Relationships that entrepreneurs have with their business ventures are much like the early stages of falling in love: those heady days of being consumed and obsessed. You cannot get that person out of your mind; the best part is you don’t want to. Enamored, you spend every waking second planning how to seduce and maintain your hold on your object of desire. It can be stressful, but it’s a great kind of stress. You are at the peak of your creativity: innovate, stand out, and be unique. You’re buffed, you’re on your A game, and in my son’s words “you present the very best version of yourself.” This is the great fantasy, or honeymoon phase. When it comes to your idea, you are all-knowing, all-powerful, and feel emboldened to conquer the universe. And of course you more than just believe, you are absolutely convinced your product or business venture will be transformative.
Similar to the early days of romance, you are in your bubble, your business bubble. You tweet, instagram and snapshot all the sexy little angles of your soon-to-be business launch. It’s shiny, new, novel, and everybody’s gotta have it.
Eventually you emerge for oxygen and saunter into the public realm. So now what do you do? You have 2 choices. If you stay in your bubble, you will only temporarily shield yourself from the inevitable liabilities. You will be blind to the flaws in your product or business plan. However, if you wisely emerge and place yourself under the public glare, scrutiny will follow. Gathering opinions and vetting your peers and industry experts can quickly take your myopic view of your new idea, and offer up unforeseen challenges.
Everybody believes his or her idea is the most strikingly remarkable. That wonderful idea is tweeted and re-tweeted countless times. But now you have to endure extensive due diligence and a rigorous process. It’s complex and it can be painstaking; it requires you to awake from your dream-like state. You will learn a lot and you will be humbled. Much like a romantic relationship, it’s easy at the beginning, as many are skilled at the art of seduction, but then comes the heavy lifting. Staying in for the long haul and listening to cold hard realities so that you can best position your business for success means an end to the honeymoon stage. Like with any romantic relationship, the road to business success will be bumpy, and along your journey you will likely fall in and out of love far too many times than you can count. But if you stay the course, the payout will be sweet.