“You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.”
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
Do you sometimes feel a little like this with your tech startup?
We give a lot of advice on the practical side of turning a tech startup into a success, but the area of getting your head straight is just as important. If not more. It’s an emotional journey with plenty of leaps of faith and stomach-churning decisions to make along the way. But every single successful entrepreneur goes through the fear barriers, and either breaks through or lets those barriers stop them. One surprise a lot of tech startup entrepreneurs find as they begin is this:
Those Leaps Just Keep On Coming
We all know about the famous “leap of faith” when we leave our jobs and start on that journey, following our dream to riches and glory. But what few people talk about are the leaps that come later, the leaps that just keep on coming. In fact, those scary moments that almost stop you are continuous throughout any tech startup. So here’s tip number one:
- Prepare for dealing with fear continuously, not destroying it
If you start out thinking, ‘Ok this first step is the big scary part; after that I’ll be fine and confident all the way,’ then you’re likely to be in for a shock. Many shocks. And you’re not mentally prepared. Better to prepare yourself to face many scary situations and decisions, and many doubts and butterflies in your stomach, and just deal with it all. Act in spite of it, and prove your fear wrong. And do it time and time again. Because:
- Being brave is a muscle – just exercise it
“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, President and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. A tech startup master.
Every time you feel fear and don’t let it stop you, you learn that the fear was not real. You’ll feel it again next time, but you’ll know you can face it down. And each time it will get easier.
- Use the Worry Destroyer
You might have a powerful worry nagging you, making you doubt your chosen path: ‘What if THIS happens?’ Or maybe your fear is more inarticulate. Perhaps you don’t even know what you fear exactly. This nice little thought process, developed by Brian Tracy, can help you a great deal:
- Work out the worst possible thing that can happen. The worst possible situation that will come about if it all goes pear-shaped. Perhaps it’s the fear of losing your job and investing money in this business, then if it fails having no money and no job… scary thought!
- Next, resolve to deal with that situation should it occur. Work out exactly how you would deal with it to make things ok again.
- See that you will be ok even if that thing happens. Most things won’t kill you.
- Now, once you’ve accepted that, commit to doing everything you can to making sure that the worst case scenario does not happen.
- And plough on forwards.
If you can begin to adopt the right mindset and work through your fear, you have what it takes to be a tech startup success story!
Do you have any tricks for getting past those butterflies?
Share, we want to hear them.