Entrepreneurs and investors exist in a highly competitive world that does'nt appreciate their work until an IPO or acquisition proves they were right. The ebbs and flows of market interest can be fickle. Staying on track and positive can be a challenge when all your support structures are being tested. Here's what people who are trained to survive do to win in the face of adversity:
When Special Forces units are in the middle of a battle with no time for reflection, they use the acronym - SURVIVAL - to help them cope. While the stakes in entrepreneurship are not as high as those in war, when you've got your life savings on the line being able to improve your situation when things are tough is an invaluable skill. The following guide is for innovators who explore new paths without maps to show them the way.
S = Size up the situationIn order to make the right decisions under pressure you have know where you are and what the situation is. Take time to list all your resources. What factors do you have in your favour? What forces are working against you? Research. Get some facts. You don't have to win every battle to win the war.
U = Undue haste makes wasteNo matter how threatening the moment you are in now there is always going to be another moment following it - unless you lose your head. Even though it seems nonintuitive, take a moment to be sure you are ready for your next step. Review the data you have acquired. Plan.
R = Remember where you areYou are here because of a number of decisions and choices made along the road. Know your mission and strategy. Don't be surprised - be prepared.
V = Vanquish fearIf you are overwhelmed by fear or procrastination then the game might as well be over. To keep moving requires self-discipline, courage, and intelligence. Don't acquire habits that will slow you down or make you more susceptible to fear.
I = ImproviseEven best made plans cannot anticipate all eventualities. You have to be prepared to make new plans depending on circumstances. More importantly, be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Starting over again from a stronger position is often a good idea.
V = Value livingGreat causes need great martyrs but that's not why you're here. The world might just be a better place if you can survive and prosper - so, no heroics or fourth quarter hail-Mary passes. Leave that to your opponents. We all want to be heroes of one type or another but don't let useless heroic acts stop you from long term success.
A = Act like the nativesThere is always someone around who knows more than you do about where you are. Don't be afraid to seek them out. Ask them questions. Become like them if only to be better able to get them to talk. Respect who they are and what they do. You'll be better off for it.
L = LearnYou may be an inventor or an investor but no matter how you identify yourself be sure of one thing: What you know today may be useless tomorrow. Take the time to brush up on old skills and learn new ones. Make skill and knowledge building part of your every day life.
The above information was derived from the U.S. Special Forces field manual 3-05.70
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