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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • May 10, 2020
  • minute read

Are you Part of the One Percent? 

Only around one percent of all new ventures launched as a response to our current economic crisis will not just survive, but thrive.

But hey - I'm a rabid entrepreneur, and that 1% is exactly the group of people I was built to support.

So if you, a friend or family member, or a colleague, is thinking of launching their own new venture, watch today's video where I explain how you can tell if you have what it takes to be part of that elusive one percent:

Please leave me your questions and observations in the comments below!

Running time: 06' 07"     Don't forget to leave your comments below!

Read Video Transcript

We talked in the last video about the fact that for the vast

majority of people the idea of launching a new venture as

a strategy to respond to the economic aspects of our current

crisis was probably not a good one.

And the main reason you'll recall is because of all new ventures,

fewer than 20% get past the first three years.

What we didn't get around to talking about is what happens

to even that 20%. And you know, the truth is that of those one-in-five

new ventures that do make it, less than 20% of them

ever actually employ even one more person. To put it another

way, in any given year between 93 and 96 percent of all organizations,

whether for-profit or not-for-profit, don't have any employees -

they just provide what is usually a less-than-market salary

for the founder - and that's great, but it's hardly 'thriving'.

And if we were to put it another way, it means that it's

likely that of all of the new ventures that get started during

this current economic and health crisis that we're facing,

less than 1% are going to thrive in the end - employ people,

grow, achieve whatever it is that the founder wants from it.

But you know what?

I'm an avid entrepreneur.

I started as a serial entrepreneur. Both on my own and with

other people I launched over 40 businesses before I was 35,

and you know, my heart is with that one percent.

It's that 1% that I live to work with - to assist and

help as best I can. So I want to talk a little bit

about what it takes to be in that 1%. So have you or someone

in your family, or a friend or a colleague who is thinking of

- in spite of all of the odds - you're thinking of launching

something new - how do you know you've got what it takes?

And I want to tell you, because I know. Because I'm one of

those people, and I work with those people

and it's absolutely in my bones. I want to define it first

of all by telling you what it's not. The single biggest error

people make is in thinking that what it takes to succeed

in launching a new venture (whether it's a for-profit or a

cause-based not-for-profit) is passion. That's what we're always told -

you've got to have passion for what you do. And I've got to tell

you something: that is not correct.

In fact, it's worse. Too much passion for what you're doing

can almost guarantee that you'll fail,

because of two things. One: rather than listen to the market

that you're there to serve, you get obsessed about your own

vision for this thing and remain inflexible and so eventually you

don't have a successful venture, or [Two:] you get so obsessed with

'polishing the apple'

so to speak - making this thing you're passionate about better

and better and better - that you never get around to actually launching

anything. The thing that makes founders successful

Is an overwhelming need for freedom and autonomy. It comes top

of every single survey.

The number one reason people launch new ventures is to get

freedom and autonomy to do things their way.

You know one of the definitions of an entrepreneur that I

really love is that it's somebody who will stop working

40 hours a week for somebody else to work 80 hours a week

for themselves.

And there's a lot of truth in that.

The absolute best combination you can get is a lot of that

drive for freedom and autonomy and some passion - that you

do care about what it is that's going to be your product

or your service (or your offering if it's a not-for-profit),

but you're not leading with that.

Let me explain what I mean. My trainer and I have been working

on how to do workouts virtually over FaceTime and we've developed

a whole new vocabulary and one of the things that she'll

say to me a lot is 'this is 80/20' or 'this is 90/10' and what

she means by that is the weight distribution of my legs.

So for this exercise, I've got to have 90% of my weight on

my front leg and 10 percent on the back or 80% of the front leg

and 20% in the back.

And that's the ratio you want

between a desire and a drive for autonomy and passion for your

product your service or your offering. It's somewhere between

80 to 90 % that drive for freedom and autonomy and 10

to 20% passion for the thing you're going to do.

And if you can combine that ratio, you stand a great chance

of being part of the 1%. And I hope that a lot of the stuff

that you're going to get from us over

the next few months is going to help you do that, because

those are the people I want to support as we exit this current

crisis that we're in. I'm Les McKeown, please just scroll down

leave me some comments.

And let's have a great week.

Other posts in this series
Leading From 5000 Feet
Are you Part of the One Percent?


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  1. Hi Les, this is a very informative one. It is enlightening to learn from your video cast that the desire for freedom and autonomy trumps the singularity of passion-infused newly starting ventures.
    As the proof of desire is pursuit, it takes true desire for freedom and autonomy beyond mere passion to quit a 40-hour per week employment to work 80-hour per week on a personal enterprise.
    And this can only be possible when one has not only a short-term passion for building a great venture that solves real problems; but much more also; a long-term focus on the autonomy and freedom that comes with the success of building such a great venture.


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