Picture this. You’re standing on a cliff’s edge, heart thumping like a drum solo. You’re caught in a mental tug-of-war, “Do I take the plunge, or do I stay snug and safe?” while the dark abyss of the unknown stares back at you. Scary, right?
And this is just the tip of the iceberg: just the start of an entrepreneurial roller-coaster ride that follows. We’re talking about sleepless nights, crack-of-dawn starts, more coffee than your bloodstream can handle, and a steep learning curve that would make Mount Everest look like a molehill. You’re trading in the comfort of a regular paycheck, your precious time, and maybe even your sanity.
And the fear of failure? Yeah, it’s as real as it gets. Despite all the success stories you hear, stats tell a different one: 90% of startups fail. Well, every fifth small business doesn’t get to see its first anniversary, so you have that going on for you.
However, as time goes on, it only gets worse. You have a 50/50 chance to get to a five-year milestone and only a 10% chance to celebrate your business’ 10th birthday. It’s a merciless world out there, and it’s not for the faint of heart.
But hold on, it’s not all storm clouds and rain. Entrepreneurship can also be the ride of your life. It’s your ticket to being your boss, breathing life into your ideas, creating opportunities for others, and leaving your mark on the world.
Here is how I suggest taking this deep dive into the cliff.
Put on your seat belt, make sure you’re fired up and prepped.
First off, you’re going to do some soul-searching. Ask yourself, “Am I fired up about my idea? Am I ready to roll with the punches, dust myself off after a fall, and keep pushing forward?” If you’re nodding along, then you’re off to a good start.
Find your people
Next up, you’re going to find your tribe – the people who have your back and can lend a hand when you need it. Entrepreneurship isn’t a one-person show, so don’t be shy about asking for help.
Talk to people around you; ask what they think of your idea. Talk to other entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors – listen to their feedback and use it constructively. But tread carefully: everyone and their grandmother will have something to say.
Some nuggets might be gold; others might be fool’s gold. So, while it’s good to lend an ear, don’t feel chained to every word of wisdom that comes your way. Trust your gut and rely on your judgment.
Which leads me to the last point –
There is no “right way”
Entrepreneurship doesn’t come with a manual. There are no hard and fast rules, and challenges await at every corner. You will face the thrills and the spills, the highs and the lows, the victories and the setbacks. Get to know your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, and be ready to dive headfirst into the unknown.
And remember, whether you decide to jump or stay put, almost everything can be corrected. It’s not as dramatic as it may feel.