3 Rules This Entrepreneur Learned While Barreling Downhill Full Speed - On A Snowmobile
Use these strategies to start, grow and thrive…
Ever been on the back of a snowmobile going 80 MPH downhill?
Just the other day, in fact.
And in case you're slightly curious, I'm the entrepreneur that is being referenced in the title.
But I digress…
You see, while it was fun and at the same time scary as heck, there was a clarity of thought that had me thinking about my life as an entrepreneur. And more so, the lessons from the experience and how I might apply them to my current startup.
And before I go on, I'm not advocating that you do something daredevil like I did, but on the other hand, I am saying to break a few rules and get out of your comfort zone.
So without further ado.
Never ride a machine you're unfamiliar with
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold." - Helen Keller
There's this lame phrase that says to jump and build your wings on the way down.
I disagree 110%.
In life, it could mean I wreck and hurt myself. As an entrepreneur, it could mean I trash my savings, my relationships and perhaps adversely impact others. Unless you know HOW to build wings, I'd recommend NOT jumping until you've prepared some.
What to do.
Find a mentor or some type of like-minded group. It's what I did after nearly sinking my first startup. I thought I had most, maybe all the answers, but the hard lesson I learned was that someone has already done what I wanted to do.
Seek them out.
Learn from them.
Ask how to build those "wings" so when you do jump, at least you have a clue.
And that leads me to…
Fast and critical thinking is vital for entrepreneurs
"For me, the most fun is change or growth. There are definitely elements of both that I like. Launching a business is kind of like a motorboat: You can go very quickly and turn fast." – Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappos.com
This is obvious for high-speed vehicles like snowmobiles, but the truth is your startup is also high speed.
It's quick, it's nimble, and it should pivot on a dime. As an entrepreneur or freelancer, you need to think fast and think critically. It's a fact and a lesson I learned the hard way early on in my startup career.
Sometimes all you have is what's on your plate at the moment, and when that becomes overwhelming, this happens: You get stuck because there are too many options or choices out of fear of making mistakes… so then nothing gets done.
The hardest part of making difficult decisions is committing in a way where you minimize second-guessing yourself.
What to do.
This takes two things:
Pulling the decision trigger; and
The willingness to be wrong.
Retired General Colin Powell has a 40/70 rule: Never make a decision with less than 40% of the information available, and don't gather more than 70% of the information available.
Anything less than 40%, and you're just guessing, anything more than 70%, and you're delaying. There's a certain magic to commitment and action, and if you wait too long, you're going to miss it.
Which rolls into…
Never let emotions like fear rule over decisions where one's life is concerned
"Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears."
- Rudyard Kipling
It's gonna be scary. If it doesn't feel scary, then perhaps it's not big enough but look, you need to start anyway. You know deep down you're worth it, and so are your dreams, so go.
Freelancing, being your own boss or startup founder is in and of itself an unknown proposition. Knowing that you are now fully responsible for feeding yourself and the family can freeze some people and free others.
What to do.
When you need to overcome fear, commit to action.
This is the hard part, but if you wake up in a cold sweat at night with heart palpitations, then it's time for some tough love: get out of bed, take a deep breath, and do ONE thing.
It can be done one small step after another without feeling overwhelmed by all those choices we have before us.
"Forever is composed of nows." ― Emily Dickinson
Remember that in the end, you have the power.
To create, to dream, to envision, and to make stuff happen. So make things happen.
And as always…