Developmental Economics

I started this blog to speak about the challenges that a venture capitalist like me is facing and to educate the public on a variety of issues. Especially if those issues are related to economics. Regardless of whether we’re talking about micro or macroeconomics, I am here to openly discuss every possible scenario that leads to development. I know that economics is a broad topic, and that’s why I always discuss it in an interdisciplinary manner. To understand the economy, you also need to understand sociology, politics, culture, psychology, etc. Actually, one needs to have an advanced level of knowledge in social sciences, and at least a moderate level in human arts.

During my work, I’ve met a lot of people who deal with developmental economics of developing states, and let me tell you that those economics are one of the most interesting and definitely the most challenging, at least to me. Understanding a society that has a different culture from yours is not an easy matter. When discussing such societies, you need to be very careful not to sound like an idiot. As a venture capitalist, you need to understand the regional and local dynamics since you cannot apply the same rules in the USA and Africa, for example. You might apply them, but you will witness different results. A lot of venture capitalists are only interested in profit, and profit should be your motivator, but you need to know that not everybody has the same demand.

I was involved in several international projects and my experience tells me that the easiest way to set yourself up for failure is if you think that the market will adapt to your needs and not vice versa. The international project that I was the fondest of was about providing water infrastructure to a community affected by a devastating earthquake. There was a need for a whole new infrastructure. After we managed to repair the electricity infrastructure and provided basic hygiene needs with the running water, we had to make it possible for the locals to run hot water. This is where my venture capitalist experience came in hand and through my contacts we managed to provide the locals with water heaters researched on Now the community is up and running, and people seem to be happy. The intervention was successful only because we managed to answer people’s needs without imposing what they don’t need.

What Being an Entrepreneur Means to Me

Being an entrepreneur is so highly praised in American society that when you say that you like being an entrepreneur, almost no one is going to question you or argue with you. It can feel like something that you didn’t decide for yourself. You can get to the point where you wonder if this is just you fulfilling a role that other people are going to find impressive. However, for me, being an entrepreneur goes further than the social status surrounding it.

After all, what people don’t tell you is that everyone takes a major risk each and every time he or she becomes an entrepreneur. We only hear about the entrepreneurs that are successful. We don’t hear about all of the people who try to succeed in this difficult way of life and who fail. No one wants to hear their stories, even though their stories are the ones that are more representative of the population.

I knew going in that this would be the case. I never told myself that those people did it to themselves, which would be a self-serving lie. I knew that I was taking a risk and did it anyway because I wanted the kind of life that being an entrepreneur can give you.

Working the nine to five job offers some false sense of stability, and that’s really the only thing that it has going for it. No one’s job is secure anymore. People work these jobs in order to feel as if they can work them for the rest of their lives and that’s it. The industrial revolution era system associated with the seven-day work week and the eight-hour workday is outdated and does not reflect society’s actual needs. Many jobs today are make-work and many of the jobs that people take for granted are the ones that will inevitably be replaced.

Most people do not actually like their nine to five jobs. They do them in order to feel as if there is always a paycheck in their futures. However, many of them still end up like all of the failed entrepreneurs at the end of it all, and they didn’t have the satisfaction of doing what they wanted when they wanted it, and they did not learn the skills that will ultimately allow people to succeed in a world and in an economy that is always changing.

Being an entrepreneur means accepting that there are lots of things that you can’t control and that you’re going to learn how to be adaptable. It means accepting that the world does not really give you the stability that you think it will, and that you’re going to have to learn to survive or even thrive in an economy that is upside down and that continues to stay like that in many cases. Many people are in a situation in which they have to make their own way in this economy.

People today are entrepreneurs all over now. It’s customary for people to have blog projects on the side that bring in a little bit of money. Lots of people have minor secondary incomes from everything from YouTube channels to ebooks that they sell. Being an entrepreneur is common in a world where social safety nets are minimal and social media is solid.

