goal

Change the Plan, Not the Goal

By Paul Sarvadi

Entrepreneurs start with an exciting genesis of an idea and an uncontrollable urge to see their idea grow into a viable, healthy project. The goal is the tantalizing prospect that their concept will make a difference, change the world, be profitable.

 As with all journeys, however, obstacles will surely arise. To be successful, entrepreneurs must have strong faith in their own capabilities and the idea itself, and they have to be willing to meet problems head-on. To do otherwise can mean the failure of the company and the loss of a great idea. What are these problems? They come from distractions, competition, regulators, economic challenges.

 Regardless, instead of avoiding the issue or abandoning the venture, be proactive.

  • Acknowledge that the problem exists.
  •  Examine the obstacle. Why did it happen? What is the impact if it continues?
  • Communicate. Communication is essential when a business is facing challenges. Involve your leadership team and have them reach out to relevant team members. Your employees may have known about the issue for a while as they are closer to the product. They may have thoughtful insights as to how to address the situation. Be open to their ideas on how to address the problem.
  • Learn from the problem. Change the circumstances that lead to the issue and move ahead.
  • Realize that sometimes the solution to your problem may involve luck as much as hard work.
  • Understand as you address one challenge that another will surely come along and be ready to meet that one as well.

I have had to use these concepts many times both personally and professionally. On the personal front, I recently was honored to co-host the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in Scotland. My brothers and I bought the club in the early 2000s with the dream of hosting a worldwide conference. In 2008, the global financial crisis derailed that dream. However, instead of giving up, we made adjustments to our plan and waited for a new opportunity. The investments we made to the property paid off and this year we were proud to host the Open for both the PGA and LPGA Tours.

 Professionally, I co-founded Insperity, an HR Services company, in 1986. Today we generate revenues over $3.8 billion per year. Over time, we have faced many obstacles, some of which seemed insurmountable. Early on, after a period of steady growth, we suddenly needed a sizeable cash infusion. Without it, we could not meet our contractual obligation to our clients and might have had to close our doors. We worked tirelessly in seeking that capital, but astonishingly, our financing opportunities fell through one after another. We continued to make adjustments and seek the funding we needed. At the eleventh hour, a friend of one of our management team members walked through our door unexpectedly and said he wanted some financial advice. He said he had received a large settlement and wanted to make an investment in Insperity and wanted to hear our thoughts! That capital met our needs and helped us to grow into the company we are today.

 So as you launch your next venture with excitement and conviction, be prepared to meet your challenges head-on and be open to unexpected opportunities.

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