What’s Your Theme Song?

As a fan of NBC’s The Voice, I appreciate that one benefit of the show is the exposure to new music genres and songs that I’ve never heard. I’ve been prompted to purchase several of them, so it’s an effective business model, and last year I discovered a song that resonated with me as an entrepreneur.  I wondered, “could this be the entrepreneur’s theme song?”

The song “Anyway”, written by Martina McBride, Brad Warren, and Brett Warren, was performed by Billy Gilman. The minute I heard it, I bought it. I was hooked from the very first verse:

“You can spend your whole life buildin'
Somethin' from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway”

In The Startup Survivor I refer to entrepreneurship as “building something from nothing”, and that’s my view of the process. Often with little more than an idea, an entrepreneur will pour her heart and soul and often every dollar she can scrounge into bringing a vision to life. Even the most optimistic (and naïve) entrepreneurs understand that failure is a very real possibility, but they build it anyway.

As I listened to Billy’s beautiful rendition of the song, I found the second verse just as moving and in sync with my view of entrepreneurship:

“You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway”

In the introduction of my book, I write “Inside every entrepreneur is a dreamer – someone who sees what is and imagines what can be.” I also stress that “…dreams do come true, but wishes don’t. The difference is focus, effort and execution.”  Here too, there’s no escaping that the odds are stacked against successfully launching a new venture, but entrepreneurs dream it anyway.

The chorus of the song made a final, fundamental, point:

“God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway”

Your startup isn’t likely to turn out like you think it should. There will be chaos. There will be challenges you can’t begin to imagine (some I pray you never encounter), but if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll do it anyway.

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