How to Plan for Success in Business and Life

Think about your next steps before you have to take them

New Report: Small Businesses Creating Jobs, Giving Back and Growing Local Economy
(Image: Thinkstock)

As entrepreneurs, we all want to be a success and swing for the fences. Sometimes we hit a grand slam, sometimes it’s a single or a double, and sometimes, we strike out. In fact, the only guarantee is that there is none. You read about $40 billion valuations, SnapChat turning down obscene amounts of money from Facebook, and we romanticize and daydream about the future. But there is one part of being an entrepreneur that – win, lose or draw – one day we will all have to face. We probably don’t think about all too often: the transition.

In five years, are you likely to still be doing what you are doing now? More often than not, there is usually a transition at some point, and in that transition, we will need to look toward the future, even though our lives have been very invested in whatever we’ve done before. But how do we navigate change and set ourselves up for success?

[Related: Sheryl Lee Ralph Spills the Secrets of Having a Long and Successful Career]

I recently brought this question to a friend of mine, David Garrity of GVA Research LLC, who advises and invests in companies and has seen his share of success. But more importantly, he always finds that next great thing for his career when it is time to move on. I asked him how he has moved so gracefully between opportunities and always seemed to find success with them. I was expecting some sage words of wisdom that would make it all clear, which I did get (read on). What I wasn’t expecting was a quote from a movie from the bicentennial.

He told me about a movie, “The Gumball Rally,” a 1976 flick about a disparate group of drivers who take part in a secret and illegal cross country race (not unlike what it often feels like to run a company). In one particular scene, an Italian race car driver jumps into the car, and the first thing he does is rip off the rearview mirror. The other man in the car incredulously asks, “Why did you do that?” and he replies with an Italian accent that only the late, great Raul Julia could pull off: “What’s behind me is not important.”

(Continued on next page)

Pages: 1 2