Oct 15 2012

Accomplishment vs. Success

I had a great conversation with an entrepreneur the other day talking about the difference between accomplishment and success. Accomplishment is what happens on the road to success, but declaring something a “success” vs. recognizing that it’s simply one of a handful of requirements to get to success. And of course viewing something this way changes the lens through which you consider that accomplishment and can significantly change decisions you make because of it. Think of it like drawing a line through a single point (or even a couple of relatively closely grouped points) – it’s easy to delude yourself into thinking you’re on one path before you actually have the data to prove it. And for a start-up, this can mean spending precious resources inefficiently, before you realize what line you’re really on. I’ve lived through this so many times (as has the entrepreneur I was talking with), plowing full speed ahead without recognizing that we had blinders and only laterĀ realizingĀ (after wasting a bunch of money) that we misinterpreted some early accomplishment as successfully having figured something out (which we hadn’t).