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DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR … AND THE REALITY OF FAILURE!
April 14th, 2014 by LOONEYEXECUTIVE

Just another wacky perspective from the mind of The Looney Executive!

– By Blake Glenn

 

Cash Register

Several years ago I launched my 1st tech startup venture with lots of enthusiasm, high hopes, and dollar bills dancing around in my head … millions of them!

I started off thinking I was driving a 1973 Porsche Carrera. By the time I watched the crash and burn of this once-promising venture a few years later, I realized I’d actually been driving a rusted out ’73 Ford Pinto. I had taken Porsche stickers from a Captain Crunch cereal box and taped them onto the Ford.

That way I could delude myself into believing this venture was something that it wasn’t.

Well you know what they say … Fake it ’till you make it baby!

And frankly, when the crash came I felt so ambivalent about the whole affair. I was simultaneously:

  • Relieved
  • Traumatized
  • Tired as hell
  • Optimistic

 

What? … Wait! … Optimistic?

Yes. Optimistic.

You see I continued to think that all of those small business customers who kept promising to buy a brand new local area network, and all of its pricey accessories, would keep their promises … if only I had been able to hold out long enough. The salvation of revenue and high profits was just around the corner.

But I was completely deluded. Again with that word. As it turns out most of those “clients” didn’t buy for years. But that’s the thing about entrepreneurs. We way too often believe in a delusionally optimistic scenario.

Once we come down from that magic-mushroom high we’re faced with the realities of our imploding dream. But that can be a good thing actually … even a great thing if we look at our failures with some perspective and then leverage them to reach success.

An article from Entrepreneur.com has an interesting take on failure.

It says there are 5 keys to succeeding with failure:

  • Call failure something else
  • Use failure as a stepping stone
  • Never fail alone
  • Don’t hide your failures
  • Redefine what you want

 

All of these seem to be good principles … except #1. The articles says to redefine failure as “experience”. I say if it’s a failure, then call it a failure. But maybe you can combine the two words into one dynamic term …

 

The Experience of Failure!

 

Now to end this tale, here’s what I learned from that first crash and burn:

  • Have at least 2 years of expenses tucked away before going full time … it would take another crash and burn for this to sink in!
  • If a customer check bounces the first time … it’s likely to bounce the second
  • Build a team of advisors that you trust to provide their real thoughts and opinions

 

But most of all I learned to …

Stay the hell away from those magic mushrooms!

Their powers of delusion are toxic AND addictive.

 

Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive  blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via  The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?).

If you dare, he can be reached the old school way …  blake@LooneyExecutive.com

 

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Ride The RocketP.S. – If you’re really interested in growing the tech startup scene in SW Ohio, you’ll want to join the IgniteTech Meetup Group.  

Join the group. Come out to our events. Bring your energy and ideas. Build your connections.

Join us on this adventure. And help us to create a great story!

 


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