The hardest part for entrepreneurs is not finding success – they stick to it.
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When we begin our corporate journey, most of us don't see beyond the first deal. We only see what lies ahead. That's not a bad thing. You should focus on making your first business work.
There is always the distraction of new technology, new industries, and new tactics to reach out to consumers. The idea with which you begin your journey is rarely the same that you implement when you reach your destination. You see people thriving in areas like AI and blockchain, and these trends are easy to access too.
The hardest part for entrepreneurs, however, is not finding success – they stick to it. Consumers are changing, technology is changing, our culture is changing. Motorola came up with a great idea and the hottest phone in 2006, and then it was destroyed by the iPhone. It happens.
Related: 5 Traits That Mark True Innovators
In your business life, you have to constantly adapt. There will be no years with ups and downs, but months or even weeks with ups and downs. And just like a good stockbroker would tell you, you need to diversify.
What you should do with success
Spreading your interests once you're successful isn't a sign of distraction. It's smart. You will never be 100 percent successful.
I read about a championship boxer, Yahu Blackwell, last year who brought in his income and invested in everything from Rita's Italian ice cream franchises to technology. Some of my favorite athletes have wasted their earnings, but in this case the focus has been on investing in a future opportunity.
The fact that Yahu began thinking about various ways to create generational wealth early in his fighting career is a reminder that it's never too early to think about your endgame. And you should have an endgame.
Related: Why Every Entrepreneur Must Have an Endgame
Smart generational wealth has always been built on property, whether it's real estate or venture capital. Entrepreneurs are always chasing money. If you have it, be smarter with it – and position yourself on the other side of the equation.
Access to money becomes your greatest asset. You don't have to spend the next 25 years of your career chasing money. It's hard to get out of this mindset, especially if it got you anywhere. But knowing when to change your mindset, just like knowing when to change your business, is what distinguishes good entrepreneurs from great entrepreneurs.
Play it safe so you can take more risks
Risk and risk avoidance are more related than you think. Your life portfolio cannot be one or the other.
Many people want to show their first success. This impulse is completely natural. Whether you're an entrepreneur, an athlete, or an artist, you struggle to be successful. It is natural to want to enjoy this success after years of lean living.
But here's the thing: buying depreciating assets like cars, boats, etc. doesn't help create long-term wealth. More importantly, they actually prevent you from taking risks. Your ability to take financial or business risk is directly related to how long your runway is – how long you can hold on in the event of failure.
It's a simple relationship: the less money you have tied up, the more risks you can take. But not all assets are created equal. Money tied up in a car is money that you cannot get back. Money you invest in real estate is money you can.
Related topics: diversification vs. focused business strategy
That's a good problem. Some of us may never get there, but you should have a plan. The worst place to be as a business owner is a place where you have no idea where to go next. Think of it like a hotel emergency exit plan: it's there when you need it, but most of the time you don't even have to think about it.