Survival: More Important Than Success Albena Neyra | June 11, 2019 small local business surviving and being happy

Survival is more important than success for a business. Survival means not going bankrupt. Success is personal – it could mean anything.

Uber-level “success” is not for everyone. Not everyone wants to be a full-time CEO with more debt than you can measure.

Success means different things for different people. Becoming a billion-dollar business isn’t everything. Some businesses stay small on purpose, just because they don’t want to add unnecessary stress to their lives.

Raising multiple rounds of investment isn’t success for everyone either. Besides, you’d be diluting your company and entering an endless loop of investment-burn-investment-burn and never be profitable. And if you’re not profitable, then what’s the point? Businesses were invented to make money for their owners.

Survival is the mother of success.

If you have a vision, you have direction.

If you don’t know how to reach that vision, then you might enrol to a short course on entrepreneurship. If you’re dedicated to your business, you’ll study every day before work and feel empowered. But you’ll never know if it will help you when you’ve graduated.

So that’s why you probably didn’t opt for education and instead decided to hustle to make short term decisions that will bring you revenue, but you never know how close you’re getting to your vision.

This short termism might work, but you’ll never know where you’re heading. It’s also dangerous if you have employees who depend on the salary you’re paying them to afford their rent.

Part of the experimentation and learning process that goes into de-risking your venture is having a clear set of assumptions. It’s the Lean Startup way. Here’s an article on how to map that out at first.

In the financial life of your company, making those short-term decisions only thinking about profit might trip you over. Profit doesn’t necessarily mean you have good cash flow. A single month with bad cash flow and you might have to let go of your key employees. Then everything slows down and that vision gets even harder to reach. Even worse, you could go bankrupt.

If your business goes bankrupt before you reach your vision, it’s game over.

So your first priority should be survival. So focus on survival first, and then on success (whatever that means..).

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We made the content even better and put it all in Module 1: The Foundation from our interactive online course Finance for Business Survival.

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