Many people look at being an entrepreneur like driving up a narrow dirt road on the side of a steep mountain. The loose dirt road is barely wide enough for all the tires to fit and each turn is filled with unknown dangers and low visibility. The possibility of oncoming traffic forcing you off the road down a thousand foot cliff to your death is a constant thought. If you are not feeling uncertain, uncomfortable, or pressure occasionally; you’re not growing and playing it too safe. This is part of being an entrepreneur. Nothing guaranteed except a chance to win.
These types of emotions will happen. They shouldn’t happen to the point of crippling you or stopping you from moving forward. The emotions are like road markers to let you know that you are growing and pushing forward. Trying to completely avoid what’s uncomfortable will keep you where you are. In order to rise to a level you have never been you must strengthen the muscles you’ve been using or use new ones. If your current level of abilities and talents were enough to take you where you want to go, you would already be there. They are not. That is why we must increase our abilities, our mental toughness and skills.
We cannot change the laws of nature. If we try to break them, we’re usually the only thing that gets broken. It doesn’t matter rather we know them or believe them. If you know nothing about the law of gravity it will still pull you to the earth. You can choose not to believe the laws of gravity. Step off a cliff you will still go down. No matter how much you hope, wish, or pray to float in the air. If you know nothing about the laws of business, but you conduct yourself instinctively within the success principles you will still succeed and if you don’t will fail. In today’s world of technology and available information there has never been so much information available to us. You can find information on just about any subject you can think of. So there is no excuse for not knowing.
Although the road of the entrepreneur is narrow and may appear scary. The fear can be minimized or even eliminated if you increase what I refer to as your KUSA level. What is a KUSA Level? The acronym KUSA is Knowledge, Understanding, Skills, and Action. Most fear comes from the unknown. Once we increase our Knowledge about something the fear of it begins to decrease or leave completely. Once we acquire knowledge we now can begin to understand. Understanding allows us to create solutions and preventions. To help explain KUSA levels let’s use learning a foreign language as an example.
K – Knowledge
I view knowledge as having the ability to recognize a foreign language, Spanish, German, Chinese, but not how to read, speak or understand it. You know it’s a different language. You know you can’t understand it. You know you can’t read or speak it. This phase is important because you are able to recognize what you don’t know. Unfortunately in business failing entrepreneurs fail because they don’t know until it’s too late. They move from crises to crises never gaining knowledge on why the problems keep happening. For those who are able to recognize early what they don’t know and seek advise and solutions are able to navigate the winding narrow road much easier.
U – Understanding
Understanding is having the ability to interpret the knowledge you are getting. This would be recognizing some of the words of the foreign language. Not be fluent just yet, but able to interpret the meaning of the words as they relate to something you are familiar with. This is what I call starting to make it your own. This were an entrepreneur starts getting the “Aha” moments and things starts making sense. Not just about the product or service, but also the accounting, marketing, and sales parts of the business. The more you understand, the more knowledge you desire have.
S – Skill
Skill would be the ability to take that knowledge and understanding, test it in real world applications and make corrections based on the feedback you’d get. As you continue to test and correct your skill level and understanding increases. This would be trying to use the foreign language to speak, read, write or translate. The more you practice the more you improve. As entrepreneurs we have to test and adjust our marketing plans, our pricing plans and all aspects of our business until it we’re getting the results we want.
A – Action
Action would be to avoid procrastination and complacency. Taking constant, purposed, and deliberate action leads to mastery. In the case of the foreign language we reach fluency. In the case of business we reach niche market dominance. Our actions must continue with the purpose of increasing our skills, understanding our customers, and gaining knowledge of what they want. We must not sit on what we have learned. We must constantly validate our policies, plans and directions because the tastes and needs of our customers changes over time.
As entrepreneurs we must spend time increasing our knowledge about our Industry, product/service, and our customer. This knowledge allows us to increase our understanding. An increase in understanding allows us to develop skills to take actions that leads to our ultimate success. This increase in our KUSA level acts like guardrails on that narrow road making it safer to travel. It also makes the road a little wider so we can increase our speed along the way.
(Knowledge + Understanding + Skill) X Action = SUCCESS
Please Subscribe. If you have any comments, questions or a topic you would like for me discuss, please leave a comment. I will get back to you and possibly feature your comment in a future post.
Dewong Lucas, Sr.