The Mythology of The Spartan Entrepreneur - Part TwoMar 15, 2022
By Dino Tartaglia.
Last month, I discussed The Big Myth.
The Big Myth that would have us believe that entrepreneurs are forged in fire, created by the tortuous challenges that they inevitably encounter on their hero’s journey, eventually, after being brought to the brink of entrepreneurial ‘death’ more than once, emerging victorious to achieve unbridled success.
Yeah, that one.
So, as a newborn entrepreneur, the myth says that you go naked onto The Hill, like the Spartan babes of old, and are left to the ravages of nature, commercialism and Fate.
If you survive, you’re made of the right stuff and can call yourself an ‘Entrepreneur’, and if not…? Well, if not, you belong in the land of the Muggles, even though you really don’t belong there, and you should go back from whence you came, obviously damaged and significantly poorer.
If you’re an ‘Entrepreneur’, and have survived The Test, you may be welcomed with open arms into the Halls of The Brave (also known as Social Media Collectives [such as Facebook Groups] & Networking Clubs).
A whole mythology has built up around this, claiming ‘warrior status’ for those who ‘make it’.
My take on this?
Here’s the reality.
‘Naked’ is NOT smart. Nowhere - I mean NOWHERE - is it written that you have to go naked onto ‘The Hill’ of business. It’s perfectly sensible to wear warm clothing, take provisions, some weaponry (you never know) and a tent. It’s even more sensible to learn how to pitch the tent, so it doesn’t blow over with the first gust of wind. More sensible still to learn to defend yourself against possible danger.
Now, will the wind howl and blow and try to tear your tent down? Most likely.
Will you run out of food and water and need some resourcefulness to stay alive? Quite possibly.
Will you suffer more than one unexpected attack? Almost certainly.
But, how much better do you think you’ll fare if you have ALL of this going in your favour?
Now, let me be crystal clear. If you do this all on your own and do, in fact, ‘make it’, I am in awe of you.
Seriously. That takes some special stuff. But don’t go telling people that “if I can do it, you can do it too”. That’s massively irresponsible, at best, and downright dangerous, at worst.
Stepping into business with the notion that being a little bit ‘cray-cray’ and having to ‘man-up/put on your big girl panties’ and weather what comes to challenge you to ensure you earn your badge of honour is the REAL insanity.
The 5 Steps
To be sustainably successful in business, to truly get closer to What Matters Most to you with any degree of continued certainty, you need to negotiate the 5 Steps to Sustainable Success:
Aligning your passion with a BIG problem you solve
Attracting the right people to your business
Turning those people into customers, & then into raving fans
Leveraging people & resources so that business can achieve more with less of you
Making AND keeping your profits
BUT...there’s a catch.
The 5 Steps form part of a PROCESS, not a model - that’s a significant distinction. Like all processes, to make them work, there are things you’ll need to help you. In this case, there are three things we’ll focus on.
Success Engineers was built on three things to help you acquire and develop. Three things that are at the core of helping all successful people become better, whether in business, Elite sport, Adventure, makes no difference. To be successful, especially if you genuinely want to explore the limits of what’s possible for you, you need the right business:
- Mental Game
And it’s ‘Mental Game’ where our myth comes wholly unstuck. Your Success is Your Responsibility, but…
Can you do this independently, enduring and figuring out every challenge through sheer grit, effort and determination? Sure. IF you’re in that top 5% of those who make it in any endeavour. For the rest of us?
Not. A. Freaking. Chance.
WAY too many challenges, variables and spinning plates. The good news, and the thing that totally blows up The Big Myth, is that your Mental Game can be developed BY DESIGN.
The acquisition of tools and the development of skills are pretty obvious things to do (although not as apparent to as many people as I would like), but the idea that you can develop your character by choosing your challenges and focusing on your growth? That’s a pretty wild concept for most people in business. Yet every Olympian knows this all too well because it’s what they do.
And, as Simon [Hartley, the other half of Success Engineers] tells us in his book, How to Shine, Michelin Starred Chefs, World Class Mountaineers, World Barista Champions - in fact anyone who’s ever asked the question, “If I applied myself, how good COULD I be?” - seeks out these challenges to test that characteristic that they need to strengthen.
At the core of your Mental Game, the set of characteristics that will drive your performance and your ultimate success? Mental Toughness.
There’s a reason we use the term ‘Character-led Business’ at Success Engineers because that’s your ‘engine room’, the thing that will power everything.
The 4 Pillars
Mental Toughness is built on FOUR characteristics, ‘4 Pillars’ as Simon calls them:
Do you need more than this? Of course. But, if you work on these and on developing your Skills, Tools and your overall Mental Game, you’ll make a success out of whatever you turn your hand to.
If you’re a Tolkein fan or at least a fan of the Peter Jackson version of Lord Of The Rings, imagine Frodo Baggins about to cast the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom to signify what we’re discussing here. Much earlier in the story, Boromir tells Frodo that “One does not simply walk into Mordor…” which is home to Mount Doom, because “There is evil there that does not sleep.”
And, at the outset of his journey, Frodo (along with Samwise, his trusted companion) has no idea what he’s really taking on. But, as the weeks and months progress, Frodo gets more clarity, develops more resolve, takes personal responsibility for the Quest, increases both his skill and his capacity to endure. As a result, his tenacity, resilience and, in time, his composure all strengthen.
Frodo is shaped and strengthened by his battles and challenges, for sure.
But it is his directed efforts at preparing himself mentally, physically and emotionally for each challenge, each battle, his courage and his utterly unshakeable determination to do what he set out to do - shouldering his responsibility with utmost tenacity - that cause him to be the hero he becomes. And he doesn’t do this; indeed, he could not do this on his own. He leans on The Fellowship and, especially, his trusted companion, Samwise Gamgee.
We use an expression at Success Engineers that encapsulates the heart of this, “An Entrepreneur Alone is an Entrepreneur at Risk.” You, alone, are responsible for your success. But you should never BE alone.
So, continue to buy into the nonsense of the Spartan Myth, or get trained and developed to be ready for what comes. And understand this: We (or whomever you have to help you) get you ‘battle-ready’. The Challenges make you ‘battle-hardened’.
If you understand THAT difference, the chances are strong that you’re ready to take full advantage of a supportive & effective coaching environment to build an insanely and enduringly successful business and leave those myths and fairy tales, and those who peddle them, behind.
To your inevitable success.
Dino Tartaglia is a former Electronics Engineer, now a businessman, mentor, coach and troubleshooter working to help you, if you’re a coach, consultant, creative or service provider, to Build a Joyful, Dependable Business around Being Brilliant at What You Do.
In his own coaching, and together with world-class coach Simon Hartley, the other half of Success Engineers (their joint business), he helps you to improve your thinking to ask better questions, so that you solve the right problems in your business at the right time, develop your own personal performance as a business owner and get closer to What Matters Most.
Stay connected with news and updates!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason. Ever.