I was struck by a couple of Olympic stories this morning.
The first was the withdrawal from the hurdles of China’s track superstar Liu. One of the Chinese newsreaders was in tears as she announced his withdrawal from the 110m hurdles. When as`ed why, when they had already won 35 gold medals this particular withdrawal was such a tragedy one Chinese Spectator said:
‘When you see that Liu is winning it makes us believe that we can do anything’
And then Michael Johnson was talking about why Jamaica had done so well in the sprint events. He said:
‘When people around you start to do well you believe that you can do well too.’
This is true of athletes but is also true of entrepreneurs. It just takes one local person to succeed to persuade dozens of others that they too could make something happen.
The secret is to get the first local success and then to get the message out into the local community. The spreading of the message is just as important to developing and enterprise culture as is helping the first entrepreneur – but rarely does this part of the work get the focus or the attention it demands.