The Mistake-Admitting Entrepreneur

Crows are remarkably intelligent and can live 20 years. They typically have a wingspan of more than three feet and weigh nearly three pounds. A crow can fly up to 60 miles per hour and have been found as high as 14,000 feet in mountain ranges. Being smart, fast, and able to fly to great heights make them particularly hard to catch. A few years ago I had to catch one so I could eat it . . . metaphorically speaking of course.  

To be a successful entrepreneur we must have an acquired taste for crow. We have all heard the saying “to eat crow” which connotes humiliation and having to admit the making of a mistake. Sometimes our ego gets in the way and we do everything we can to avoid admitting that we made a mistake. We may point the finger at others. Or we may try and cover up the mistake hoping that its results will somehow vanish into thin air. I can tell you that all these tendencies are mistakes.  

One of our companies is involved in acquiring apartment properties across the country. We sold two such assets within a much shorter holding period than we had initially projected because of an opportunity to generate substantial profits. Members of our team prepared a detailed spreadsheet that showed how the sale proceeds would be distributed. These were large and complicated transactions with several tranches of equity provided by different investors. I was pleased to call two such investors to deliver the good news that they would be receiving a significant multiple of their original investment. Needless to say, they were thrilled.

Within days, I received a call from my partner who oversees our apartment acquisition business unit. Apparently, there was a bust in the calculations and these two investors would be receiving less than what I had told them. They were still receiving a substantial gain on the sale, but not quite as much as the expectation I had set. The mistake was honest and unfortunate, but it still had to be acknowledged. Thus, I went about the task of eating crow.

I called both investors and said the following, “I’m sorry to tell you that the distribution figure I provided the other day was erroneous. We made a mistake in calculating the sale proceeds and your new amount is $X. Happily your profit is still much greater than we projected when you made your investment three-and-a-half years ago. I wanted to get back to you as soon as I learned of the error and I hope that you will still be interested in looking at future investments with us.”

Because we are a team, I did not point a finger at the person who was responsible for the calculation. Instead, I said that “we” made a mistake. I did not make up an excuse for what had happened. Simple but painful. The result was an expression of understanding on the part of both investors. I am sure they were disappointed but there were no angry words and in both cases an indication of interest in looking at the next deal.

Relationships are built on trust and can be strengthened in situations where things do not go as planned. But this happens only when honesty and transparency are the top priority.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Sustainable Entrepreneur

This topic may be uncomfortable for some, but it is a very necessary discussion to have. What happens to your organization if you die tomorrow? Would it be a loss so catastrophic that the company fails? Or have you created a sustainable business that can survive and thrive without you? Many entrepreneurs neglect this subject – after all we think we have a lot of good years left. And besides, it is a real downer to think about dying.

One of my most important objectives is to make sure that each of the various companies with which I am involved is sustainable for the long haul. I care deeply for the hundreds of families that depend upon us for their livelihood. Even if your company only has six employees, they likely have families too that are counting on you. So, we need to take the steps necessary to ensure sustainability. Let us examine the different components of a sustainability plan.

Growing future leaders is critical to sustainability. And avoiding a power struggle is equally critical. Who is your heir apparent? I do not believe that it is healthy for any leadership team to wonder at any point in time who will step in to lead in the event of the demise of the leader at any level. If your potential successor is not yet apparent, perhaps someone you know very well, and trust could be designated to step in on an interim basis. There is no doubt that identifying such a person may be tough, but this is tough stuff, and your team deserves to know who is going to succeed you. Focusing on sustainability always forces us to make leadership development a top priority. A quarterly review of a hypothetical organizational chart is a good approach to spotting the gaps and filling them promptly.

If we are the majority owner of our company, what will happen to the ownership going forward? Will it be left to one or more family members? If so, what will they plan to do with the business? Many heirs are not prepared to own a company and all that is entailed. It is crucial to have a conversation with family members and offer them a clear understanding about what will happen to the ownership if we die suddenly. What if there are multiple owners? Buy/sell agreements are an excellent tool for situations like this and can be funded by insurance. Such agreements should be precise on exactly how a deceased owner’s interest is to be valued.

