Entrepreneurship: The Chicken and the Pig

There are many ingredients that go into building a company: hard work, emotional fortitude, agility, willingness to take risks, fanatical commitment to driving customer value, ability to execute in the face of ambiguity, and more. But there is one ingredient that often gets overlooked: an ability to will something to happen.

If entrepreneurship is the creation of something from nothing, that process starts with a belief the something can be made to happen. What is often started by the willpower of a single individual, can only expand by surrounding yourself with committed and like-minded people.

I spent an hour of my life this week being told why I couldn’t achieve something as an entrepreneur. I know it was well-meaning advice, and possibly even correct. But if you are convinced you will not achieve something, I am pretty certain you won’t achieve it. However, if you and the people you surround yourself with believe you can achieve a goal, that same willpower has the potential to substantially alter the outcome.

The discussion this week reminded me of the famous story of the chicken and pig (which too often has been associated with Scrum methodology). The one sentence summary goes like this: while both the chicken and pig can participate in your breakfast, the chicken is interested (supplying the eggs), but the pig is committed (supplying the bacon).

My entrepreneurial advice: surround yourself with pigs, and keep as few chickens on your team as possible.

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