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13 Crossroads That Kill Entrepreneurs

Updated: May 28


In Hanoi, a city of ten million busy people, standing on the edge of six lanes of traffic, thousands of motorcycles, cars, buses, and trucks rushing by, and all traffic signs and signals being ignored, my host grabs me and says, “let’s go.”


Putting himself on the side of the oncoming traffic, he directs me, “be deliberate, keep your eye on the destination, move with speed, not haste, and DO NOT BACK UP OR WE WILL BE RUN OVER!”


The danger of the situation cannot be overstated. But for his skill and expert guidance, we would have been killed. It is a crossroads forever seared into my memory.


This scenario so vividly illustrates the life of the successful entrepreneur. Business can happen quickly, sometimes all at once. And it is at these times that decision-making is unavoidable, and someone must make life-impacting decisions deliberately, with speed, not haste, and no backing up.


These busy and sometimes confusing places are called “crossroads.”


Crossroads are places where two or more roads meet. They are a proverbial place of choices. Some ancient cultures consider crossroads a place for divine encounters or burying the dead. In Greek mythology, Hermes, son of Zeus, hung out at crossroads.


Crossroads can be a place of sacrifice and confusion or new life. It is at crossroads that ancient prophets tell us that wisdom screams at us.


Crossroads are temporary places, a point between two destinations, each with its own set of questions; Which way should I go? What voices should I trust? They are places of unknowing and potential, both good and bad.


All of us are continually entering or exiting crossroads. They can be personal, relational, professional, or even familial.


But entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable at crossroads. The lives of so many people are continually at stake. The potential for impact, both good and bad, is amplified.


When you have been in the entrepreneurial saddle for a bit, your decision-making ability can become impaired if you are not careful. When this happens, it is dangerous. It is at busy crossroads that entrepreneurs make decisions that mangle and destroy lives. None more than their own.


In this new year, I want to talk about and challenge your awareness of the thirteen crossroads that destroy entrepreneurs. I want you to thrive through them all.


Harry T. Jones

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