Do successful entrepreneurs never give up?
Is a top entrepreneur like a dog with a bone, and just won’t let go?
True or false?
Well, true but only to a point. A smart entrepreneur will “try, try and try again – and then give up. No point in being a damn fool about it”. (WC Fields).
However, many young entrepreneurs believe they must keep going and avoid failure at all costs. However, sometimes the costs are too high and the fact that some entrepreneurs make it to the other side of the river, doesn’t mean that this is the only course of action.
Sometimes, to continue the analogy, it is better to give up and try to cross the river at another point. Or, if you simply can’t get across, then wait for the water to subside and then try again.
So, strangely, although resilience is rightly regarded as a great trait in an entrepreneur, there are times when too much resilience is bad. Sometimes you find another way or truly you should give up.
Now, let’s be really clear here, if you give up on a business, this is only so that you can take your time, energy and resources and go and focus on another business. Investors do this all the time when they sell shares and buy new ones.
If you were employed and left one job to take another, would that be giving up? No, so then why is leaving a business giving up?
The answer is that entrepreneurs need to know when to persist and have the capacity to persist and persevere. And, they need the capacity to give up, cut losses, learn from mistakes and move on.
The truly great entrepreneurs are those that can do both and know when to use persistence or a willingness to cut losses.
It is the ability to create a synthesis between resilience and a willingness to cut losses that counts – not the possession of a singular quality.