Arm entrepreneurial dreams with performance

Without a dream there can be no entrepreneur. But a dream without performance is like a sail without wind.

Once, I asked a mentor how I would know if I should continue a certain project. He said, “Check your position.” He meant that I should look around to see if I was making real progress, in terms of performance, on the resources I was spending on that project.

I admit to being a dreamer. But my mentor’s words have helped me to dream more productively. I constantly check my position by asking myself these hard questions:

- Is this project still important to me?

- Why is this project important?

- Am I learning things that make this project more viable?

- Are small failures steering me toward overall success?

- If this dream belonged to a friend and he asked my opinion, what would I tell him?

And when I find myself having to fight for my dream, I ask myself this question, which was given to me by another mentor: Do I have a fighting chance, or just a chance to fight?

In The Prince, the 16th century Italian political philosopher, Machiavelli, wrote, “All armed prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed prophets have been destroyed.”

If Machiavelli had been writing about entrepreneurs instead of politicians, I think this passage would have read: “Successful entrepreneurs are prophets whose dreams are armed with performance, and the dreams of unarmed entrepreneurs will be destroyed by the marketplace.”

Check your position. Make sure your dreams are armed with performance.


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