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Friday, August 01, 2014

Seal Entrepreneur Series - Part 2 Serial Entrepreneurs are part Navy Seal for Business Survival

Anyone who has gone on any type of long trek (or even a long, multi-leg international flight) knows that without water and food, you can’t get very far.   

You will first get thirsty, then hungry, then you will get weak and eventually you will faint.  

The amount of time that it takes to go from thirsty to fainting will vary depending on the external conditions and how fit you are to begin with.

If you are 75 pounds overweight, whether or not it is hot out, if you walk any distance without water and food, you will sweat.  Profusely.   Then you will get REALLY thirsty, because your body is programmed to replace what it has lost. Even though you shouldn’t need food, because of the stored fat you are carrying, your body is used to a certain amount of intake and you will become faint without it. 

If you are a couch potato or a computer geek (e.g. don’t get any regular exercise), it won’t matter if you are overweight or not, you will find it hard to breathe and you will get thirsty and hungry more quickly than someone who has trained.

If you are a trained Navy Seal, going without water and food for prolonged periods of time is simply a part of your training, so it would take extreme conditions (which are also a part of your training) to get you to faint.  But eventually everyone does. 

In business, profit is our water and our food.  We can get it by selling more than we spend to operate the company or we can borrow it or get investment.  But we can’t operate for long without it. 

If you are have worked for a large company for a long time and then go out on your own, you are like the person that is 75 pounds overweight.  You are used to resources being there and paychecks magically appearing every two weeks, or on the 1st and the 15th.  If you haven’t planned properly, you won’t have food and water (e.g. profits) for awhile. 

If you have been out on your own for awhile, but not really working very hard at it or working hard but not seeing growth or profitability, you may last longer than the person that came out of the corporate world, but you still may not have the staying power to make it until you turn a profit.

The serial entrepreneur is like a Navy Seal.  Usually their current venture is not their first and they have already survived thirst and hunger and perhaps even starvation and the death of their a business.   They know how to bootstrap (and perhaps have even written the book, literally).  They can get an amazing things done with very little resources and can get an astounding amount done without revenues of any kind.  They can and often do operate for a long time without profits, scraping together resources and volunteer assistance to build products and to do marketing.

They often wear every hat on the org chart until they can afford to bring in the next “Seal”.  These folks build a company from the top down, hiring people to take off one or more of the many hats that they routinely wear.  

They are smart about hiring, about spending and about gearing their product or solution to what they hear from their customers.


Investors, you will want to put your money into one of these “seal entrepreneurs”.  

We’ve trained.  We can last longer than most without food and water, but are smart on conserving resources to make certain that we don't faint.  We are in it for the long haul and the outcome matters to us.   We are a good bet. 
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