For me, being an entrepreneur means being a person of the future. The nine to five job is treated as being something of a standard for an adult job. It isn’t. The nine to five job the way modern Americans know it is a product of the Great Compression, which has ended. It’s a mid-twentieth century construction that was fragmenting by the late twentieth century, and which is now gone. People today are going to have to understand that the world is different, and entrepreneurs are on the front lines with regards to how much and how fast everything has changed.

Entrepreneurs live with certain realities that other people don’t, and I think that this is one of the many reasons why we are in a situation in which we’re able to cope with the shifts and funny twists of life better than others. Entrepreneurship is about being an adaptable person of the future in my opinion. It’s an acceptance of the ways things have changed and the ways in which things will change.

Bring it on, Summer!

When you are in the field of economics, teaching and counseling clients, you can take finances way too far. You start getting nutty about applying budget principles to every little thing you buy. You question yourself about a new toaster oven, a new vacuum, even a cushion for the driver’s seat of the car. People say, if you need it, buy it. Don’t ponder every little purchase for hours and hours. You drive yourself crazy making decisions. Now when it comes to larger items, such as a new above ground pool, you can consider the costs as compared to an in-ground version. It is appropriate to weigh the pros and cons.

In-ground pools are getting really expensive upwards of $30,000 dollars and more if you want a large size. You have to hire a licensed contractor, select your design and price range, and put up with the mess and noise for quite a while. If you want nice ceramic tile of real quality, expect to see an increase in your costs. But if you are going this route and want to do it right, you really should go the extra mile. You don’t have to add an adjacent jacuzzi, but it is an option. Of course, you want heat and an automatic pool cleaner—that funky gadget that floats atop the water scooping up debris. As your contractor for all the details so you don’t miss a beat. Know what you are getting for your money. As an economic advisor, I can tell you right now that despite the cons (the cost and use of yard space), there are definite pros. The largest one is that an in-ground pool adds significant value to the selling price of a house. That is something vital to consider if you believe your home is an investment. For most people, it is their biggest one. It is certainly not a car or a boat.

Now we look at an above-ground pool. It is much more economical and future sale value aside, if you don’t have the funds, it is a no brainer. You go for the temporary above-ground version. Some of them are so well made that they last practically forever. They are by no means like an inflated kiddie pool. They are large, well-made, durable, and not unattractive. You can adapt the size to your space. If you have a family, this is a viable way to go and stay within a reasonable budget. Adults and children have enough room to swim and everyone can cool off in the summer. You can add heat and self-cleaning and also some attached trays for food and drink as accessories. They are practical and convenient and many prefer them to avoid pool cleaning service costs. I personally find this option to be the best one for me. My house has already risen in value and I am not worried about adding a lot more equity at the expense of my budget. So, an above-ground pool is the way to go.

Artists, Widen Your Options

As an economic counselor and professor, I get into all kinds of facets of business, especially in the realm of venture capital. People are always looking for opportunities to invest in something new and exciting that will take them down the path to profits. They avoid the tried and true as many businesses are traditional and the market is already saturated. Instead, venture capitalists like to take risks. This bodes well for inventors who are looking for backers. You see this every week on TV on the popular show, Shark Tank. It is a perfect example of capitalism in operation. Yes, it is also entertaining.

I tell people with new ideas to get in touch with supporters and perhaps they have a winner that will take them to the top. Even artists can be part of the process believe it or not. You usually think of them as more independent, but frankly it is hard to make a living at art these days unless you are in the computer graphics mode. I told a young artist who consulted me that he was, in fact, a candidate for venture capitalism. He had to get his work out there to attract the money. He realized, through my counsel, that venture capitalism is an overlooked opportunity. They rely instead on grands to fund their work, but these are few and far between.

My artist client uses a spray gun to make airbrushed images on canvas. They are quite compelling. They would appeal to the corporate world. I can see them populating a large office building. Sure, he can use the services of an interior decorator to place his work in offices and hotels, but first it takes money to buy the paints and other supplies. He always needs spray guns to apply lacquer. Otherwise, he would spend what should be his creative life cleaning the nozzles.

