When a competitive swimmer pushes away from the wall of the pool, a NASA rocket blasts off for the moon, or an entrepreneur pushes out of bed at the crack of dawn, that’s Newton’s third law in action.
More simply put, when you push on something, it’s going to push back.
Entrepreneurship is all about the push — entrepreneurs pushing forward and all the forces that contribute to the enormous odds against a startup’s success pushing back.
Entrepreneurs break new ground, discover new technologies and put their discoveries to work in ways people haven’t thought of before.
The wise entrepreneur isn’t surprised. Instead, like the Olympic swimmer or a jet engine, she uses the push back to propel her in the direction she wants to go.
Let’s say you’re gearing up to raise equity capital, but even interested angel investors who take your calls think it’s too early to write checks. They want you to have more beta customers.
Use that push back to gain referrals to potential customers.
Show those angels your list of potential early adopters for your solution. Ask them if they have ever done business with any of those companies as a supplier or a customer. If they have contacts, will they make a phone call or an email introduction? Do they know anyone who might be a business to partner already to the firms you hope to serve? If not, would they have any friends who might have contacts there?
Or, suppose you need the advice and perspective of a senior technical person. The person you want to hire believes in your company, but turns you down. He can’t afford to work for what you can afford to pay.
Use that push back to gain that technology expert’s agreement to serve on your advisory board. Keep his heart in the game until you can afford to pay for his head.
Or, perhaps developing a social media strategy is a key element of your business plan, but the quotes you received from firms in the field knocked you back on your heels.
Use that push back to create a business arrangement that’s about more than money. Tell them you want to do business, but can’t pay their rates. Offer to be a reference site; volunteer to contribute to a white paper. Ask those providers if they could refer past interns who might be looking for work. Remind them of the graffiti artist who painted the Facebook’s first offices in return for stock and now is a multi-millionaire.
Keep in mind Newton No. 3 when you are in the swirl of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and be mindful of ways to use the push back of external forces to create momentum for your company.