August 15, 2011
by Hatch

JUST GET STARTED

One morning not long ago I showed up for work at our offices on historic Shaker Square in Cleveland, Ohio and I saw a simple black & white sign hanging in the window of the antique store located beneath us. It read “Don’t cry because its over.

Smile because it happened.” Apparently, the store, a favorite of mine, had suddenly closed. We’ve been in our offices for less than a year, and the antique store was here when we arrived, so I don’t know how long they had been in business — but the sign in the empty display window was a reminder that most businesses, like cartons of milk, have expiration dates. In fact, according to US Census Bureau data, more than half of all new businesses close within the first five years; and only one third ever turn a profit. So if the odds of failure are so high, why even get started in the first place. The answer to that lies in the sign hanging in the window downstairs. The lesson for us entrepreneurs is to focus not on the odds of failure, but on the rewards of the journey whether we fail or succeed. In fact, just getting started is really what separates those with ideas (most everyone) from those who actually start a business. So don’t let the possibility of a future failure keep you from getting started in the present. As a good friend of mine is fond of saying — “It’s never too soon, or too late to become an entrepreneur.” And in the end, if your business’ expiration date comes sooner than expected, don’t despair. Instead “smile because it happened” and then get started on the next idea.

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