Let us talk money. The death of an entrepreneur can have far-reaching consequences financially. There may be covenants that accelerate loans. Perhaps the entrepreneur has been self-funding a certain project or expansion of the business. It is also possible that without the entrepreneur’s balance sheet, credit facilities may dry up creating varying degrees of hardship. Again, insurance can help but may not be the long-term solution. It may be prudent to identify a potential financial partner that could be called upon to help. Of course, there is a price to pay for this kind of support – an ownership stake or a percentage of the profits – but such an arrangement may be necessary for sustainability. Now is the time to figure this out while we are still alive to do so.

Finally, we need to contemplate how our vision and the culture we have created can be preserved. This is the trickiest and most intangible task that we will face in planning for sustainability. Have we sufficiently communicated our vision; reinforced it repeatedly, and is it shared by all? Many leaders are so consumed by tactical decisions that the vision for their organization is muddled. And it goes without saying that our culture is built around our vision. Maintaining a vibrant culture can only be accomplished if it is front and center every day. Do we have core values? Are we truly living them?

Creating a sustainable organization that will survive us requires intense planning and tough decision making. Doing so is the greatest gift we can give to our team members.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Square Peg, Round Hole Entrepreneur

Is trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole a cliché or what? Just for grins, I tried to do this once and had no problem. Of course, the hole was a heck of a lot bigger than the peg. But that is not the point. The more we try to force things that are not meant to be, the more likely we are to become frustrated and fail. This I do know from lots of experience.

Here is an example. In the old days I might have interviewed a great candidate for a position we had open. This individual had all the right qualities, the right experience and seemed enthusiastic about joining our firm. We would extend a job offer and perhaps there would have been some back-and-forth dialogue over the terms, salary, etc. But then the candidate went dark and stopped responding. My tendency was for my sales instincts to kick into overdrive and really put the hard press on this person. Often the person might eventually come to work for us. But it usually was not a happy marriage and ultimately ended in divorce. What did I learn? If we have to “chase” someone and “sell” them on joining our company, then they probably are not the right fit in the first place.

Here is another example. I have a big decision to make. I am trying my darnedest to find complete clarity in this situation. I list all the pros and cons, but the answer still is not there for me. I talk to other people whom I trust, but no one grabs me by the hand and opens the door for me. I continue to press for a revelation, but none comes to me. The frustration mounts and I feel stress because the decision must be made immediately. The stupid peg just will not go into the hole! What did I learn? Complete clarity is often elusive and most of the time we must make the best decision we can after considering all the facts. And we need to trust our gut to some extent.

Here is the final example. Several years ago, there was an investor who owned a large apartment complex that our firm wanted to manage. I cultivated a relationship with this investor and met with him regularly. I tried everything I could think of to convince him to retain our services. He was self-managing the property and I just knew we could improve his bottom line. All my creative marketing and sales methods were for naught. We never were able to win the business. I hammered and hammered and hammered, and the square peg never made it into the round hole. What did I learn? We are not going to win 100% of the time. If we are paying attention to the basics and fundamentals mixed with a sufficient dose of creativity, we have done what should be done. Sometimes we will succeed and sometimes we won’t. Trying to force success is a pathway to being demoralized.

When we force things and try to muscle through, we often flounder and fail. When we relax, pay attention to the details, and trust our instincts, we improve the probability that things will fall into place. And if they do not, we simply stop hammering and move on.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Visionary Entrepreneur

Here is a fundamental question for all entrepreneurs. Are you a visionary? Being a visionary and having a corporate vision are two different things, so take care not to confuse the two. For a company, a non-profit or any other organization to thrive and succeed over a long period of time, visionary leadership is paramount. And unfortunately, many companies stagnate and die when the visionary leader moves on for whatever reason. That is why it is crucial for a company to continuously develop visionaries across generations that will help to sustain the organization in the future.

It is not hard to think about individuals who exemplify the term “visionary.” Steve Jobs comes to my mind before anyone else. He was a rebel and an unconventional thinker who was not afraid to take risks. Similarly, Bill Gates was a visionary who became the richest man in the world because of his ability to understand and shape the future. What comes to mind when you hear these names – Henry Ford, Wilbur and Orville Wright, John D.  Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Sam Walton, Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg? Each was a phenomenal innovator. Each had an uncanny sense of where the world was going. Each had dreams but was also a doer.

