Now, let’s say you were the gambling sort.
What sort of chances/odds would you lay on the following having ‘success’?
- A doctor performing an operation with 0 hours experience and 0 hours of schooling or training
- A mechanic changing out a transmission with 0 hours of experience and 0 hours of schooling or training
- A pilot landing a 747 with 0 hours of experience and 0 hours of schooling or training
- A carpenter building a house with 0 hours experience and 0 hours of schooling or training
- A chef preparing a lobster and prime rib dinner with 0 hours experience and 0 hours of schooling or training
I think I can say we’re all in agreement that we’d likely bet the farm that we’d see at least an 80% failure rate in all the above scenarios. I mean, it’s a no brainer right? Right. So why then, when the standard ‘80% of businesses fail within the first year’ stat is printed, tweeted, posted, quoted, and uttered in an ominous tone of caution do we all seem to react as if that is surprising news? After all, the BEST thing about becoming a business owner in Canada is it takes exactly zero (0) experience, training, schooling, certification, credentials, or pre-requisites of any kind to begin. And, the WORST thing about becoming a business owner in Canada is it takes exactly zero (0) experience, training, schooling, certification, credentials, or pre-requisites of any kind to begin. Failure is the most expected thing imaginable; not because business is extremely hard and daunting, because of the simple reason you don’t need to know, or do, anything to get into it.
The one career that carries with it perhaps the greatest responsibility and impact on people and community is the one that has the easiest port of entry – again, the best and worst thing. Seriously, becoming a volunteer recess time supervisor at a school requires more training than becoming a business owner does. Think about that for a while.
Sometimes we don’t consider this as much as we probably should because often the new business owner begins with tons of experience, training, and schooling – or so they believe. They often chalk up their 20+ years of experience and $50,000+ in school and training in their trade or profession on the ‘running and growing a business’ side of the ledger – and sadly, it doesn’t work that way. The minute a master dentist, doctor, welder, chef, carpenter, or other expert signs the incorporation documents their primary responsibility and role is no longer the professional ___________, but now becomes that of the professional business owner. And our annoying yet ever present friend, the 80% stat, is there to painfully remind us that just because you’re an expert at the technical work a business does, rarely means you understand or can grow a business that does technical work.
We have nothing but the HIGHEST respect and admiration for anyone who chooses the self-employed path – it takes courage, commitment, and a lot of guts. We only wish more that new entrepreneurs would consider and appreciate the single greatest determining factor of their results – themselves. The business grows when the owner grows and not before. Don’t wait until you’re in business to start to learn about business – take the lead form almost every other endeavour imaginable and get trained up before you begin, even when the rules don’t call for it. Until this becomes the norm, the answer that seems most appropriate, and troubling, to give whenever you hear the old standard quotation of ‘80% of businesses fail’ is…..’obviously.’
Action Edge Business Coaching, a proud firm of ActionCOACH, opens our office doors every day to help Calgary business owners achieve more and thus move closer to our vision of World Abundance Through Business Re-Education.