Ideas Without Initiative – The Entrepreneur’s Biggest Mistake
Do you have a lot of ideas “sitting on the shelf”? Big ideas. Small ideas. Million dollar ideas…
Take a moment to imagine yourself many years in the future, reflecting back on the life you’ve lived. You think about the things you’ve done, including the great moments you’ve spent with friends and family, the things you’ve tried, your great successes and your so-called failures. You also think about another category: the things you’ve never tried. Ideas you’ve never pursued.
What do you think you’ll take the most pride and satisfaction in? What will you regret?
I’m sure the answer varies for each individual, but I also think there’s some commonality across all people. In talking with hospice nurses and in researching what people regret as they reach the end of their life, one thing always comes up: “the things I never had the courage or confidence to try”.
Think about it even at this stage of your life. What do you regret most?
For me, the answer already parallels what the hospice nurses and others have reported about people regretting toward the end of their lives: the roads not followed, the initiative not taken.
The title above is “Entrepreneur’s Biggest Mistake,” but I think this point applies to everyone, entrepreneurs and others. You do not want to look back at your life and regret the roads you did not take!
If you’re contemplating entrepreneurship and you haven’t been able to pull the trigger, stop worrying and go for it! Note, I am not saying don’t think your venture through as much as possible! I’m saying once you’ve done your research and your calculations, if all looks reasonably good, muster the confidence to take that step!
Entrepreneurship can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging. There’s risk involved, of course, but if you’ve done your analysis, hopefully you have belief that the potential upside is commensurate with the risk.
So, what is likely to be holding you back?
I would be willing to wager that it’s not a lack of ideas. If it is, look harder – there are plenty of great ideas out there, some of which you may be able to convert into a profitable business.
If it’s not a lack of ideas and opportunities, what is it? In most cases, it comes down to the fear of failure! You’ve likely been successful in some areas of your life and you don’t want to put your self-image or the perception other people have of you at risk. You’re not willing to put it on the line or put yourself out there, as the saying goes.
Alternatively, you haven’t experienced much success to this point in your life, and you’re concerned that any new venture you undertake wouldn’t be any different. How can you change this perception and reality? Do your homework! Prepare. Don’t just wing it. Take a more diligent approach and you’ll increase your confidence and your likelihood of success.
Whatever you do though, make sure it’s not this: Nothing. Just thinking and then not following through with initiative and action will get you only one place: Nowhere.
Resolve to make this the year that you take action. Redefine “failure” as an opportunity to learn. If all doesn’t go exactly as planned, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward! Do your homework, then take that step!
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