A lonely outpost somewhere in central Afghanistan in 1897. Only 21 soldiers came to defend it. An army of more than 10,000 men suddenly besieged. What do you think happened next? Legend has it that these 21 people showed amazing courage in the face of overwhelming difficulties and defeated 600 enemies. The Battle of Saragrahi is known as the last bravest battle in history.
Fast forward to 2010. The team of three Celsee Inc. co-founders wanted to participate in the world’s largest business planning competition, Accelerate Michigan, but they couldn’t afford tickets, so they volunteered. A year later, they were back in the same game, not just to survive the cash crisis, but to gain credibility in an ecosystem that doesn’t value newcomers. They defeated 300 companies from all over the world and won a $500,000 prize.
Two different stories and two different results have witnessed the performance of human beings under extraordinary pressure; the life or death situation, the literal first, and the metaphorical second. In the business world, this concept is called “a foolproof strategy.”
Most modern business plans are based on risk mitigation. However, entrepreneurs are like warriors on the battlefield. Sometimes they have to take risks, turn them into opportunities, and win in the face of huge obstacles. This strategy is not a secret weapon; it should not be interpreted as a reckless leap into the unknown. In fact, to win through this strategy, you must be meticulous in the pursuit of planning and execution.
Here are five keys to mastering this strategy. Find your goal
Fighting for a positive goal or a cause greater than yourself can make you climb higher. In fact, science shows that goal-driven people are 50% more likely to become leaders and 42% more satisfied with their own happiness. In Celsee’s case, the drive to develop technology that could save cancer patients led to victory. So entrepreneurs, when you find yourself in an insurmountable situation, go back to your original vision and remember your goals. This deep introspection will give you the courage to accept any challenge.
Work with the Team
Most of us must be surprised by the story of a fictional superhero who swoops down to save the world. But how can ordinary people like you and me achieve heroic victories in the real world? Of course, why use the power of the team! The three co-founders of
Celsee are all new entrepreneurs. However, they worked together to pour their expertise into their new CEO, their representative in the competition. Because the team lives and breathes a common goal, they work harder and smarter together. The secret of Celsee’s victory is a team and a goal. Remember, most real-life wars are won by well-organized military operations, not by one person.
Seeing the target only
In an ancient Indian story, a teacher tests the archery skills of his students. The objective was to hit a bird perched in a tree a few meters away in the eye. When the archer students were in place, he asked each of them what they saw in front of them one by one. The answer ranges from a clear blue sky to see a bird’s nest in a tree and the color of the bird. The teacher only fired one. When asked, the student who was focused and ready to shoot said that he only saw the eyes of the birds. The teacher asked again and the student confirmed again. As soon as he let it shoot, the arrow perfectly pierced the bird’s eye. When you use a no-loss strategy, there is no room for distraction.
Overcome your fears
Ask any strategist in this world. They will tell you that all risk mitigation measures can be taken in the planning and execution steps. However, in the case of too many variables, no one can guarantee the outcome of the venture. When the external environment is unpredictable and fraught with danger, who do you trust? Now is the best time to take advantage of internal resources. Most of the people in this world are trapped in the fear of failure.
Since trying new things means they may fail, they don’t try at all. So what makes entrepreneurs different? Don’t we worry about failure? The truth is that entrepreneurs hate failure as much as everyone else in this world. But what sets us apart is that we overcome the fear of failure. We don’t like failure, but we refuse to bow to failure. When forced to the corner, by overcoming the innate fear of failure, adopt a strategy of nothing. Know that when you have nothing to lose, nothing can stop you.
Entrepreneurs, look at the world. The world has never needed innovators and change agents to show a better future. The odds are terrible. More than 90% of startups have failed. But put your fears aside and take a risk. Dare to use “nothing” and be happy to know that you have done a noble thing, regardless of the consequences. Humans will always regard you as one of the legends, just like the 21 soldiers in the Battle of Saragrahi.
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