ProduKtive Blog

X Marks the Spot: How to Be an Entrepreneurial Pirate and Find the Treasure Within You

Sep 19, 2017 | Productivity, The ONE Thing

Opportunities abound. You’re in control of your own destiny. You’re open to risks. When you run down the list of qualifications, you may sound like a pirate, but rest assured, you’re an entrepreneur. Creating and running your own business means treading into unknown waters, and that takes a certain type of fearlessness. As Bill Aulet, managing director for Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship put it, “It takes the spirit of a pirate but the discipline of a Navy SEAL.”

Shiver me timbers. Every entrepreneur has an inner pirate ready to break out, but instead of keeping it locked in Davy Jones’ locker, set it loose and take advantage of the hardy spirit.

Break the mold

Pirates, as we like to think of them, are lawless rule breakers who go beyond the confines of the average business. While we aren’t encouraging you to break any laws, there is something to be said about the ability to find unique ways to thrive.

Entrepreneurship requires the gusto and moxie to do things other people can’t or won’t. While others are content to follow the rules, you’re unafraid to throw the rulebook out the window and search for parts unknown – and that’s good. Starting a business is a tough adventure, one that requires a lot of ingenuity and creativity to navigate. Having the ability to break the mold is part of what gives you an edge because you can see opportunities that other people simply can’t. Embrace that part of yourself, and boldly head toward new horizons.

Take controlled risks

Going into uncharted territory means dealing with one thing: risk. Any time a pirate or adventurer dares to head off to parts unknown, they have to grapple with the perils that accompany doing something new. Sure you may find treasure on a far flung island, but you also may veer off course and end up coming home empty handed. While we can’t completely eliminate risk, we can make smart decisions that mitigate it.

Learning to navigate through the choppy waters of business can lead to extraordinary rewards. The important thing is to make keen, insightful decisions and keep your business prepared to weather any storm. If you make a leap, make sure you have the tools that will bring you back to step one. A pirate is nothing without his ship, so don’t needlessly risk yours.

You are fearless

Entrepreneurship and piracy require a certain level of fearlessness. And fearlessness means knowing you may fail – but doing it anyway. Oftentimes, failure can be an even more useful tool than success because it offers us a chance to learn.

Johannes Haushofer, an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton, created buzz on Twitter last year for posting what he called his “CV of Failures.” It may seem silly, but the important thing to note here is that success is built on failure. And not just one failure – lots of failures.

So, in the words of a wise man here at The ONE Thing: fail often, fail fast, fail forward.

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