You know the dream where you’re free falling from the the sky?
Your whole body weightless as gravity pushes you to the earth. A massive knot in your stomach wrenching in fear.
Panic sets in as you scramble for the parachute. Grasping and tugging at your vest to find the right one.
There is no pull cord.
Earth is closing in on you faster and faster.
The sound of the wind and clouds whipping past you as your entire body is tumbling and turning.
As impact approaches, thoughts like what have I accomplished? Where did I end up? What could I have done differently? Run through your head.
Five seconds from the ground.
Four. Three. Two. One…
You wake up in a cold sweat. What a dream.
What if it wasn’t a dream? What if everyday was like this?
If fear and uncertainty is not your thing, don’t become a startup entrepreneur.
The Free Fall
Roads were built to keep groups of people going in a straight line, to a destination, without falling off track. Even more so, so you wouldn’t have to look for a better route to a destination.
There are no roads for a startup entrepreneur.
Pioneers didn’t have roads. People built roads to the places pioneers found.
If starting a business was like the dream in the opening, what you would do to find your way out? You know it’s only a matter of time before impact.
As entrepreneurs, founders, marketers, sales people and even investors - it’s always the risk we’re facing.
But here’s the thing: In a dream, you can create anything, overall you control it.
I would have got all Matrix and imagined that I would just blast through the core of the earth and come out the other side. Do some kind of ninja back flip and land on my feet wearing some bad ass sunglasses and a leather jacket.
In your startup, you can create whatever you want too.
You don’t have to follow the same roads other people have. You don’t have to do what your competition does. You don’t have to create the same old thing.
Do what you want to do and own it. Live and die by it.
No One To Tell Us What To Do
What’s the number one thing people say when asked, “Why did you become an entrepreneur?”
That’s right, they don’t like having bosses.
“We’re pioneers! We don’t need bosses!”
Think about if you really fell from the sky and your life ended as a pancake. On the way down you’re asking God “What’s next? Where am I going?”
And what happens when you hit a speed bump in your business?
“Why didn’t anyone tell me that?!” “Well no one said anything to me?!”
See, somewhere deep down, we want (read: need) someone to tell us what to do next.
For entrepreneurs, it’s the customer or it’s the inner voice. Some of us have a team or co-founders. Others, a board of advisors.
Get involved with finding someone to advise you. If you’re still early on in the business, see if it’s the right time (and fit) to bring on a co-founder.
You don’t need to go it alone. You shouldn’t go it alone.
If you’re not listening to your connections or your team, you’re bound to free fall to impact.
No Guts No Glory
You may relive this dream over and over again.
If you’re not ready for it, don’t make the leap. The path isn’t easy, because it dosen’t exist. The blueprint dosen’t work, because no one has created it.
It’s not going to be an easy ride. Don’t get caught up in the valleywood spotlight of billion dollar valuation companies. Even Mark Zuckerberg said, if he were doing it all over again, he would stay in Boston.
Everyday I live with the fear of missing that big opportunity or not getting to market in time.
Go hard or go home.
Don’t half ass it.
In the dream you could save yourself by imagining you fall into a cockpit of an F-16 or you’re really a top secret military Ironman weapon.
So, what will it be? Fly or die?