Being an entrepreneur can either be extremely stressful or deeply liberating.
By the time you’re working on your own startup you probably have broken free of the employment shackles, given up a steady paycheck and started driving hard toward building your vision.
The problem I find is that many entrepreneurs are freaking out. And, surprisingly it’s not the death spiral that’s taking over their bank balance that has them anxious. With every breath they’re increasingly worried that they’ll miss the opportunity to exploit this idea that they have poured their soul into. Whether a competitor beats them to it or the market changes, they’re paralyzed by a fear that they’ll lose the golden ticket that they are holding.
There are other entrepreneurs, however, who are carefree, relaxed and able to channel all of the energy into building their company. What liberates these free spirits is a perspective that they’re not yet holding the golden ticket. They don’t think they have anything. They believe that they’re building something, that until it’s built it just an idea. When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. Nothing to protect. Nothing to fear.
Fear can be crippling. Stress at the top of a company can erode culture in the ranks. It can drive folks toward decisions that might be short-sighted, and sub-optimal for the long-term development of the company. And worst of all, it can damage relationships with co-founders, investors and families.
If you’re tense, worried and stressed by the thought of missing your window, reconfigure. The odds are high that you’re not yet holding a golden ticket.