I would like to start out with a question – ‘Does your car drive straight?’ That’s right. If you are driving down a straight highway and you take your hands off the wheel, does your car drive straight? I would venture a guess that the answer is ‘No’. Eventually your car will veer off the road and end up in a ditch. It really does not matter how perfectly balanced and aligned your car is. Even a Mercedes, Lexis or Cadilac will, in relatively short order, veer off the road and end up in the ditch.
We all know that the only way to get from point A to point B in a car is to keep you hands on the wheel and constantly adjust the direction of the car. So, are car’s faulty? Is a car that will not go straight a failure? Of course not. We know that we need to ‘drive’ a car in order to safely arrive at our destination.
Why is this important? Because driving a car is a metaphor for business ownership. There are no perfect businesses. Even if it is an exceptional opportunity with every advantage going for it – all businesses require drivers. If you take your hands off the wheel to too long, the business will begin to move toward the ditch. Does this mean that the business is a bad business? No. It simply means that we, the driver, must take responsibility for the overall success of the venture.
Businesses are clearly vehicles that can transport us toward our destination; however, it does not happen by itself. We, the driver, are a critical part of the success equation. Don’t look for the perfect business – it does not exist. Look for a business that you can successfully drive! That is the key.
Finally, I would like to send my best wishes to all of our friends on the east coast who were affected by Sandy. As a Florida resident living on a barrier island, I understand what you are going through and pray for a speedy recovery. It does not matter how good a driver you are, Mother Nature trumps everything.