business stuff, Dylan Gallagher

Blessed? Cursed? Both…?

It is interesting to note that as entrepreneurs we can tend to get caught up not knowing the difference between a blessing and a curse.  I adhere to the idea that we are never neither.  We are either being blessed with opportunity and new discoveries or we are cursed with having to work through poor decisions and difficult moments.

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse – Paulo Coelho

Why is this important?  If you knew that tomorrow would bring a blessing (if you are in a moment of feeling cursed) or a curse (if you are in a moment of feeling blessed) then how would you change today’s actions?  How would face your opportunities or challenges?  I recognize that feeling blessed or cursed is a subjective and non-scientific idea however if an entrepreneurs holds these feelings their actions and decisions will be impacted.  For an entrepreneur experiencing a positive environment in their business the idea of something less than desirable happening may be a distant thought.  As such, the same entrepreneur might become complacent or expend less energy in pursuing new opportunities for growth and/or improvements to their products or services.  Instead of using the good times to prepare for the bad times (whether or not they actually occur is irrelevant) an entrepreneur may find themselves not preparing for the future which is guaranteed to include change.  Change is inevitable.  Today it feels like change happens faster and faster even while the fundamentals remain the same.

Some entrepreneurs will develop a product or service and exit the opportunity with no expectation of remaining in the opportunity permanently.  Most business owners I speak with are not of this kind.  Most business owners I speak with have owned their business for many years with an expectation to owning it for many more.  As such I believe it is important for these entrepreneurs to constantly be thinking about their marketplace, the customers they serve in the marketplace and what could impact their opportunities in the future.  Some businesses figure this out and become a catalyst for new ways of performing a service or developing a product their market can benefit from.

On the other side of this idea is those entrepreneurs who feel like things are really not going their way.  These times can be weeks, months even years.  When entrepreneurs are going through a tough time it can be easy to become stagnant and ineffective.  But much in the same way that a business should plan for challenges I would argue that a business should be planning for opportunities.  Many businesses learned their most important lessons during difficult times.  I once heard someone say that the best thing a business owner can do is to spend time managing their accounting records.  When times are tough and cash flow is minimal a business owner can learn a lot about their business by paying bills, reviewing financial statements and reconciling bank accounts.  One business owner I know very well was shocked at where their money actually went.  He spent 3 months managing their books during a slow season and had new insights about how to improve the performance of the business that resulted in a small turnaround.

So again I ask – If you knew that tomorrow would bring a blessing or a curse then how would you change today’s actions?  How would face your opportunities or challenges?

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