Three Reasons Why Most Entrepreneurs Fail image

Three Reasons Why Most Entrepreneurs Fail

And Why Generosity is the Key to Success

People who want to be entrepreneurs often approach me. They say, “I have a great idea and product. What does it take to be successful?”

I tell them that it’s a good thing that they have a great idea and product but that is just the beginning. In order to be successful, you must have eight integrities, which I show them in my B-I Triangle.

BI Triangle image

The eight integrities are:

  1. Mission
  2. Leadership
  3. Team
  4. Product
  5. Legal
  6. Systems
  7. Communications
  8. Cash flow

Generalists vs. Specialists

Specialists only focus on one aspect of the B-I Triangle, and because of that, they make poor entrepreneurs.

Students who graduate with a degree in product design seek jobs at the product level of the B-I Triangle. Students who graduate from law school fill roles at the legal level of the triangle. Those with degrees in engineering or computer science tend to focus on jobs at the systems level of the triangle. Students who receive degrees in marketing focus on jobs in the communication section of the B-I Triangle. And students who receive a degree in accounting typically find a job at the cash flow level of the triangle.

Successful entrepreneurs are generalists. One reason why entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, leave school is because they did not want to be specialists; they hired specialists.

Generalists must be mission driven, have strong leadership skills, and surround themselves with a smart team, often “A” students with experience in the real world.

Why entrepreneurs fail

There are three primary reasons why most small businesses fail. They are:

  1. The entrepreneur does not have all eight integrities in place. For example, most new entrepreneurs focus on product. They may have a great product, but are likely deficient in some or all of the other seven integrities.
  2. The entrepreneur is a mono-professional. The saying “Birds of a feather flock together” applies here. For example, attorneys get together with other attorneys to form a business such as a law practice. Or techies get together with other techies to form a web company. Again, they may be smart professionals, but they will lack professional strength at the other seven integrities.
  3. The entrepreneur lacks a sense of mission. You will recall that, among the Seven Intelligences, emotional intelligence and a sense of mission is essential in carrying an entrepreneur through the ups and downs of starting a business.

Generosity is the key to success

Contrary to popular belief, many of the most successful entrepreneurs are generous. If you look at the B-I Triangle, you will see that to start a successful business, a B-quadrant entrepreneur must provide jobs.

Most students come out of school looking for jobs. They need a job because schools don’t teach students how to satisfy one of Maslow’s basic needs, the need for Safety. That is why most “A” students work for “C” students.

Building the eight integrities takes financial education

Without financial education, many people are financially desperate, needy, and greedy. Financial education, the kind of financial education that transforms both the mind and spirit, opens our eyes to other points of view.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must become a generalist who hires specialists. Begin today learning about all eight integrities in the B-I Triangle and building relationships with those that specialize in each.

Most of all, focus on building your mission and finding specialists who are inspired by that mission. Being an entrepreneur is above all being generous. If you build a great company, you create great jobs for talented people, and you will solve problems for your customers and clients.

Don't hesitate. Join our free, finanicial education community here to learn more about what it takes to implement the eight integrities of the B-I Triangle.

Original publish date: July 30, 2013

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