Break on through to…your next breakthrough

You’ve had your first big breakthrough? High-fives all around!

A breakthrough in your business is the fuel in your tank. It’s what keeps you going when you want to toss in the towel. The breakthrough is the moment when you realize you’re NOT crazy.

It’s the reward that justifies all the hard work you’ve done – and the energy pellet for all the hard work still to come.

After months of trial and error, of heading back to the drawing board to iterate a better mousetrap (or whatever it is you’ve dreamed up), of late nights and false starts, dead ends and frustration, you’ve done it.

Congratulations! ...Now get back to work.

The first thing you need to know about breakthroughs is you can’t rest on them. While the first one is thrilling – maybe you’ve secured a big client, broke into a new market, sold your first prototype or landed an order for 100 units – remember, it won’t be the only one.

Breakthroughs are cyclical, just like every part of the business cycle. So now you need to work towards your next breakthrough.

But first, a quick tip: don’t make the mistake of thinking breakthroughs only come in the form of dollars. I recently got invited to a couple of big meetings, rooms I’ve been trying to get into for years. That was a real breakthrough for me and my business.

Here’s the other thing I know for sure: breakthroughs are not mystical creatures that magically appear. They’re not unicorns. They are the predictably unpredictable result of putting the time in. In other words, breakthroughs are earned. Like a farmer’s harvest at the end of the growing season, breakthroughs are the fruits of your labor.

You probably noticed your breakthrough didn’t come exactly in the form you hoped or planned for?

As Ash Maurya, author of ‘Running Lean’ and the Lean Canvas creator, says, breakthroughs are less about luck and more about a rigorous search.

“The reason the hockey-stick trajectory has a long portion in the beginning is not because the founders are lazy and not working hard,” he blogs, “but because before you can find a business model that works, you have to go through lots of stuff that doesn’t.”

Essentially breakthrough insights are often hidden within failed experiments. Rather than proving you right, they are proof that you had the tenacity to ask ‘why?’ when things went awry.

Ash – and I – do not want you to be afraid of failure.

Yeah, I know, easier said than done. But as a young entrepreneur this is one of the most important attitudes you can cultivate. Because it is only through failure that you will come up with ideas that are better than your first one.

It is only then you can break on through.


Talk Soon!

The YEC Team