“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”: A quote by Abraham Lincoln analysed by Julien Foussard

This quote by Abraham Lincoln is perfectly suited to the business world, explains Julien Foussard. Time management, analysed methods and optimised actions are frequent issues for an entrepreneur. Julien Foussard takes a look at this quote to see how it can be put to use in everyday life. 

Preparation: a prerequisite of success according to Julien Foussard

What Abraham Lincoln explains by this quote is that it is futile to take on a project without preparing for it first. It is crucial to take the time to think and get organised to ensure the efficiency and the success of a project, explains Julien Foussard.

If you rush though this stage, you risk making mistakes, or wasting your time and energy.

Take the tree for instance: by aiming to cut it down straight away, without first thinking to sharpen the axe, you have skipped the “preparation” stage. But if your tool is poorly suited to the task, you are highly unlikely to get the desired result. However, by taking the time to think about the appropriate method, you will in fact save precious time later on while ensuring that your action is effective.  

The required preparation is therefore both physical and psychological, remarks Julien Foussard.

If applied to business, when deciding to begin implementing a project, it is first extremely important that the objectives and the methods be clearly defined to achieve this.

Are you looking to go to the national or international level? Do you want to have the project launched within 6 months, one year or three years? Do you have a strong team behind you to support you in reaching this goal? 

Julien Foussard, based on his experience, advises being able to answer all of these questions before throwing yourself, head on, into the implementation of the project.

The essential qualities of an entrepreneur according to Julien Foussard

Organisation is the key to success. When things get busy, being organised will allow you to take a step back and take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of the project as it stands, assessing your findings.

From a psychological point of view, it is also crucial to be ready. Not just anyone can be an entrepreneur. Among other things, one needs to be committed and resilient if the project is to succeed. 

Coming back to the tree that needs to be felled, if you have thought about the required method, but do not persevere in cutting the tree down when faced with the slightest difficulty, then there is no point in wasting your energy. One’s will plays a considerable role in reaching one’s goal. Julien Foussard highlights that it is very important to know how to self-access one’s strengths and weaknesses before undertaking a business venture. 

Proper preparation also goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle: sleep, nutrition, physical activity are part of being physically prepared. The saying “a healthy mind in a healthy body” really makes sense when applied to entrepreneurship.

However, Julien Foussard also encourages entrepreneurs to take risks and to dare take the plunge.

Abraham Lincoln analyzes the situation of Julien Foussard

Knowing how to take risks: an essential component for Julien Foussard

While careful preparation is crucial for a project to be properly carried out from start to finish, it would be a mistake not to take any risks on the pretext of never being ready enough.

Thinking through the project, anticipating it, preparing it, should not be an obstacle to moving forward and getting into the heart of the matter. 

An entrepreneur can never be sure ahead of time of the success of his project. You can plan all you like the different actions and events, but it is more than likely that things will not go as planned. It is in these moments that your commitment and resilience will be most necessary. You must also ensure that you can be flexible and readily able to adapt to the situation, adds Julien Foussard. Refusing to change a plan simply because you had not foreseen this eventuality would be a mistake.

For a project to succeed, it is important to know how to tackle an obstacle by diagnosing its root causes. It is normal to make mistakes; in fact, making mistakes should be seen as an opportunity to learn more about the project and about yourself, your weaknesses and your limits. 

This kind of challenge, while it might give the impression of holding you back, will in fact allow you to take things to a whole new level in the long run.

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