Part Three – Attitude, Entrepreneurism, Failure, Risk-taking
For me, attitude is everything. When you have the right attitude, you have a potent cocktail which has all the other needed characteristics mixed in one. It is all about setting the bar higher than you can ever imagine reaching and then taking it up one more notch. It is about not taking no for an answer, not paying attention to skeptics and agreeing with Mario Andretti on “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough”..
Entrepreneurs are often a breed of its own. Some people are just not built for working for anyone else but themselves. Entrepreneurism is genetically different from being an entrepreneur but represents the same state of mind. It is an attitude. It is a spirit. It is about caring a damn. It is propulsion which takes you the through the thickest obstacles.
The most successful companies have probably failed the most. Especially in the start-up scene is a highly respected discipline; fail fast and succeed faster – fail fast and learn faster. Failing is relation to risk-taking – The key to avoiding fatalities is to know how to break your fall and knowing how to learn from your failures. If you get it right, you learn more the more you fail.
Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take”. Risk-taking can be seen as a science where you use probabilities and calculate your exposure. The higher the risk, the higher the return usually applies. Where it gets ambiguous is when you are not able to accurately calculate the risk or you don’t have time, precedence or experience. Taking risk based on gut and intuition is an art form. Without any evidence at my disposal to support my argument I would still say that in the bigger picture, risk-taking does pay off. And that probably those based on intuition have the biggest reward of all.
After a rather long stroll in the outskirts of my original topic, let me come back to it. Looking at the general business environment (in Finland that is) in which we operate in, I would like to just ignore the point-blank evidence of an economic recession. If were to let depression get hold of me, that would be accepting failure. Besides, there is no reason to be depressed as long as I believe I have the means to make even a small difference. As a company of rather moderate size, I alone cannot reverse macroeconomic downward spirals or create any major seismic activity. But perhaps with movements like the Kasvuryhmä, maybe step by step and bite by bite I can start to make a difference. The good thing is that I am surrounded by a heck of a group of fellow radicals who will not see unsuccessfulness as an option. The butch attitude and the spirit of entrepreneurism is admirable. We even fail pretty often and at least try not repeat the same mistakes.
When I meet again with my Scandinavian colleagues, I hope they will have witnessed that there has been a positive mood swing. And this will eventually show also on all sorts of listings and statistics. Might be important for those who accept them as truths.