By show of hands, how many of you reading this article has at one time in their life worked a business idea in their head? (Usually about 90% of you raise your hands.)  Now, keep your hand raised if you have actually begun working on this idea. (Usually about 90% of those lower their hand.)

I play this little game from the stage when I speak about starting anything and the results are pretty consistent.

What are people afraid of that creates such a wide gap between those that have an idea and those that start on the idea?

Most attribute the gap to fear. Merriam-Webster defines fear as an "unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger".

Let's ride the Merriam-Webster train a little longer, what is the definition of danger (which seems to be the key word above)? Danger is "exposure or liability to injury, pain, harm, or loss".

Now we are getting somewhere.

Many times I follow the thread above with a simple follow on question, keep your hands raised if you died from the experience of starting your own company?  See the dark humor in that?

The question I ask every entrepreneur is this, what is the worst that can happen?

Yes, there are founders who end up suffering from loss of a relationship (work harder in the beginning to get support and communicate the sacrifices that need to be made). There are founders who suffer from mental illness and break down during the journey (how can we support them better with awareness, education and empathy so that they are not alone?). These outcomes are worst-case and there are many working hard to serve these outlier cases

But they are outliers. They are not common. So, these worst-case scenarios can be addressed in ways that can alleviate the fear of these outcomes. How? Socialize your idea with 5-10 current entrepreneurs and ask them what they fear and how they work through it. You might be surprised at what you hear and how that will arm you for your journey.

Published on: Oct 24, 2019
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