Friday, January 6, 2012

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Michele Bachmann's Loss

michelle bachmann loss
Something strange happened to me while watching the results of the Iowa caucus this week. So strange that I woke this morning feeling I could not start my day without writing this post. What struck me is not what I learned from those who won, but from those who lost. This is by no means a political post despite the word "Presidents" in the blog and post titles. This is a post about courage, conviction and humility; three things we can all learn from presidential candidates, regardless of our politics.

The real inspiration for this post was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Admittedly, I know very little about her other than humorous gaffs and contentious interviews I see on television. Then I heard the speech she gave after losing in Iowa. The television played in the background while I prepared my breakfast and helped get the kids off to school. It was not so much her words that first got my attention, but her emotion. Not only could I hear the hurt in her voice. I could feel it. So devastating. So public. What surprised me the most is that I got a bit misty eyed, even though I know nothing about this woman.

I thought of the struggling entrepreneurs and small business people all over the country putting it all on the line in the face of naysayers and critics. And for what? A dream. A dream of doing something different; of doing something great; of leaving a legacy. When difficulty comes and you teeter on the brink of failure,  it is by far one of the worst feelings in the world.

Courage

Running for the Presidency is like opening your front door and letting the neighbors go through your things. Candidates face ridicule, criticism and suspicion. People question their integrity, their past and even their intelligence.

Is being an entrepreneur any different? Acting on a passion or idea that you care so dearly about, knowing some will publicly ridicule and berate you? If you succeed, you're a genius. If you fail, you're a joke and there will be no shortage of naysayers proclaiming, "I told you so." There is only word to describe someone who decides to forge ahead anyway; Courageous.

Keep Your Head Up

Michele Bachman will probably never be President of the United States, but there are also other things she will never be. She will never be the person who says, "What if." She will never be the person who says, "I could've." She will never be the person who says, "I should've." Michele Bachmann will not be the person in her 80's sitting on the stoop going on about how great her life could have been if only she had followed her passion.

In a world where most people talk about what they will do one day instead of what they can do today, I take my hat off to all of those who put their necks on the line to run for the highest office in the land, yet suffered a very public loss. This takes guts and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

And to my fellow entrepreneurs across the country, the fact that you have the courage to do what most only talk about, makes you a success in my book regardless of the outcome. I wish you all the success in the world and I am honored to be in your company.

3 comments:

  1. I admire this post as it speaks directly to me and those of us who spend endless days and nights trying to fulfill our most dearest dreams as an entrepreneur. It is almost like we are jumping in the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim. The riskiest thing to do if you have ever tried it. We are willing to take the dive and learn along the way. We won't give up too fast or without a fight because we don't really want to drown. "Sink or Swim" without a doubt is the thought most of us have. I have only been in this for 3 months and I have not even scratched ground. I believe it is important to make plenty of mistakes so that there are plenty of opportunities to learn new and better ways to success.

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  3. Thanks Latifah. This is one of the problems I want to help remedy with my upcoming book as well as efforts I have underway with a group of brilliant entrepreneurs. Stay tuned as we have some big announcements coming up in the next couple of months to help support entrepreneurs like yourself!

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