If you are a baseball fan, the term "Striking Out" could bring to mind standing in the batter's block with three swings of the bat, the umpire yelling, "You're Out." It is a disappointing moment for many of us, followed by the embarrassment we failed to hit the ball in front of our friends and family. At that moment, we don't think about the last time we connected with the ball to get on base. Maybe we hit a home run or batted a run-in.
How about striking out on your own for the first time? Maybe it was leaving your mother and father's home for the first time when you went to college or joined the military. Maybe you moved out to have your own place. When I struck out for the first time, it was to join a boat club. At that time, we had the largest fleet of ships in the world, We also had more firepower than any fleet of ships in the world. You may have already guessed it was the US Navy.
Compared to the risk of striking out in baseball or striking out on your own in a new business venture carries a lot greater risk impacting more than a moment of feeling uncomfortable in front of people. A failed business could have consequences lasting for year to come. That's to say nothing of losing your home, friends and possibly ending your marriage. There are many success stories about people striking out in business and becoming successful.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 30% of new businesses fail within the first two years. After researching a little deeper, I discovered that 20% of new business fail within the first year, and by the fifth year, 50% fail. What statistics don't tell you is how many businesses close only to reopen. The housing industry is an excellent example. A downturn in the housing market can cause business owners to close for a short period, only to restart when the market turns up.
If you are thinking of starting your own business, please keep in mind that business owners are the backbone of our economy. Every employee has an employer. In my years in business, I have know many people that have made millions of dollars, lost it, and made it back again. It is the profit of a business that is reinvested by financial institutions spurring our countries economy.
My hat is off to people that have the fortitude to start their own business. If you plan to strike out on your own in business, find something you love to do enough that you want to do it every day. Start in your spare time, if you can. You may also want to learn basic accounting, finance, and calculating a breakeven point. You'll understand your cash flow better. It will increase your changes of success.
So, is it ever okay to strike out? The answer depends on the context of the conversation. When I was a young man, I often thought about starting my own business. For me, that would have meant leaving a well-paying corporate job with good benefits to take a risk on something that might have failed. Overall, there was a fifty-fifty change of success after five years. The things I loved to do were play music and writing. I have done both on the side after completing my MBA.
Now that I've left corporate America, I find myself telling my teammates to strike out. If you think of the baseball reference at the beginning of this blog, that isn't it. In the 10th frame, thee strikes increases their total pin count or raise their score when we're bowling.
Remember that no matter how devastating one event is, it doesn't define who we are, only the moment. I've lost many things precious to me over my lifetime, but I never let them define who I am. We are all much bigger than any moment or an event in our lives, even if it is the worst thing we have ever done or survived.
During the blog, I talked about context. In bowling, three strikes are always good, not matter which frame it is. Bowling is a passion I've discovered in the last couple of years. Whatever your passion is, I hope you pursue it. Even if it doesn't make you financially wealthy or become your business. You will find a richness in life so many people search for but never find. May God bless you in your passion.
While you contemplate your next big adventure, visit www.authorjwmartin.com for more blogs, books, music, and more. On my website, you will discover other passions of mine. Thank you for reading my blog and watch for my next blog.