Being a visionary is partially innate and partially learned. So, what can we do to develop our visionary leadership skills? How curious are you? Do you read everything you can get your hands on? Visionaries are expansive readers and are curious about everything. Curiosity stimulates the imagination and helps bring forth new ideas manifesting in a high degree of creativity. How persevering are you? The next time you are ready to throw in the towel remember that visionaries have a stick-to-it attitude. They are highly resilient and believe they can solve any problem. Visionaries love discussion and debate. Some may see this as confrontational, but it really is not. Instead, a visionary listens to differing points of view even when it gets a bit lively.

What other ways can we model visionary behavior? Do you embrace change or are you more comfortable living with doing things the same way? Visionaries are change agents. They like to teach and are focused on doing the right thing. Integrity ranks high on their list of values. Do you have high expectations for your team? Sometimes the line between high vs. unreasonable expectations can blur a bit. But do not expect a visionary to set a low bar. Visionaries tend to be eternal optimists and cannot see a glass half empty – it is always half full or even more. And visionaries are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet. Finally, visionaries do not live in the details – they are quintessential delegators.

A visionary has a knack for looking at a collection of data and telling the future. He or she sees things that others do not and is not the least bit concerned if his or her ideas are pooh-poohed. In fact, visionaries will work hard to persuade others to buy into what they believe because they have a supreme degree of self-confidence.

By emulating their behaviors, traits, and tendencies, we too can become visionaries. Our value to our organization increases exponentially when we provide visionary leadership.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Default Thinking Entrepreneur

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see these statements?

  • The dog ran away.
  • We did not get the Smith contract.
  • Our star salesperson just gave notice.
  • It may rain and keep us from teeing off at 4:00.
  • Your daughter just wrecked the car.

Your initial reaction to each of this less-than-stellar-pieces-of-news is your default thoughts. As humans, it is natural for us to have an emotional response to many of the things we hear throughout the day. There may be moments of displeasure, irritation, dread, fear and even panic. We also have emotional responses to the positive things we are told or read. Many people experience highs and lows each day in this regard. And yet, it takes considerable energy to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could re-pattern our default thinking on the downside? Well, we can but there are a couple of requisites. First, we must truly desire to change our default thinking, for without a compelling reason we will fall back into the default mode in short order. Second, we must be willing to take the steps necessary to make this change.

For me, the desire to change my default thinking centered on my understanding of positive and negative energy flows. I have written many times about the fact that negative energy creates a blockage for creativity and our ability to solve problems. Also, negative energy just plain does not feel good. It is kind of like burning the roof of my mouth on a piece of hot food – the sensation is not very pleasant. I realized that metaphorically burning the roof of my mouth several times each day just did not make any sense.

This led me to accept that I needed to take actionable steps to effect change. What worked for me was to intentionally spend a day taking inventory of the various negative reactions that I held. I wrote them down for further analysis at the end of the day. I did not try to change any of my thoughts during that day – I simply tried to be as normal with my thought process as possible. Upon review, I was able to see thought patterns emerging and could then identify alternative reactions for the future when faced with similar challenges.

I am at the point now where I may still have a fleeting burst of negativity when I encounter a situation that is not favorable. But I quickly recognize it and replace it with a much more positive reaction. For example, suppose I learned that a particular investor I was counting on had decided not to invest in one of our deals. The initial quick reaction might be, “Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming. We’re now under the gun to find the money.” This might be accompanied by a surge of adrenaline. But literally within seconds, I shift my thinking to, “But it’s OK because I have three other investors who have said they want to be in our deals. I know I’ll get one of them to sign on.” And a feeling of calm occurs at that point.

Quickly shifting out of default thinking in negative situations puts us on the road to solving problems and avoiding the emotional lows that we may experience. There is no question that our lives are richer and fuller when we maintain positive thoughts. 

This blog is written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Smarty Pants Entrepreneur

Think about the most brilliant people you know. Do they own or run a company, or do they work for someone else? Chances are that they fall into both categories. For many years I have been trying to hire people who are smarter than am I. Fortunately I have succeeded several times and it certainly pays big dividends.

