The other day, my co-founder and I were talking about a successful entrepreneur who totally hated our business. Everything from the business model, traction, and team gave him a feeling of absolute dread. His advice to us was to quit our company and find something else to do.
So as we're discussing this incident, I started to feel doubt building within me. I reminded myself of all the weaknesses we had as a business. Uncertainty started filling my brain, and it became easy to see the confidence drain from my body. But just as I started going down the spiral of panic, my co-founder asked me something that completely shifted my mindset.
"If everything Mr. Doubter said was true, what would be the worst case scenario?"
I took a minute to think through the question.
"Well first off we'd run out of all our funding."
But if that happened, we could still keep the company going. We could take part time jobs to keep our servers going, live off our friend's couches, and get the value pack of ramen from Costco. Not the ideal situation, but something we'd both easily be willing to do to keep the company going.
"We'd have to lay off our entire team."
When we add members on our team, we begin to feel that they are more essential than they really are. Team members make us feel successful, they start giving us more free time, and it appears that more gets done. Unfortunately, many times this is not the case. Once you get past a couple of people, overall productivity sharply decreases.
So, if everyone leaves your team, the real question to ask is if the founders would still stay. Would they keep the business going? If the founders are willing to stick through it, they'll find ways to compensate for the skills they don't have.
"Our investors, customers, friends, and family would be disappointed in us."
No one can call you loser if you never quit. As entrepreneurs, it's common to have our friends and loved ones doubt us. But until you throw in the towel, you make them bite their tongue when they think about saying "I told you so."
So, we came to the conclusion that no matter how bad things got we'd still keep pushing our company. And suddenly, all my worries started to disappear. I'm not scared of uncertainty, because I know for certain what I'll do to make my company successful.
When you ever face doubt, ask yourself how far you'll go. What are you willing to sacrifice to keep your dream alive? When will you throw in the towel?
If the answer is never, you've got nothing to worry about.