by: Geoff Ficke

The greatest Greek philosopher, Aristotle, is widely studied and discussed to this very day for his keen observations on the human condition. For almost 2400-years Aristotle’s numerous writings, philosophical tracts and pithy comments on men and their relations toward each other and their environment have been dissected for the many layers of meaning that can be conjured from attempting to decipher his reasoning and logic. He enchants us still.

I find that many of Aristotle’s most used, famous quotes are amazingly relevant in our current time. One of my favorite quotes from Aristotle that enjoys particular resonance to the 21st century is the following: “A whole is that which has a beginning, middle, and an end”. Simple, no! Clearly understandable! And yet, not put into practice or followed to a successful conclusion nearly often enough.

For entrepreneurs the process of starting a new enterprise can be daunting. There is an initial idea or concept. Research and due diligence are undertaken to verify the viability of the product or service. A Business Plan is written. Assembly of raw materials, sources of supply and manufacture are defined. Costs, sales models, marketing strategies and branding are created to support the product launch. Finally the project is presented to decision makers, the target customer. Sales commence. This is a brief outline of the beginning, middle and end of a product development cycle, much as described in Aristotle’s generalized quote.

Unfortunately the “end” portion of completing the circle of the whole is too often never realized. People, most of us, tend to procrastinate. We rationalize inactivity. We can justify our tardiness in not completing projects with a parcel of excuses. In my marketing and consumer product development consulting business we see and hear an unending stream of these “enterprise killers” every single day.

A task is not worth undertaking unless there is laser-like focus on seeing the task through to the “end”. We might not succeed in the marketplace with the finished work product the job pursues, but unless we finish the effort we will never learn what the outcome might really be. For many people there is a visceral preference for not receiving a firm verdict on their work. Some are afraid to succeed. Many are just afraid. The excuse not to finalize a project and put that work to the test of the marketplace is always vexing to me.

Successful entrepreneurs find ways to overcome all obstacles and finish and launch their projects. They possess an innate courage. They always complete the whole, conjuring the beginning, working to assemble the middle and planning, sighting and accomplishing the “end”. These high achievers are separated from the dreamers who never quite get all the way into the game by an inner-drive to finish every job they start.

Author's Bio: 

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

After putting himself through the University of Kentucky (B.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1969) and serving in the United States Marine Corp, Mr. Ficke commenced a career in the cosmetic industry. After rising to National Sales Manager for Vidal Sassoon Hair Care at age 28, he then launched a number of ventures, including Rubigo Cosmetics, Parfums Pierre Wulff Paris, Le Bain Couture and Fashion Fragrance.

Geoff Ficke and his consulting firm, Duquesa Marketing, Inc. ( has assisted businesses large and small, domestic and international, entrepreneurs, inventors and students in new product development, capital formation, licensing, marketing, sales and business plans and successful implementation of his customized strategies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Business School, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.