Across the business landscape you will find many employers who simply will not hire scary-smart people. You will hear a wide range of excuses – they are too high maintenance, they will stick around for a short period of time and then they will leave, and others in the organization will resent them. For the most part this is simply code for, “I feel threatened when I have to deal with someone smarter.” Politicians are the worst offenders. Many of them have egos that are so big that they always want to be the smartest people in the room. That is why we see so many blunders and missteps in our political and legislative process. If really smart people in much greater numbers were advising our elected officials, perhaps things might be better in the public arena.

In the entrepreneurial world we can see the result of not hiring the smartest people simply by looking at the politicians and their staffs. To begin with, we must avoid the ego trap that does not allow us to admit that there are people who have great ideas . . . maybe even better than ours! Once we get this out of the way it is a downhill run from there. The word gets around that we are looking for the best and brightest and they beat a path to our door. Right? Well, maybe, but there is more work to be done for this to happen.

First, we must truly value the opinions of others. I can tell you that I went through a period in my career where I would seek the input of others but was not convincing that I really wanted it. Rather than incorporate the suggestions of others, I simply went ahead and did things the way I wanted. I was not doing this intentionally – I just did not know how to take such input and do anything with it. Together with this problem was the fact that I was way too controlling in the decision-making process. So, not only was I not valuing the opinions of others, but I was also shutting them out when it came to deciding what to do.

Smart people want to take real responsibility. They want to be coached – not told what to do. They want to believe that they are valuable to an organization and not just another cog in the wheel. Smart people need to understand our vision for the future and what role they will play along the way. They need to be challenged. Woe be to the entrepreneur who allows smart people to become bored! Keep piling on the challenges at a manageable pace and do not stop. Above all, show gratitude on a regular basis, but do not hesitate to provide constructive criticism when necessary. Most of this advice applies for every member of the team, but it is especially critical for the high achievers.

When we get our ego out of the way, we open a world of possibilities in terms of hiring amazingly gifted talent. In so doing, we create organizations that are better able to compete and win at an extremely high level.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Prom Night Entrepreneur

The Holy Grail for business start-ups and mature organizations alike is customer procurement. Winning customers at a sufficient pace is critical to the survival of every company and especially for those at the fledgling stage. And yet I cannot tell you how many times I have seen entrepreneurs focus more on other aspects of their businesses rather than making sure they have enough customers to keep the doors open.

There is no doubt that we must have a minimally viable product that our customers want to buy. And implementing a wide variety of systems and processes is also an important factor. But without the customers, everything else is moot. To find the customers and convince them to spend their money with us requires pulling out all the stops. Top notch interactive websites, regular informational blogs, referral programs, social media, drip marketing, multi-media advertising and positive publicity are building blocks toward customer procurement. Yet, even with full implementation, the customers may not come in numbers or as quickly as are needed. What to do? Go back to the basics and fundamentals.

Think back to prom night – what was happening? Girls had their hair done. Guys were renting tuxedos. Corsages and boutonnieres were purchased; makeup was applied, and shoes were shined to a fine gloss. In other words, we were all trying to look our very best. Think about this with respect to our products or services. Have we done everything possible to look fantastic to those outside our company?

Do prospective customers clearly understand our value proposition? How strongly are we able to demonstrate that our product or service solves a problem and preferably one with which a lot of pain is associated? This is a major failure for a vast number of companies. Their product/service might be nice to have, but the customer cannot find a compelling reason to purchase it. Think Colgate Kitchen Entrees. Never heard of this? You are not alone. The folks that make Colgate toothpaste thought it might be a good idea to launch a line of frozen dinners. Customers could eat a Colgate meal and then use Colgate toothpaste to brush their teeth. What kind of a value proposition is that?! If we can’t nail our value proposition, then neither can our customers.

Customers have many choices when purchasing a product or service. Entrepreneurs sometimes become so enamored with their own ideas that they fail to objectively assess the competition. I have certainly been guilty of this myself in the past. I would pooh-pooh a competitor and rationalize that our approach was far more sophisticated and desirable. And yet, I did not ask the bottom-line question of what customers liked better about the competition. We may have a product or service that truly is twice as good as anything else on the market, but unless we can make a clear and concise case for differentiation, we’ll be stuck with the rest of the pack. Effectively communicating product or service differentiation means life or death in the business world.