I put the artist in touch with a few venture capitalists, one of whom I knew was an avid art collector. Thus, the two would be kindred spirits. Not only did the businessman buy a painting, but he agreed to support the artist financially for a period of five years. If he got commissions such as a big corporate project, the investor would get a percentage of the purchase profits. If a company elected to rent the paintings, there would be an income stream for the venture capitalist to share with the artist. It is a very good, practical way for an artist to survive in a tough, competitive world. Artists can make a go of it since the world is full of people who want to make a profit from their investments. They don’t limit themselves to putting their money in stocks and bonds and other traditional vehicles since they want to diversify and enjoy a different perspective.

The artist has a good story to tell now that is encouraging for his artist friends. He is trying to put together an artists’ coop. When it comes to venture capitalism, there is always a happy ending.

Ideas Minus Funding Remain Ideas

I pay attention to what is going on in the world. If there are new inventions, I want to know about them. Innovation to me means progress is at hand. I didn’t study and teach economics for nothing because it is what makes the world go around. Progress in industry and manufacturing, for example, impacts all our lives and standard of living. Economics—business and profits above all—is at the heart of the matter. It behooves us all to lend an ear when the talk turns to this subject. I was reminded of this recently when I attended a meeting with an inventor looking for investors in a new type of gun safe. I was invited by a friend as I have not been known to invest willy nilly in ideas, however practical. I wanted to know more because gun safes in general are not familiar to me. I never grew up with one in the house nor have friends or colleagues who house weapons at home. It is a controversial issue but everyone has the right to bear arms and you need to store them safely. I always felt that accidents happen because they are in plain sight.

The new model was collapsible which means that if you sell any of your collection, you can store the gun safe in a different place, perhaps out of sight. The large ones are hard to disguise and kids are always curious. The safe also is made of a non-toxic and non-corrosive material that does not emit any gases. The gun safe has a biometric lock which is super secure and cannot be picked. I know that a new innovation in gun safes is to use fingerprints, but this is often difficult to program and use. I like a key, but that is something that can be borrowed and used. Kids are snoopy little creatures. A digital lock is best and this safe uses this option. If you forget your code, the company has it in storage. Thus, you don’t need to write it down and risk other people finding it in the junk or hardware drawer. It also means that you don’t need to store it in your mobile phone for intruders to find.

I liked the product but it was a matter of funding. I did not want to be the only one. I also was not ready to recommend it to financial clients. I did think it had merit and should see the light of day. Surely there is someone out there who is interested—perhaps a gun owner himself. I laud the inventor for his clarity of vision and for finding something that people can use. You would be surprised how many gun owners there are in this country, and each and every one should have a safe. This bodes well for investors seeking products. It is not just about doing a service for humanity. It is nice when you can combine these motives. I vote yes for the project. Let’s see where it goes.

Small Disaster This Morning

Little things that go wrong irk me. I like a smooth, easy life; it keeps the mind and emotions in check. There is enough disruption in the work day, annoying calls, solicitation emails, and the like. Then there are all the people at work who are constantly complaining. I truly wish for peace some mornings, but you don’t always get what you wish for. Take yesterday for example. I came in expecting the normal but reality did not oblige. Someone on the night cleaning crew must have accidentally knocked over my small portable humidifier that I found here because it was on its side and there was water all over my desk from the remaining fluid in the tank. It was a disaster, but not of epic proportions. It did ruin several papers that were lying about. I hope I can restore them to readable condition.

I had recently assigned a paper and had started grading them the night before. I put them in a stack and left the rest for the morning, but alas they were wet. I wanted to hand them back to the students and now I don’t know if I will make it in time. I had promised them their grades today as it was approaching midterm time and they wanted to know where they stood. I had to resort to another personal appliance: a hair dryer. The humidifier and the dryer and the two small electric items I keep at work. Of course, the humidifier was there to combat dryness in the air, but it was the culprit in some excess water this morning. The dryer comes in handing on a rainy day, but who knew I would ever use it for moist paper.

