Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Breakthrough ("First Hit") Principle

Wisdom for Today

  • Entrepreneurs who have a good idea and the resolve to see it through will experience an event called the “first hit” or breakthrough, point. This event could be a chance encounter. It could also be winning a strategic contract or skillfully handling a difficult and volatile situation under the watchful eye of a prospective client. After this breakthrough point, good things begin to happen-the business turns a corner. Not only do sales increase, but the business also begins-if managed properly-to grow at a steady pace thereafter.
  • For an entrepreneur beginning a venture, there are typically two performance curves of concern: the investment curve and the return curve. The investment curve represents what you put into the venture, time, money, etc. And the return curve represents what you get back. Returns can be either measurable like profits, net income, net worth, and price/earnings ratio or intangible. These immeasurable returns include prestige, power, reputation, influence, and credibility. At the beginning of the venture, the investment is high, and the results are at zero. Although you are making major contribution to the venture, it is too early in the process to realize any signification returns.
  • The breakthrough point is when momentum picks up, and the return and investment curves intersect. The investment is going down and moving toward zero, and the return the return curve is going up and moving towards infinity. At any time beyond the breakthrough point you will enjoy more benefits from the venture than what you are investing. 
  • Every entrepreneur’s objective must be to get to that breakthrough point. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs give up just before they reach it. As always, exercise prudence in your journey, but be careful not to give up too early.   

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

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