Bruce Lee was more than just a ridiculously awesome martial artist and movie star, he was a deep thinker. Like all greats, no matter what their passion was, what made them great was the depth to which they strove to understand all elements of things. Bruce Lee literally kicked ass, and his philosophy can be used to help you kick ass in business.
Nothing is original anymore, everything is built upon something else. What makes something great is the ability to add to it, cut away the chaff and make it even more viable. Whether we are talking about a restaurant, a tech company or a financial institute what sets you apart is your fluidity to change and your distinct personality that brings something new to the table. The best businesses do what others do, but they set themselves apart with a persona. Two companies can offer the same service, but the one most adaptable is the one that will stand the test of time.
When we fall into an intellectual hamster wheel we will never succeed. I'm sure we have all fallen into this trap. "I can't start the business until it is perfect", or "we can't release this product/software until it is flawless". If we have to high expectations out of the gate it will either fall to the wayside from sheer mental exhaustion, or someone else will do it first. Often times the best way to succeed is by getting thrown into the deep end.
Research can be your best strategy. Look at your competitors and see what makes them successful. When I was researching successful web design companies when I was about to launch my own business I realized that many specialize in one distinct niche, like hotels or finance. In doing so they learn all about the needs of these particular clients and thier potential customers know they know what they are doing.
Defeat and failure are so subjective. One persons defeat could be another's great lesson, and an opportunity to realign, reevaluate and inevitably succeed. Entrepreneurs must be tenacious, risk takers and in my opinion idealistic. If we do not accept defeat or failure then it does not exist. Look at how many of the best business innovators, artists and musicians faced what many would see as defeat. Instead they saw this as opportunity and challenge. And used the lessons learned to adapt and succeed.
I am a firm believer, along with Bruce Lee, that our mind creates our reality. This is not a hokey new age thought, it is becoming recognized more and more as fact. Everything is energy, thought is energy, and this energy creates our reality. If you are driven to succeed and work hard at it and keep from feeling discouraged then success will come.
Innovation is key to creating a strong and successful business, and this quote demonstrates the importance of this. Steve Jobs had a deep understanding of the principles of computers and technology, but he was not bound by them, he saw their potential and through creativity and determination succeeded in changing the tech landscape forever.
To truly succeed practice and mastery are so important. This quote reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. In our modern society we are pushed to learn as many skills as we can, as opposed the the older way of mastering one. This applies to business. I have seen businesses that try to be everything to everyone, and they fail. In modern times micro niche businesses that learn about and carve out their niche succeed.