A strong uptrend for customer procurement will happen if we practice the basics and fundamentals. This can be accomplished by presenting our product or service in as attractive a manner as possible; when we have a killer value proposition, and when we effectively communicate how we are different. Doing all of this will ensure that we will be the hit of the party.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Sensitive Entrepreneur

We have all known hard-charging Type A entrepreneurs who have a “take no prisoners” attitude. These people are the doers. They are decisive and they know how to execute. But sometimes there is a downside to this sort of personality. Yes, sometimes those of us who are very driven may tend to be insensitive. This usually is not intentional but nonetheless it can have a detrimental effect on our team members and the culture we are trying to build.

There are many ways that insensitivity can manifest. It can be as direct as making derogatory or belittling comments to as subtle as failing to acknowledge someone with a friendly greeting in the morning. Think about an exchange like this. Team member – “I’d like to volunteer to work with Jim on the Norton project.” Entrepreneur – “No, you just need to stay focused on what you are doing.” While it may be absolutely true that the team member needs to keep doing what she’s doing, the way the entrepreneur delivered the message could be construed as insensitive. A different selection of words would make all the difference. How about this instead? “Jan – thanks for the offer. Your project is critically important, and I am counting on you to get it wrapped up. But I will take a rain check on having you help with the next one.” This statement acknowledges the team member with an expression of appreciation and affirms her value. And it gives her hope that she will be given another opportunity in the future.

So, how do we develop the appropriate level of sensitivity without going so far as to sing Kumbaya all the time? There is a very simple method that I have learned over the years. I will admit to once-upon-a-time being the insensitive Type A hard-charger that was described in the opening paragraph. I justified my behavior by believing that I was simply being expedient in my dealings with others. After all, I was moving at 100 miles an hour and the quicker I could get through with one meeting the sooner I could move on to the next. But I gradually became aware that my people skills were suffering. I was not doing anything to cultivate relationships or goodwill. Eventually I developed a new awareness by just putting myself in the other person’s shoes. How would I feel if someone spoke to me a certain way; said something in a certain manner, or failed to somehow acknowledge me?

The key is to practice, practice and constantly practice. I try to pay attention to how everyone around me is feeling. In a restaurant, I want to make sure that the wait staff is properly appreciated. At the office I try to make eye contact with members of our team as I walk by and greet each and every one of them. I pay attention to the language that I use, going the extra mile to avoid careless statements that could be misconstrued. Again, I am always testing what I say or do against the basic premise of how I would want to be treated if I were the other person. After a while it becomes very intuitive.

The mark of a good leader is how he or she treats others. Running roughshod or being humble and sensitive? The choice is easy when walking a mile in another’s shoes.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Mistake-Prone Entrepreneur

I have a philosophy that mistakes are simply unfinished experiments in the laboratory of life. That does not mean we want to leave unfinished the same experiment over and over. But being too tentative and too cautious to avoid making a mistake may itself be a mistake! The obvious conclusion is that we want to learn from our mistakes and turn them into productive experiences.

To turn our mistakes into productive experiences we need to analyze them in a process-oriented manner. Being a go-go entrepreneur, it is not easy for me to slow down long enough to reflect on what went wrong. Generally, I just want to get back in the game and do it right the next time. This worked somewhat well in the past, but as I have gotten older, I’ve learned that being more intentional about analyzing mistakes increases the odds of not making the same mistake again. It also has caused me to look for the “silver lining” – that nugget of information that might enable me to turn the mistake into something unintentionally positive.

Step One in my mistake analysis process involves the simple act of identifying what went wrong and writing it down. Yes, I know this takes time, but it forces us to take a hard look at what happened. Did I follow an established process, or did I deviate from it – maybe even wing it? Did I fail to build-in a sufficient margin of safety at the front end? Did I somehow ignore warning signals that were flashing at me? Was I driven by emotion or was my initiative grounded in facts? I have found that most of my mistakes came from deviating from an established process. Because of my go-go nature I want results to happen very quickly. By analyzing my mistakes, I have recognized a tendency pattern to cut corners.

