, or both.
Even if you don’t agree with his methods, O’Leary’s example leads us to the important questions about implementing the “Can-Do” attitude. What are the cultural attitudes towards going after your dreams? What happens if you succeed? What do people say when you fail?
The original Can-Do post started with an American perspective and the “must-haves” to foster it in your own thinking. The active discussion in the comments ended up focusing on failure and how it is defined and experienced in Ireland. Two themes emerged out of the conversation. The first theme is that there is frustration with current mainstream thought and the second theme is that failure is poorly tolerated.
What is in your philosophical soup? Not only are there national ideas about failure and success but there are class definitions and family definitions. These cultures influence your business philosophy, planning, and actions on a daily basis. To have a successful entepreneurial venture, it is crucial to take the time to examine how they are true for you. Your belief system impacts your decision-making. Personal and professional attitudes are influenced by what is around us and it is worth emphasising that we’re not alone with these thoughts or questions.
Just yesterday I was engaged in a conversation about how difficult it is to reconcile the desire to help with the necessity to monetise services with 3 different people who are highly competent business owners. They felt bad that they need to charge something for their time and expertise. One of my most recent clients did not move forward in his startup until he identified that his reluctance to make any money from his business had to do with overidentifying with his father. There were messages that “people like us are supposed to…” have a job with predictable hours and predictable earnings. Other rationalisations I hear is that an entrepreneur is engaged in a noble cause, having fun, or they are too new to charge market value. It’s hard to believe in your abilities when you feel such self-doubt.
So, how do you implement the “Can-Do” attitude with all these messages in the background?
Is it time to start a thought revolution?