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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baby Boomer Entrepreneur, Would You Let Your New Business Play In Traffic?

If you had a new puppy, how would you protect it? Would you let it play in your front yard alone? If there is a 95% chance that it would get killed within a year if you just let it do what it wants, would you let it run free?

If you met the love of your life and decided to get married, would you forget to tell them every day that you love them? Suppose research proved that 95% of people who don't tell their spouses every day that they love them have a divorce within a year? Wouldn't you take action to protect your relationship?

When your child gets big enough to play outside, would you let it play in the street if there is a 95% probability that it would get hit by a car within a year?

These are the same odds that a baby boomer entrepreneur faces, that something will hurt or kill her business within the first year, with a 95 % certainty. This is true for all entrepreneurs, from baby boomer entrepreneurs through Gen -Y. I suspect that it even applies to kids with lemonade stands, but I haven't seen the research.

What we can see in the research is staggering. In the United States alone, a business started today has a 95% probability of not surviving for twelve months. Next month 500,000 businesses started across America will produce that same result. And next month another 500,000 businesses will have the same fate...and then the next month...until six million businesses are started in the year. And every January 1st a new year starts the cycle all over again. If you knew this, wouldn't you do something different to make sure your business is among those that survive?

When you have a child, you want them to learn to walk, go to school, graduate , and eventually become a responsible adult contributing to the world. Though you have the lofty vision of their life, you first immediate goal is to keep them alive until their first birthday. As they grow, you will protect them from the new set of age appropriate set of dangers.

If we know businesses have a 95% infant mortality rate, why do we wrap our beloved new born businesses in a baby blanket, set it in a basket in the street and ignore the traffic? Would YOU do that and expect to be a successful baby boomer entrepreneur?


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