How can I destroy the mental block that prevents me from investing/starting a business? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by David S. Rose, Founded six startups, two angel groups, three funds, and funded 100+ ventures, on Quora:

How can you destroy the mental block that prevents you from investing/starting a business?

You shouldn't!

In recent years, thanks to some flashy unicorns, social media and hit tv shows, the message we are all being bombarded with is that everyone should be an entrepreneur and start their own company, that founders are the coolest kids in camp, and that if you work hard you, too, can create an Uber or Facebook.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

  1. In fact, the vast majority of people should never, ever start a company. As best we can assess these things, approximately 1% of people are truly entrepreneurs, who are psychologically and temperamentally built to be startup founders. Do you honestly believe that you are that one person out of a hundred who can't wait to risk all your life's savings on a company with a 90% chance of failure? Are you really destined to found a startup? From the tone of your question, I doubt it.
  2. Entrepreneurs are NOT cool, and you certainly shouldn't envy them (just ask my kids!) I'm writing this answer from Jason M. Lemkin's wonderful SaaStr Annual conference, where thousands of tech entrepreneurs have gathered. Last night was the official 'after party', a giant shindig at a stunning location with famous DJs, circus performers and giant rotating searchlights on the red carpet. As I looked around at the crowd halfway through the evening, I burst out into uncontrollable laughter: this was literally the least-cool group of geeks I have ever seen in my life, all standing around uncomfortably, desperately trying to appear cool. Believe me, there is nothing cool about being a founder, because...
  3. Despite all the hype and movies and tv shows and stories about Zuck and Steve and Bill and Uber, founding a company is insanely risky, and ridiculously difficult, and more stressful than any other occupation on the planet. On top of which, the majority of startups fail completely, taking with them 100% of their founders' and investors' money. The ones you hear about in the media are literally one in 10,000!

So if you don't want to work ludicrously hard for twelve hours a day with no weekends off and no vacations, and don't want to risk all your savings in something that has a 90% chance of failure, and don't want to voluntarily subject yourself to stresses that would send a normal person into a lifetime of psychiatric counseling...

Why do you want to remove the mental block that is preventing you from jumping off a cliff?! To understand what it is really like, read through the wonderful presentation So you want to do a startup, eh? by Tara Hunt. You will quickly see that the only thing starting a company will get you is massive headaches.

(By the way, for all of you who at this point are taking umbrage at me for raining on the startup parade, chill out. I can safely guarantee that every real entrepreneur reading this will agree with everything I've written. You know why? Because despite all the truths I've written above....they don't care! They can't help themselves. They have a built-in psychiatric compulsion to found a company, regardless of the risk, uncertainty and stress. That's what true entrepreneurs do. Are you really one of them?)

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Published on: Apr 17, 2017