Putting one foot in the grave today can make you a better entrepreneur and a happier person.
One of my best memories of the late management icon Peter Drucker was him telling me that the greatest misconception about the entrepreneur’s mind set is that they are risk takers. That may be the way they appear to most people, but in the mind of the entrepreneur what he or she is doing is anything but risky. The reason entrepreneurs take out second mortgages, max out their credit cards, and plow every ounce of energy into their company is because in their mind the idea is always a sure bet, or to say it another way, they refuse to compromise on their dreams.
“Most often waiting for the right time is just waiting for a new set of excuses to show up.”
All too often, however, we fail to pursue a dream because we are compromising a long-term need with a short-term want. For example, colleagues who talk about one day owning a business or writing a book but fear the financial risk or can’t seem to find the time, or friends who make compromises in their lives because they fear confronting a near-term personal challenge. The reality is that you’re either committed to a dream or you’re not. Most often waiting for the right time is just waiting for a new set of excuses to show up. Think about your dreams as you would a committed relationship. Your dreams are life partners–give up on them and you’re partly giving up on yourself.
The one thing that is absolutely certain, when it comes to pursuing a dream, is that only youcan define what you’re willing to bet and what constitutes an acceptable risk. I recall starting my first business at a time when I was making a great salary with a great company. When I began presenting my plan to friends and even relatives I was shocked that not absolutely everyone was enamored by it. I even had one very close friend tell me I was flat-out crazy and a relative who told me it was the biggest mistake of my life. For me it was a no brainer, I had to do this or I just would never forgive myself for not trying.