My recent post about “Entrepreneurial DNA” really struck a chord.
I heard from subscribers on both sides, some who consider themselves “gamblers” willing to take “risky action in hopes of achieving a desired result” …
… and others who confessed to being “hoarders” who tend to clutch onto things they have out of fear of losing it.
I was struck by a note from a reader named “Jenny” (I changed her name for privacy), who said…
“I am a hoarder I think, I am so scared to take the leap to launch my business even though I know it will be the best thing for me and my family!”
Man, that’s a tough scenario.
Feeling sure that starting your business would make life better for yourself and your family, but too scared to “take the leap”.
Now, I don’t know Jenny personally, or her situation, but I know SO many people who face similar situations every day.
I was stuck in this place for years myself.
What’s striking about it, is it’s one of those “death bed decisions” we’re forced to make in life…
You know, the kind of decision you know you will revisit towards the end of your life, and realize through the sharp lens of hindsight, that the action you took – or didn’t take – altered your fate.
That’s a lot of pressure.
But what if the actual “leap” we need to take isn’t as big and scary as we think it is?
I mean, if you’re deciding if you should marry someone or not, or whether to climb Mount Everest, then yes, those are pretty stark “do or don’t” choices, the effects of which will reverberate throughout your life forever.
However, starting your own business is something you can – and should – take many small steps towards, rather than a single death-defying leap.
In fact, IF the decision to start or not start a business is presented to you as a “sign right here” or “turn and walk away” proposition, then walking away is probably the smarter choice.
Because it means you’re being sold someone else’s agenda, like joining a downline in an MLM, or being asked to invest a bunch of money into someone else’s business, or taking over the lease on a brick and mortar business.
Those scenarios SHOULD scare you enough to vet them, and your own scenario, thoroughly.
In most cases though, the process of “starting a business” begins long before you open the doors or hang out your digital shingle in hopes of making sales.
It starts with planning, including the hard costs, the potential revenue growth, and of course, how you’ll market your business to get that cash register humming along.
It’s a process. One that a LOT of eager new business owners skip right past.
Which is pretty insane if you think about it.
Starting a business with no plan is like saying “yes” to a marriage proposal on the first date, or trekking straight up Mount Everest in your Teva sandals…
Exciting in the moment, but very likely to end in tragedy.
So, if starting a business is a process of plotting the steps so that you can thoroughly vet the plan… getting buy in from family (and anyone else who would be affected), and guiding a calculated transition to make it a reality…
… why then do so many people feel stuck in their current scenario?
Afraid to “take a leap” that is actually just a causal step forward towards something they’re sure they ultimately want?
I think it’s because “the leap” to start your own business is actually a declaration to yourself, and then to others, that you are doing this.
For real real DOING this!
And perhaps the only thing more harmful than taking a spontaneous leap that could leave you in a messy heap… is DECLARING the leap to others and never taking it.
Because intelligent human beings instinctively know, in some instances, empty words can be worse than bad decisions.
If a friend gets married after the first date and it ends three months later in divorce court, you’re critical sure, but you also say…
“Well, at least they went for it. It felt good and they did it. Lots of people get divorced without nearly the same amount of adventure.”
Or if your friend starts up Everest in open toe shoes and has to be helicopter rescued at sundown you’ll sit around and laugh your ass off at the story.
“Man, that Jeff sure is spontaneous. I’ll give him that!”
But the friend who talks endlessly of plans but never takes the risky action towards the desired result?
There’s no silver lining in that one. People won’t say, “Well, at least he talks about doing big things. That’s pretty admirable.”
They’ll just stop listening, and believing.
And so will you.
So, if your “leap” is actually a declaration, then I say make it silently to yourself at first.
No one else needs to know right now.
But say it to yourself with bold confidence.
Feel the truth of it in your chest.
Visualize the details of your life as a business owner.
Then go about making your plans, and vetting them… with contingencies.
Plot it out so thoroughly that it becomes real real in your mind.
Then share it with a few select people.
Not to get praise for wanting it, but to get feedback on doing it.
From there you’ll know for certain if starting your business is a leap worth taking.
It’s a personal decision and making it privately first is the best way to be sure.
I’m rooting for you.
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