Last night a fellow entrepreneur posted a very upsetting post. She went on to say how she was done with fakes, cheats, liars, and so on and so on. This was no ordinary rant, it smelled of an entrepreneur scorned. Unfortunately, it left far too much to the imagination and was not a very savvy business move.
We've all been there, frustrated by someone's ingenuity and false promise. When I read her post I was quick to think of 3 different situations where someone befriended me to steal an idea or get free information on the pretense of leveraging my services. I then jumped immediately to 2 people who I inexplicantly was blackballed from their list even though I had referred and promoted them (in both cases, they were threatened by the idea we may compete with them.)
Guess what? Cheats happen.
It's part of business. There are some who compete on their own merit, differentiators, brand and hard work. There are others who will always be led by the green eyed monster and will always work against those who they believe are their competition.
Instead of rising to their level and casting doubt on your own intuition and ability to discern champions from cheats, just hold your head up high and zip it. They'll get their day.
As for those who let you down? I love what Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo) said was her greatest life lesson. 'Assume everyone has positive intent.' I'm not telling you to be naive, but truth is, the most amazing well-intentioned people in the world over-commit and miscalculate.
As we see a backlash towards the phrase "Fake it till you make it," I would also challenge entrepreneurs to "Fake it till you become it." We were all there; all in, cash strapped, great idea/franchise, working like a madman and desperately seeking the first few clients that would get us to the break even point. You can't go in saying you don't know what you're doing, but you also must be authentic and true. Don't lie, but put on the hat you want to wear the day you start working towards your goal. If you want to be the CEO of GE, start acting like the CEO of GE today. From my entrepreneurial friend's side, don't cast judgement because they haven't got there yet. You may be working with the next Zuckerberg or Gates.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Lastly, in your path to success, you're going to find many obstacles and frustrations that you must overcome to achieve your goals. I thought sharing the cover of this month's Entrepreneur Magazine would be a great way to end. The front page loudly declares:
The Successful Entrepreneur's
Get past the inevitable challenges on your way to long-awaited rewards.
It is YOUR own will and determination that will get you to the success you imagined. Stay strong and don't allow anyone to take that away from you!! Move forward and don't get stuck in the murk and muck created by those of lesser character or skill. You've got this.
Colleen Ferrary is the founder and president of Small Business USA. Small Business USA (www.SmallBusinessUS.com) has successfully driven unparalleled results for business owners throughout the US. While maintaining their mission to keep their services affordable and leveraging a proven marketing program and teams of consultants, Small Business USA is changing the success rate of small businesses. For more information or to set up a free consultation or learn about our affordable marketing workshops, please email Info@SmallBusinessUS.com.