An Entrepreneur’s Theory of Relativity

12 Jun 2007

Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to make a comment under his blog posts or send him a personal message at member nickname, "Rich," here at StartupNation.

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You gotta love Albert Einstein. I’m not sure what he was blessed with more – genius or sense of humor.

For example, check out this quote by him:

When you sit
with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on
a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity. -Albert Einstein


That one’s genius AND funny!

And on the heels of my recent "Moonrise" blog, I got to thinking about a provocative question that CraigL asked. It was something like, "Is your ‘Moonrise’ to be defined by you or by others’ perceptions of your work?"

Thanks for the probing, CraigL. Enter "relativity."

Here’s my answer. Your entrepreneurial success, your level of entrepreneurial success, are all relative. Success can be defined by you and "them," whoever they are. How the conclusion shakes out totally depends on perspective. And the reason why I’m writing today is to make sure you recognize that BOTH perspectives matter.

If you define yourself as successful, but you aren’t perceived that way externally, you’re in a tough spot – the marketplace will not ascribe to you the credibility or kudos you seek or have the positive associations with your brand that they otherwise would.

If "they" define you as successful but you don’t define yourself that way, A)you won’t be a gratified person and B)you won’t radiate the appealing confidence of someone on top of their game.

It’s critical that you establish internal and external definitions for success and that you make sure that you work hard to achieve those definitions. Relatively speaking, it’s important.

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