The drying session was just what was called for and soon the papers were ready to pick up and sort. I read quickly and attached a note and a grade. I would be ready for class with no problem. However, when I handed them out, several students looked perplexed. They asked me why the papers were curled at the edges and showed water spots. Ha! I explained the mishap with the night crew and the bind that the spilled water had put me in. They quickly understood, but I was a bit embarrassed. Should I have been more diligent with the humidifier? Should I empty it every night? I had never had it knocked over before nor had it fallen to the ground. I suppose someone could stumble on the cord but it lies flat on the carpet. I will let it be tonight. If it happens one more time, it is history despite how well it works. It helps me breathe easier and counteracts allergies. I will leave a note for the cleaning crew in the middle of my desk—highly visible in big letters. Watch out for the humidifier. I don’t know why they didn’t notice or try to mop the errant water up. That would have speeded up the drying process.

Innovation for Innovation’s Sake

I live in a world of venture capital. It is part of what makes our vibrant economy go around. I have clients who want to know if they should invest in new inventions and how to structure an acquisition. If they are new at it, they want to know what to expect. I tell them to invest in something that interests them already or something they know about. Later they can expand to larger ventures or buy a franchise. If they have sufficient funds, they can do a little of everything for the purposes of diversification. I know a businessman who has so many irons in the fire that he could be a guest on the TV show, Shark Tank. These men have dozens and dozens of things in constant operation. Some are successful and a few fail. It all comes out in the wash.

In matching a venture capitalist with a project, I notice that many people try to improve on ordinary existing household objects because they get inspired by them when in use or they know that there is a market for improvement. You don’t want to invent and market something that is obsolete or obscure. You want to make your profit on volume. Maybe people don’t need a better mousetrap, but they might want new gadgets on their vacuum. I remember a time when I had a lot of requests for support from inventors who had heard I look for backers. I got a pitch from a man who was working on a state-of-the-art vacuum. It was for residential use and included the usual features such as detachable hoses and separate accessories, but he also made it shut off when it sucks in an object such as a pet toy or child’s wood block which can get jammed. He had a few other bells and whistles, but in the long run it made the vacuum quite expensive. Do people want more for their money when buying a vacuum for under $100 or are they willing to fork over dollars for batter operation, bagless construction, and easy clean surfaces.

What made me turn away was that I personally would care about anything new that I didn’t already get with my $100 model. If I were the typical buyer, this would mean that the market was small. I wouldn’t invest in his venture although it seemed like a good machine. I felt that it was not worth the extra cost. This is a big detriment to success when it comes to selling a new product. I did not want to invest nor did I encourage any of the venture capitals I know to do so. Maybe someday I will be impressed by an upgraded vacuum, but not at the moment. I took another look at my old budget vacuum and still felt the same way. It works well, is durable, and no doubt will last a lifetime. It was a no-brainer decision when I acquired it and I have no regrets.

Finding a Worthy Startup

Finding a worthy startup isn’t easy. People really never know for sure which startups are going to succeed. They’ll say that they did after the fact, of course. That’s really how lots of successful people in business are. They’ll take a risk, and the risk will work for them, and they’ll say that they somehow knew that the risk was worth it and that it would work. They’re wrong: the people who lost said the same thing and knew the same thing. Finding a way to join one group but not the other really is hard, and it really isn’t something that is entirely within anyone’s control.

Overall, the best startups are the ones that actually have a plan. Lots of people approach startups without any real strategy, and that’s where you need to exercise caution. You have to look at the business plan of these startups, or you’re not going to get anywhere. They’re also not going to get anywhere.

Many of the best startups have some sort of original product. This sort of thing can be difficult to estimate, obviously. However, if the startup has a genuinely new and creative idea, you stand a very real chance of being able to make it work in the marketplace. We all know that plenty of unoriginal business ideas have made it. However, it is still true that a lot of the best startups did something completely new. If you find something like this, try to stick with it.

Of course, businesses are all about people at the end of the day. You need to look at the startup’s team. If the startup has a team that is well-balanced and that features a wide range of talent and personality types, then the business is going to be that much more likely to succeed. If the team is disorganized, does not work well together, or has a lot of internal problems, those problems are going to become your problems soon enough.

