You Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em, and Know When to Fold ‘Em

I have often wondered about the mind of the entrepreneur.  What makes them tick?  Do they just “know” when something will work, or is it a process of analysis coupled with optimism?  I recently read one of the latest books by Richard Branson, “Business Stripped Bare”.   In it he describes both the attitude of just doing it with coupled with the concept of making sure the idea is sound.  So apparently, the best entrepreneurs of our age (I certainly consider Richard Branson among the best) use a process of unbridled optimism along with the ability to find the right people to put together the details and turn it into successful businesses.  A  very simplified view granted, but true nonetheless.

So what do you do when you have a great idea, and upon analysis it shows to be not the greatest idea?  Do you keep going anyway, or, in the words of Kenny Rogers, “do you know when to fold ’em”?  If you do fold up shop, does this make you a failure, or does this show the side of you that is able to make the critical judgements based on accurate information and act on those judgements, despite the personal investment you may have?  I believe that the ability to clearly understand what you are doing and admit, that although the idea may have looked good at first blush, if it does not add up under solid analysis you only have a two real courses of action.  One is to either find out if what you want to do can be revised to make it more sound, or two, simply walk away, and concentrate your energy on other endeavours.

I am struggling with this dilemma at the moment, I’ll let you know how it turns out.


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