When coaching entrepreneurs I will often hear them talk of creating an ‘exit strategy’. Put simply, an exit strategy is simply a plan to sell the business, or to at least have a ‘break point’ where they can walk away if they have to. And from a logical perspective this might not seem like a bad idea. Why not plan for success, or at least have a number in mind that would trigger a sale or closure?
In my experience, however, the success of any endeavor is actually diminished by having an exit in mind. First, you are counting money that does not exist. This makes you complacent. Second, you are starting something with ‘leaving’ in mind, which causes you to go ‘half in’. It is like getting married with divorce in mind! Third, you tend to focus on the monetary aspect only. Businesses or projects become ‘great’ because they are meaningful and fun! Throughout history most creations of lasting significance were completed not for money, but for the sheer beauty of creation itself. Last, an exit strategy is based in fear…and fear is a diminishing emotion. We think of an exit because we want to know that if we don’t like it we can always leave. We cease to work for fun, and instead work for some future where we don’t have to work. This is pure fear.
If you are embarking on some great project, do it because you want to create! The ‘exit’, if it is to come, will appear naturally and at the right time. You don’t need to plan for it, and in fact will hurt your prospects if you do. And keep in mind that if you build something great, it will be inherently valuable and people will likely want to buy it. Even if it is not valuable in a monetary sense, your joy in creation will make it worthwhile anyway.
Stay in the moment, and look for the love in what you do. Be excited to create, and avoid looking backward or forward. Your power lies in your ability to act moment by moment and with clear intent. Your spirit is the driving force of all creation, and when you commit today to something powerful you access that part of you that is unstoppable!
Burn the boats, intend success, and don’t save anything for the swim back!