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    In No Excuse Leadership: Lessons from the U.S. Army's Elite Rangers, Brace Barber echoes a similar theme. The rangers are taught that they must succeed and therefore must take responsibility for every outcome, even if there is an appropriate reason for failure. Barner writes: “The first time you stop yourself from giving a perfectly legitimate reason why the job did not get done will be tough; do it, and then do it again. You will see yourself start to succeed beyond your peers who allow themselves reasons to fail. . . . Imagine theeffect a philosophy of ‘No Excuse’ will have on your life.”

  • Be prepared to sell. As a go-it-alone entrepreneur, you must be ready to convince people that your initiative has merit. This may take the form of what is considered classic selling: convincing people to buy your product. Even if you do not see yourself involved in classic selling, you will still, in all likelihood, need to be a persuasive salesperson: You will most likely need to convince entities to do business with you—either as a provider or as a recipient of your work.

    Mark Lortz, the CEO of TheraSense, reinforces this point in describing the company’s successful outsourcing initiative. “We needed to convince large, world-class providers like UPS that our business would become significant, and that they were getting in on the ground floor. Our size as a start-up was not interesting to them. UPS had to believe in our growth potential.” TheraSense’s ability to enroll other entities in its vision of success was part of what made the company a success.

    The importance of your ability to be persuasive cannot be underestimated. There are endless stories of entrepreneurs who have a bold vision but fail because they can’t enlist the participation of other entities that are critical to the success of

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.