Insights from Humble Crumbles


There are seven essential considerations that an entrepreneur has to embrace to generate long-term success:

  1. Know yourself and uncover your biases, blind spots and convictions.
  2. Get a diversity of perspectives from an impartial sounding board, a coach and mentor.
  3. Ask the right questions and really listen to the responses. Do not assume you already know the answers.
  4. Troubleshoot: keep testing and checking in with your assumptions and plans.
  5. Ask yourself, “What is my position?” and “What might be a flaw in my argument?”
  6. Have a healthy respect for ‘failure’ as opposed to being defeated by it.
  7. Have fun!

Business success does not only rely on the market opportunity and ‘what’s out there’.  It is also very much impacted by ‘what’s in here’. That is, You the entrepreneur. And this is relevant whether you are a budding or seasoned entrepreneur. That’s why we have placed self-awareness at the top of the list.

Just as a business plan requires making assumptions and testing different scenarios, so too you need to examine what makes you tick. In your eagerness to get your idea off the ground have you taken the time to reflect and enquire to discover yourself?

Such self-awareness may be dismissed as ‘touchy feely’ by the hard-nosed business person, yet most businesses do not fail simply because of their product or service. The downfall of the business is often due to the unconscious, stubborn, desperate or hasty decisions of the owners or leaders.

There are many different motivations for starting a business. Understanding your drivers and fears will help to shape how you approach your business and its likelihood of success.

As a catalyst to your personal exploration, Paul O’Donnell and Sylvana Caloni wrote Humble Crumbles: Savouring the Crumbs of Wisdom from the Rise and Fall of Humble Pie. It charts Paul’s entrepreneurial journey from starting up to shutting down his retail pie business. His narrative is supplemented by Sylvana’s lenses as a leadership coach and former equity analyst.

© Home Grown Club

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