You can’t evaluate startups in a vacuum, and there is a temptation to do so. People believe that they’re going to need to look at the business plan and only at the business plan, and from there, they will be able to evaluate the quality of the startup. However, the business plan could be skillfully devised and it still might not work due to the current conditions of the market. The business plan could be sound, but this might not be the case for the team. If you evaluate all of the necessary conditions for business success in the context of the new startup, your chances of success are that much higher.

Professor Life Tips

There is a new ad circulating on TV about compression socks. They show attractive housewives running up and down the stairs in a no-slip version. Who knew there was a market for such things beyond nurses and people who are on their feet all day. Let me tell you that there are other careers that entail standing for hours on end. Mine for example. I am an economics professor who works full time. This means one class after another for days on end. I can’t wait for summer break. How do I cope? I wear compression socks.

Nurses can survive tough hours and this profession taught me a lesson. I have a friend who is employed in a hospital and she tells me that those compression socks for nurses sell like hotcakes. Now there is a market for them elsewhere. I can’t wait to try them out. They are not thick and unattractive so that you can wear them with most any shoes or boots. Professors, listen up. This is the answer to your prayers, especially those with sore feet problems.

My fellow members of the faculty tell me that they suffer but the problem is alleviated when they get home and take a hot foot bath. Isn’t that a lot of trouble. You must get out the little tub and fill it with water, and no doubt some of it spills along the way. Where do you soak your feet? In the kitchen, the den while you are at your desk checking emails, or in the living room while you watch TV? How long do you have to do it and doesn’t the skin on your feet shrivel up? I think I have a better answer and I have many testimonials from nurses and orderlies who tell a good tale.

How do compression socks work their magic? They have a special kind of knit and a fiber that moves when you do. It provides a kind of lightweight massage all day long. Imagine that! I had never thought about it until now and I am so thrilled that I am spreading the word. It isn’t often that you can help others in distress. I know the faculty are going to thank me, and guess what each member is getting for Christmas. Gift giving this year is going to be very easy. Everyone gets the same thing in a different color. Men get black, gray, and brown while women get pretty colors. They will love them and there is the added plus that they are machine washable. They never fade, pill, or shrink.

We live in a practical world and sometimes the simplest changes in our lives really matter. One little discovery has changed my day. I used to sit between classes or even during the last one when I am on my last legs so to speak. I don’t think this is always appropriate. Now I have a solution that will keep me up and running as needed.

That’s not happening again

I consider myself a practical person with the wits to get out of various scrapes that happen from time to time. I think of myself as prepared for adversity which is a point of pride. Although I teach economics, I do not have my head in the clouds. I don’t believe that people should be oblivious to the obvious or that they should ignore the implications of unforeseen circumstances. As we go through life, reality teaches us lessons that we absorb. Sooner or later you build up a compendium of knowledge. People can be divided into various personality types: introvert/extrovert, thinking/feeling, and intuitive/sensing. They react to things according to their nature. Being practical, I am the thinking/sensing combination that feels at home in the world.

This ability came in handy when I was stuck on the side of the road with a whopping flat tire one night after a university meeting that ran late. For some reason, the air was rushing out. I expected to be up and running in no time, but roadside assistance was not coming. I called many times and finally after more than an hour, they arrived. Sure, they took care of the problem but I vowed never to find myself the victim of circumstance. I repaired the tire and didn’t need a new one, but I would need an air compressor next time. I bought a portable model that I can plug right into the car. It is compact, effective, and fits nicely by the spare tire in the trunk. With it tucked away at an easy reach, I knew that being stuck would never happen again. Anyone can use an air compressor, even an older child. I am my own do-it-yourself repair woman.

Sure enough, not six months later, I had another flat tire and was stuck at the side of the road at night. This time I didn’t need to rely on the automobile club. I feel like resigning my membership. I had pulled over to inspect the problem. There wasn’t much damage to the tire and I believed that I could inflate it with the 12 volt air compressor. So out it came to do its job. I also had a large LED flashlight that had good illumination. I could easily find my way in the dark to attach the device. Independence is worth its weight in gold.

