Recently, a famous entrepreneur in the transformation industry apparently advised a room full of beginning and “wanna-be” entrepreneurs that one of the secrets to business success is to “burn it all down.”
I wasn’t personally in the room, but even if it didn’t happen precisely the way it was described to me, there are a few good teaching points I think are worth talking about.
1. There is a time and place to share your most vulnerable story—and that time is NOT when the walls are crashing down on you.
Look, being an entrepreneur is really, really tough. It’s going to trigger you. It’s going to push your buttons. You’re going to fail. You’re going to fall down.
And, sometimes, the pit you find yourself in is so deep and so dark, the only possible way out you can see is to burn everything down.
I get it. Every single successful entrepreneur I know has contemplated burning it all down at some point, and a good many of them actually have (or did a pretty significant pivot).
As you can imagine, being in this place can wreak havoc on your emotions, which is why if you talk about it when you’re in the middle of it, you run the risk of sounding massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving.
(And, let’s be honest—you likely sound massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving because in that moment, you ARE. And it’s okay. It’s normal. You’re in a tremendously difficult time. Be gentle with yourself.)
The time to share is AFTER. After you’ve done the work, felt the feelings, and actually have some sort of positive resolution to share.
If you don’t have a positive resolution yet, that likely means it’s not time to share.
2. There’s more than one way to “burn it down.”
Some entrepreneurs are able to use their current business as fuel for a new one. Some simply burn it down and walk away. Some even take others down with them.
In the heat of the moment, you may decide you don’t care what happens to anyone else–you just want out. I get it. But, again, before you destroy what you worked so hard to build, I’d encourage you to take a moment and consider how it will affect others, such as:
• Your team. They’re depending on you financially. Are you still paying them like you promised? Are you able to bring them with you, if you begin traveling a new path? And, if not, are you giving them enough of a heads up, so they can find other arrangements?
• Your clients. They’re depending on you, too. Are you leaving them in a lurch, or are you honoring your commitment to them?
• Your past clients, customers, and buyers (and really anyone who believed in your message, teaching, and training). Are you now telling them everything you taught was a sham? Or are you still standing behind the essence of your message (as it may just be changing form)?
• Your commitments. Are you honoring your commitments and doing what you can to gracefully transition, or are you simply walking away, promises be damned? (Note—this includes promises you’ve made to yourself, as well as to others.)
It may be you’re at a point where you simply don’t care anymore. But if you do, I highly encourage you to take a moment to pause and breathe and think about what you’re doing.
Like I said earlier, there are lots of ways to burn down your business, and how you do it says a lot about your character.
3. If you find yourself trapped in a pit, there is likely a deeper reason.
You typically don’t get stuck in pits unless something else is going on.
For instance, you may have heard the saying “breakdown to breakthrough”—in many cases, the deeper and darker the pit, the bigger the breakthrough. Or maybe the pit is supposed to be showing you something else … something that’s not even related to your business.
In fact, a lot of times, even if you feel like burning down your business, that actually isn’t the right solution.
It’s normal to think about burning down your biz every now and then. But, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
In Part 2, I’m going to dig into some other deeper issues that may be lurking underneath your desire to burn it all down.
And, if you’d like to dig into more mindset issues that may be holding you back from the business success you’re dreaming about, check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book. You can grab your copy here.