Step Two requires that we consciously determine what we need to do differently and commit to do it. Knowing that I have the propensity to cut corners, I have become committed to following established processes. Before I move forward with anything I am doing, I stop myself and ask the simple question, “What is the process that needs to be followed?” I make certain that I know exactly what the process should be and then I affirm, “I know the process and I will follow it.” Sometimes I may even make this pledge to a close colleague for accountability sake.

The final step in mistake analysis is that of looking for the “silver lining.” History is littered with mistakes that resulted in brilliance. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin due to a mistake he made in his lab. Another famous mistake at the 3M laboratories turned into Post-it Notes. Plastic was invented as the result of a mistake – some say that Charles Goodyear left a mixture of rubber and sulfur on the stove too long and found that he had created a new material. Wilson Greatbatch was building a heart rhythm recording device in 1956; used a wrong part and realized that the device would maintain a heart rhythm – thus the pacemaker was born. If we do not look for the silver linings in our mistakes, we may never find that little (or big) something that manifests into a positive development. Finding the silver lining requires a creative mindset – perhaps this is an exercise that can be done with others. Take the mistake and purposefully look through the “rubble” to see if there is anything of value that might be useful.

Mistakes don’t have to be the end of the world for us if we take the time to find out what happened; how we’re going to act differently in the future and committing to such different action, and finding the silver linings that may be hiding in plain sight.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The Unlimited Entrepreneur

Let us count brick walls. They are everywhere. We encounter them at work and at home. We find them in our personal and business relationships. Brick walls seem to be a part of our lives. But do they need to be?

We tend to be great masons and build some very elaborate and impregnable brick walls. The brick walls to which I refer are the limitations that we impose upon ourselves. Sometimes we believe that these limitations are imposed by others but if we really examine them closely, they are more often than not, self-imposed. It is critical for us as entrepreneurs to avoid allowing thoughts of lack or limitation to creep into our psyches.

Let us look at some of the things we speak to ourselves and say to others. Anytime a sentence contains the words “I can’t,” “I don’t” or “I won’t” there is a strong possibility that limitations are in play. Certainly, there are some limitations that are rational and necessary – I am not talking about those. Thoughts of lack and limitation that prevent us from achieving our greatest potential and success are what we need to train ourselves to eliminate.

I can recall several times over the course of my career where a rookie entered the commercial real estate business and completed a series of amazing transactions. Everyone looked at each other and said, “How did he do it?” Well, I know how. This rookie did not know what he did not know. Make sense? In other words, he did not know to place limitations on himself that many veterans of the industry had imposed upon themselves. As a result, he made cold calls on clients that others thought to be untouchable or intractable. And guess what? He got deals done.

Why do we limit ourselves in the first place? Often it is the result of fear or a lack of knowledge. Analyze the following statement. “I can’t pursue that business opportunity because I don’t have the money to do so.” This statement contains both the “I can’t” and “I don’t” negative affirmations which will probably result in this person not pursuing the business opportunity. Most likely the underlying reason for the statement is that this person either has a fear about the business opportunity – perhaps it’s a fear of failure – or he/she simply doesn’t know how to find the money needed. Regardless, the opportunity will not be pursued because this person has built a brick wall around it.

So, what is the truth? We have a choice to either create reality or face reality. If we choose to create our reality, we can do so by removing all thoughts of lack and limitation. We tap into our creative energy and identify the resources that we need to succeed. We pursue that business opportunity because we find a way to raise the money that is needed. In several of the companies with which I am involved, we regularly complete apartment developments and acquisitions utilizing very complex financial structures. We have rescued many a deal from the scrap heap because we not only have the knowledge to figure out how to make them work, but we also have no fear of failure. Do we fail? Sure, we do. But our failures are simply steps toward our ultimate end goal. And we manage our risk so that none of our failures are fatal.

We can go through a life full of brick walls that are of our own making, or we can create our own reality by taking the simple yet powerful step of eliminating thoughts of lack and limitation. Whenever these thoughts start to become a part of our mindset, we recognize them; we release them, and we replace them with the truth of unlimited possibilities.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.