Most of you have heard some statistic about the high failure rate of new businesses. I admit, those statistics are a bit intimidating. If someone told me that there was a 6 out of 7 chance (I hear that statistic a lot) of my new business failing within the first two years, I’d be considering a different career. What fascinates me most, though, is the implicit assumption by researchers and media alike that these statistics are somehow an outcome of a natural law – that starting a new business has an extremely high level of unmanageable risk and uncertainty. I couldn’t disagree more. My vast anecdotal experience suggests that 4 out of those 6 failures result from poor choices made by the founder – not some unfathomable invisible force, like gravity, set upon us by the earth’s proximity to other large planets.
Entrepreneurship, like art, has very few laws that it must abide by, the least of which is some natural law of failure. There is risk and uncertainty for sure, but most of it can be managed in a way that moves your odds of success from 1/7 to something more like 5/7.