Die Trying

I took a note during a recent conference to remind me of a point that I want to make in this post, in my classes, in my new business and throughout my life; die trying.

To be a successful person you must have a sense of purpose.  Once you know what that purpose is, everything else becomes less stressful, less distracting and even less real.  As an entrepreneur, you need to know yourself and your guiding mission.  Do not create new ventures that do not fit your purpose in life.  If you do, you can fail.  If your new venture is part of your purpose, a failure is not really a failure, it is merely a setback in a life spent trying.

Entrepreneurship academics look at opportunity recognition as the secret to successful start-ups.  Perhaps, opportunity recognition is actually the root of so many failures.  It is possible to see market opportunity outside of our capabilities and purpose.  In fact, as an eternal optimist that thinks that opportunities are everywhere, most opportunities will fall outside of our capabilities and purpose.  Academics need to rethink our emphasis on recognizing opportunities.

In business school we talk a lot about reacting consistent with opportunity recognition.   Perhaps we should shift the conversation to creating.  Opportunity creation based on an understanding of one’s purpose would provide a better foundation to then build a company worthy of a life spent trying.



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