As my digital branding and marketing firm, the Borenstein Group, celebrates a special anniversary of being 21 years in business, serving the world’s best B2B brands, it almost feel like the parallel to certified adulthood with all the rights and privileges but also the duties and responsibilities.
To most people I meet, it looks like a tremendous accomplishment that any self-funded American entrepreneurial business, can survive 21 years with all the economic turmoil, changing trends and fads, normal and abnormal employee churn, strategic paradigm shifts, personalities and egos, the need to stay relevant and indispensable, technological evolutions and revolutions, not to mention the constant need to ‘feed the beast’ with capitalization and finance. So when people ask ‘how did you get here’? How did your business survive 21 years when most go out of business within the first three years, I defer them to the top 10 things that I was told for which why my business will FAIL.
Truly, no matter how hard was the challenge or situation, the one motivational element that stuck with me, even after all these years, is what negative people told me when I was just starting out, when Borenstein Group started with the impressive startup budget (NOT) of $300 and up to $2,000 in Extended Visa Convenience Checks (that carry a 5% redemptions fee for ‘free’). Yes, this was the budget, and it was my reality.
So, if you have a boss, colleague, partner, advisor, friend or a local community banker (my favorite group of folks that deserve a special place for being non-supportive), here is what I was repeatedly told almost every year in our 21 years in business.
“I’d like to thank you for keep reminding me why you, the negative and uninspiring people who told me ‘it can’t be done,’ ‘it’s not going to work’ and that ‘you are nuts’ for being my great passionate motivation to succeed, even against all odds. It’s funny how it works, but the greater the insult, the more successful I was determined to become. ”
As Spring comes along, you might want to clean your entrepreneurial brain from statements that you were told at one time or another. None of them truly matters if you have a strategic compass and self-confidence in your abilities.
1. You Are Too Young and Inexperienced.
2. Your Financial Ratios Don’t Align with Industry Standards.
3. You Business is Too Small to Compete Against Bigger Firms.
4. You Suck as a Boss. I Quit.
5. You Have an Accent. You’re Not from around here, are you?
6. You Are Too Expensive.
7. You Are Way Too ‘Out There’.
8. You Are Politically Incorrect.
9. You’re not a ‘Culture Fit’ within our corporation.
10. You will never make it with this ‘whatever it takes’ attitude.
For those of you who are facing a dilemma of expanding into an unfamiliar territory, whether it is within an organization, or in starting your own business, or departing to a new partnership, I say, ‘listen to your gut.’ Your gut may not be right 100% of the time, but as long as you keep true to who you are and what your passion is, results will come. The worst thing that can happen is having lived a life of ‘could have’ or ‘should have’.
About the Author: Mr. Gal Borenstein is the Chief Strategy Officer and CEO of Borenstein Group, a top digital marketing communications firm in the Washington DC metropolitan area that serves clients locally and globally. He is a recognized expert and strategist in digital branding, marketing, social media, advertising, online reputation management and public relations matters. He is the author of the business leadership book, ACTIVATE! How to Power Up Your Brand to Dominate Your Market, Crush Your Competition & Win in the Digital Age, available in premiere bookstores and on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Apple’s iBooks. He can be reached at 703-385-8178 x28 firstname.lastname@example.org.