Who would ever think that an air compressor was a good buy, especially for a woman. Now I know that there is a reason for everything. I am a logical thinker and I can think of so many ways in which it will be useful. It is on my list of ten essential items that everyone needs. I would also include a portable generator to use when the power goes out unexpectedly, a ceiling fan to circulate air and avoid using the AC, a battery-operated flashlight, a Swiss army knife, a windproof umbrella, a first aid kit, and a gallon of gas. I suppose you all have your own additions, so let me know.

When to Jump Ship

Our society has a lot of negative attitudes towards people who quit. We have a tendency to see them as being the sort of people who couldn’t cut it. However, in many cases, quitting actually is the rational decision. People who get out of the stock market just in time are the ones who succeed just before a crash in some cases. Of course, in the stock market, the people who hold onto what they have for a long period of time are the ones who are going to eventually succeed in many cases, because the stock market usually eventually recovers. When it comes to venture capital, sometimes it really is wiser to jump ship.

If a startup is clearly failing, it’s time to jump ship. You don’t want the startup to pull you down with it. If you’re a venture capitalist, that is a very real possibility. You need to make sure that you’re able to recognize the signs of a startup that is just not going to make it.

Some of the signs involve a failure to really penetrate the market after a crucial period. If people are trying to make a startup work for years and years, it isn’t going to work. If it’s a tech startup or something of that nature, the market niche for it will have probably closed by that point anyway. It’s important for people to remember that timing really is everything when it comes to business in the modern world, and timing can work out badly.

There’s also the fact that internal conflicts really can sink startups, in some cases, before they even start. The people involved will tend to clash in many ways. Startups tend to be full of young entrepreneurs who have not yet been humbled by experience, and they have a tendency to think that their ideas are the best ones in an absolute sense. This is not true of everyone, of course. However, it is true of enough people that it’s important for venture capitalists to avoid ignoring the psychological aspects of a startup team.

Business is about trends and ideas. However, it is also about people. Business people have a tendency to focus on the trends and ideas at the expense of the individuals, and that is going to lead them to the point where they are ignoring some of the most important factors in whether or not a team succeeds or a business succeeds.

Franchises: Built-in Brand Recognition

In my spare time, away from teaching at the university, I counsel clients about venture capital opportunities. When someone has a backer, or has raised sufficient funds, he or she can start a business. Investors are always waiting in the wings for chances to make a profit with the help of entrepreneurs. There are so many ways to do it. It is an endless parade of good fortune. It is a vital part of a vibrant American economy. We must keep the wheels of capitalism turning. So, look at what is out there if you are set on being self-employed by buying a franchise.

You can own a fast food restaurant, either an existing brand or a new one. It is a matter of preference if you want traditional fare, vegan offerings, health food specialties, or foreign cuisine. Many people opt alternatively for a fast-food truck so they don’t own a franchise and are totally independent. I know of people who do opt for a franchise since all the planning has been done for you including the décor, inventory, and marketing. It depends upon what you envision in your typical day. Do you want the headaches of sole ownership or the advantages of a franchise? Someone close to me wanted the latter as she had heard good things about going this route. She bought into a bounce-house company as they are growing in popularity. Kids love them and thus they are always in demand. She had thought about a fitness center but when she put the idea to paper and did the numbers, the bounce house idea looked to be the best.

When you own a franchise, you are buying built-in brand recognition and it makes positioning yourself easier against competitors. You will pay more for a successful brand, but it is well worth it as you will have a faster startup for your business. If you need help with the initial set up, the parent company is there to help. In the case of a bounce-house business, they have an assortment of choices of bounce houses for kids from castles to space ships to spooky houses. Any holiday can be accommodated. If a family has a front or backyard, they are a candidate for your service. This makes most of the country a potential client. I can see why my friend went in this direction. She has a birthday party special that competes favorably with other local companies. She gets plenty of takers and is heading in the upward direction. She didn’t have a long period of downtime which happens with some franchises.

