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Adapting

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An important part of the entrepreneurial mindset is being open—and ready—to adapting quickly as things change. Circumstances change, forcing you to adapt, and you have to make that work. That’s business.
Fran Tarkenton exemplified that mindset on the football field. When the play is broken, some give up on it and move on to the next play. But as a scrambler, Tarkenton believed that even if the play was broken, he could find a way to make that play work.
That’s what entrepreneurship is all about, too. You have to keep moving all the time, always moving no matter what. What makes it work is carefully assessing where you are, and where you’re trying to go. When you know those two things, you can look for the next step. It’s not always a straight line from Point A to Point B, though—it meanders this way and that, always scrambling to figure it out, because we don’t always know what’s going to work, what new opportunities we’ll get from a decision.
It’s important to keep playing offense. Sometimes we’re just playing defense—managing, not leading, protecting rather than growing. There’s a big difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. If you’re playing not to lose, then you’re protective of yourself, not taking any risks, and not looking for ways to get better.
If you open yourself up, you have a real chance to grow. Some people don’t want to hear bad news, so they hide from the reality of the situation. You’ve got to look at the facts, be ready to admit the possibility when something is wrong, and learn from it.

Published: February 21, 2014
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