There aren’t many shows today as epic as HBO’s Game of Thrones. The premise of the show is that families fight for power and survival in the most deadly of games using all possible angles. For an entrepreneur, the fight for success in growing a startup isn’t much different- one has to play every angle they can because in the end, there is only success, or they quit and die off. Luckily, the game isn’t so much as “you versus others,” but more like “you versus you,” and that’s a game you can win with the right heart and mindset.
Here are seven quotes that will inspire every entrepreneur when facing all the odds playing the hardest game for success today.
1. “When you play the Game of Thrones, there is no middle-ground. You either win or you die.”- Cersei Lannister
In entrepreneurship, there are no half measures. You either give it your all to succeed or you die off on your first obstacle or failure. As an entrepreneur, growing your startup means exposing yourself to many scenarios that will make or break you. Remember that even if you fail once or many times, you are still winning if you choose to continue playing the game.
2. “Never forget who you are for surely the world won’t. Make it your strength, then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it and, it can never be used to hurt you.” - Tyrion Lannister.
One look at Tyrion and you will immediately understand why he is one of the strongest characters for saying this- and why you should think the same. The lesson is that you shouldn’t allow others to make you feel incapable of doing great things. Being well aware of your shortcomings and still having full confidence in yourself is exactly the kind of strength you’ll need to fail as an entrepreneur and still be able to reach for success after each time.
3. “Don’t fight for a king. Don’t fight for his kingdoms. Don’t fight for honor, don’t fight for glory, don’t fight for riches, because you won’t get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack. That’s your gate he’s ramming. If he gets in it will be your house that burns. Your gold he steals, your women he rapes.” – Tyrion Lannister.
Don’t fight to grow your startup for anything other than your own love and passion. Many take up entrepreneurship for the money or fame; this already dooms them to failure. Look at the most successful entrepreneurs today- they all love what they do and they stand by their products. They may be multi-millionaires and billionaires because of their success, but money is nothing compared to the blood, sweat and tears they shed to take an idea they thought of in their heads and make it a reality that impacts and changes the world.
4. “He who passes the sentence, must swing the sword.” - Eddard Stark
Ideas are nothing without the execution; this is the difference between a ‘wantrepreneur’ and a real entrepreneur. If you have genius ideas, back all your talk with action- do the market research, assemble a team, produce prototypes, network or cold call investors, whatever you need to do to grow your startup with your own hands.
5. “People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.” – Tyrion Lannister
Be honest with yourself and your ideas. If you think your idea can really change the world, talk to those you trust and get as much feedback on it as you can. You may not enjoy it, but some will poke as many holes in your idea as possible- you actually want this. It gives you a chance to patch up any and all potential problems that you couldn’t see before so that when you are ready to launch, you have a perfected product developed from a trusted user-base.
6. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” - Eddard Stark.
If you think you can succeed with a startup by yourself, then good luck- every successful startup has a solid team. Dave McClure, founder of the incubator 500 Startups, has lived the entrepreneur life and warns that it is, “a tough, painful, low probability motherf*ck of an adventure.” Like a wolf pack, a startup team brings an array of skills, ideas, and perspectives to the company- friendship and support are what keeps everything in balance through failure and success. Only teamwork makes the dream work.
7. “Each bruise is a lesson. Each Lesson makes us better.” – Syrio Forel.
You will fail. You may get beat and look like a fool for even trying, but remember that those who failed often and looked the most foolish once upon a time are among today’s greatest entrepreneurs. Failure is the greatest gift entrepreneurship gives us- each time it’s a new lesson, a new insight, and we continue to grow wiser if we have the heart to never give up. It will hurt, emotionally and financially, but when you are successful (because you will be), you will understand that failure is necessary for success and you will be a better person for it.