It seems that the media is capitalizing on Oprah’s statement that if she had to do it all over again, she might not have created the television network OWN.
As an entrepreneur, almost every decision that you make has to be calculated. You have to determine if the risks that you are talking will yield a compensatory reward. For some those rewards are financial while for others it may be less tangible, especially if you operate within the not for profit industry.
Oprah had a vision with OWN and she took a leap of faith to see what would happen. That is how most of us start in business. Market research is great but the numbers can not adequately measure the reception you will receive from the market. You have to take your vision, create a plan and begin to execute.
However, the lesson that we should learn from Orpah is that failure is always possible. You may not fail in terms of the business going bankrupt because hopefully if things start to tread in that direction you will make some smart decisions to minimize your loss but not achieving the pinnacle of success that you envisioned is considered failure in the eyes of many.
I remember last year after hosting the I Want It All! Conference, someone asked me how I was dealing with its failure. The question took me by surprise because even though it had not reached the pinnacle of success that I envisioned during the initial planning, I did not consider it a failure. Many are thinking that Oprah has failed but I don’t and I’m sure she doesn’t either.
There are millions of people out there with ideas but they don’t have the guts to try and then see what will happen. It’s not market research, lack of capital or free time that’s holding them back…. They are afraid to step out on faith and try. In my opinion, Oprah did what I would advise any client to do. She followed her passion, created a plan and when things started to dysfunction, she made tough decisions to keep her ship afloat. What some perceive as failure is really a part of doing business. There are few small business owners that achieve the pinnacle of success that they envision but without ever taking the risk to become a business owner, they are not likely to reap the rewards that also come along with it.
Rather than focus on what others say or think, especially if they are not supporting your product/service; focus on your bottom line and making the smart decisions that will keep your business out of the red ink. You may have to make several changes along the way and some will consider you fickle but stay the course and remember… if it were easy, everyone would do it.