Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on January 23, 2012 By Draginol In Business

Mashable Business has a good article today on starting a business. They list 6 things which are very useful.

It’s missing a few items that I think should be added or emphasized more. Here are 7 through 10 that I would have added:

7. Get used to failing often.

The article talks about not being afraid to fail. But I think most people will take that as meaning that your business might fail.  In my 20 years of running a business, 90% of the things I’ve worked on have failed (from a profit point of view).  You have to get used to pouring your heart in soul into things that will be deemed worthless and be ready to keep trying new things that also will likely fail.

8. If you succeed, be ready to have your success trivialized

It takes a thin skin to listen to some public school teacher rant, during here lengthy summer vacation, on how unfair it is that you have so much more than he does. For every successful business person there’s 9 who lost everything they put in. And like #7 mentions, even the 1 out of 10 that do succeed have 9 out of 10 of their efforts fail too. People will discount the rare combination of skills necessary to be successful. When we sold Impulse, lots of people asked why I didn’t “just hire” someone to run it rather than sell it to Gamestop. My god, if I could “just hire” people to do what I do I’d do it in an instant.  People who can do what I can do are already busy – running successful businesses.

9. You are always responsible

Your level of involvement on a product or service is irrelevant. If it fails, it’s your responsibility. Don’t start a business if you are not prepared to take full responsibility for everything that goes wrong. This is easier said than done. Last year we made a game that was a disaster. I had spent a total of maybe 4 months on it out of the 3 years it was in development. But my job, as the business owner was to get out in front and accept responsibility because, as the business owner, it IS your responsibility. It’s not about “fault” or “blame” it’s about responsibility.

10. If you fail, you will get pity, if you succeed, you will get estrangement

People have no limit on how much sympathy they will give to someone who fails. But they have a very limited amount of good will to share with those that are successful. If you do fail at your business, your friends and family will be there to support you (probably). If you succeed, beyond a certain point, there will be resentment. You can either hide your success and reduce that resentment (which means not enjoying the fruits of your sacrifices) or you can enjoy your success but deal with some level of angst from friends and family.

on Jan 24, 2012

#9 "Last year we made a game that was a disaster (...) But my job, as the business owner was to get out in front and accept responsibility"

1 sentence that says a lot about yourself. Probably more than a full biography would.

Thanks for your thoughts on this, as a business owner myself I already recognize some of what you've said. I especially agree with #7. That's the main reason there are very few successful business owners, because they have the impregnated belief that "failing is bad" since childhood, and removing that belief is an extremely difficult task.

on Jan 24, 2012

Brilliant advice....... Thanks Brad......

on Jan 24, 2012

as a business owner myself I already recognize some of what you've said.

I got into Real Estate last year. I have been caretaker, to managerial of sky rises for a decade.  And a real estate broker made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Buy low, sell high and renting.  It's been profitable. Lots of work but, worth it.  

And my family and friends are acting different. I love them all but cash talks.

They'll like me more when I get a cement pond.