You can negotiate the price of your franchise although there is usually not a lot of room to maneuver. You then sign a contract that limits you to following company policy so you do nothing to tarnish their good name. As a franchise owner, you can now take advantage of their quality inventory and national advertising campaigns. These can cost a fortune so you are getting your investment money’s worth.

Accepting Defeat

One of the hardest lessons in the entrepreneurial world is that you’re not going to succeed all the time. This is a punishing reality for the entrepreneurs who place a lot of their self-esteem in the knowledge that they’re smart enough to succeed in a difficult field and that they’re going to be able to use their brains to get through almost anything. However, it should be noted that the business world really is notoriously fickle and that even the smartest and the most skilled people are going to fall at some point.

American culture likes to talk endlessly about the myth of the ‘bootstraps’ and that people can use their brains and work ethic to overcome any obstacle. It isn’t true. This is a belief that is very harmful to poor people. It’s also a belief that is very harmful to wealthy people. It tells poor people that their poverty is their own fault and it tells wealthy people that if they fail, it is always their own fault. It says that people have complete control over their own circumstances, which has never been true no matter how much people want to believe that it is true.

Getting rid of the bootstrap myth is the first part of understanding that you can handle defeat. Your defeat is not necessary a reflection of your abilities. Even if it is, your abilities are not innate and you actually can become more skilled at being an entrepreneur and more skilled at being a successful businessperson. The belief in innate ability and absolute personal control has become something of a cached thought for a lot of people.

Once you realize that your entire sense of self and your entire sense of your abilities are not truly on the line each and every time you do anything in business, it is going to be that much more likely that you will succeed. Plenty of entrepreneurs struggle just because they have internalized so many of these bad beliefs that it keeps them from moving forward. This does not have to be the case, and many of them can pull themselves towards greater success by adopting the right attitude. In this case, adopting the right attitude means recognizing the limits of one’s own abilities regardless of how impressive they are, and recognizing that not everything is within one’s control.

Defeat is also frequently temporary. If you’ve been defeated in business, you learned something in business. You have experience. People who get fired from their interminable nine to five jobs have a lot of work experience as a result of working in these jobs, and they are able to capitalize on all of it in spite of the fact that they did not ultimately succeed in that one position. You should think of your own entrepreneurial experience in the same way, and from there, you should be able to actually use it in a way that is going to work for you.

Entrepreneurial work is hard. There’s a reason why a lot of people don’t have the courage for it and a lot of people stick with the stability of nine to five jobs that they hate in spite of the fact that they continue to hate them and nothing ever moves forward. They don’t want to face the possibility of defeat and they don’t want to take a risk on a business. Accept that you can’t control everything, turn your defeats into something valuable, and you’ll be that much more likely to genuinely get ahead at some point.

How to Handle Competition

The competitive aspects of entrepreneurial work are some of the toughest. People have to contend with the fact that there are really only so many slots at the top. Your fellow entrepreneurs are your competitors if the both of you are in the same product niche. You can’t get around that and you can’t accept that they can have their own success if you have yours. It is rare that other entrepreneurs are going to be your allies.

Handling competition is partly about knowing that these people are not inherently better than you. Try to avoid thinking of them as people who are competing against you in the manner of sporting partners. This isn’t a game of doubles tennis. It also is not an academic trivia contest. These are people using multiple skills in order to get ahead, and you have to employ multiple skills in order to get ahead in your own right. That’s what you’re going to need to do in order to succeed against your competition. If you can do that, you’ll have the right attitude.

Competitors are going to be cruel in some cases. You have to expect that. Try to imagine that the two of you are just trying to succeed in a tough world and don’t really harbor any malice towards one another, and with any luck, you won’t. In all likelihood, your competitors don’t really care about you as a person in a negative way. They’re just trying to succeed at their own dreams, and if they succeed at their own dreams, you’ll be able to see them in a different light. Remember that both of you more or less have the same perspective when it comes to business and your own priorities, and that is going to make it easier for you to sympathize with each other’s perspective.