“If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough – you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal.” – Richard Stallman
I couldn’t submit my homework in time because I wanted it to be perfect. I didn’t propose to her because the moment was not ideal. I didn’t launch that product because it is not faultless yet… You know what I’m talking about here: we always find excuses for not doing things under the pretense that it is not ideal. Many are those who won’t take their game to the next level because they believe they are not ready yet, but guess what? If you never challenge yourself and push yourself forward, then that “perfect“ or “ideal” will never happen, and all you will be left with is a bitter taste of guilt and failure.
Same goes for Business. You’re not living in a utopia where every person around the corner is filled with joy and love, your clients and partners are not all unicorns and fairytale princesses. Life is tough, full of obstacles and of people who will do anything to either bring you down or steal your success. This is not a myth, we’re individualistic by instinct, we all have an ego to stroke and we all want to make it to the top first. The people you deal with in your business are no exception. You might have gone through high school believing that life is pink and full of roses, full of helping hands, that honesty and integrity will always be rewarded, that your friends will always be at your side whenever you need them. The truth? It’s all bullshit. Your girlfriend could dump you at any time, your friends might one day just give up on you when you’re in trouble and your boss can fire you for telling him how bad his tie looks like. The more you move ahead in life, the more you realize that we live in a pretty tough world, we live in a jungle where we politely fight each other and kill gently in order to survive.
As an entrepreneur launching your startup or your product, you’ll have to get ready for what is awaiting you, and just giving you a heads up, it ain’t pretty!
“Done is better than Perfect”
We all want to give the best out in us, we all want our service or product to be perfect, to show that we’ve spent sleepless nights working tirelessly on perfecting it, but at the end of the day, life is dictated by deadline, and if you cannot deliver on time, then it is worthless for you to have the perfect product. Sometimes you’ll have to realize that although you can do better, you have to provide what you can do in the amount of time you’re given.
“Work Smart, Not Hard”
In business, as in life, you can’t always do everything by yourself, you can’t always be the best at everything, but guess what? There will be someone who is. Always find smart ways to get things done by hiring or outsourcing work to people who can deliver the best. Can’t do that website on your own? Someone in in the middle of India will do it for 100$ and you can charge your clients a 1000$. Don’t pull all nighters working just for the sake of feeling that you’re putting effort into your venture. Don’t be afraid of being an entrepreneur who doesn’t have to be working all time. CEO’s aren’t credited for their companies’ work because they spent 20 hours a day coding or designing an application. CEO’s get the credit because they managed to find people to do the job, so be the CEO who is featured in Inc. Magazine or Business Insider although you haven’t done anything besides putting the right team together or getting someone to turn your idea into an actual product. See, people might look down on you or might criticize you because you’re getting the credit for things they think you don’t deserve, but at the end of the day, these same people will be the ones standing in line to buy your product or writing you checks.
“The path to success is full of dirt”
Climbing the ladder of success will put you in situations you’re not comfortable in. You will have to compromise on your values because the world is not created to suit you personally. You’d never lie to save a deal? You can’t take a client to a strip club? You are anti-communist or a religious conservative? Sometimes you’ll have to keep your beliefs and ethics for yourself in order to move forward. You’ll have to go along what your client or boss want and nod even when you think he’s speaking non-sense. You’ll have to cover up things and omit certain details, and most importantly, the farther you get, the heavier the compromises you’ll have to make.
Flatter if all fails
“There have been many great men that have flattered the people who ne´er loved them” – William Shakespeare
Flattering others to get work done is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you’re smart and know how to navigate the tough path of business. People sometimes won’t award you the contract just because they don’t like you, or just because you didn’t give them a chance to brag about themselves. We all have egos, and the best of us are the ones who can put theirs aside and let the others flaunt their greatness and get some attention. Flattery works, and better than what you think. You can’t get it your way all the time, and sometimes you have to let others steal the show and get all the attention. But moderation is in order: never push flattery too far to the extent that it becomes obvious or too fake. You can always find a middle point, so flatter but make sure it comes across as genuine and is grounded on some honest observations.
Moral of the story: being idealistic will drive you bankrupt, depressed or locked in a mental facility. The world ain’t sunshine and rainbows, and as such you’ll have to play along the dirty game of being realistic and practical if you want to get things done.
Picture Credit: Tumblr.