The Near Futurist
25Feb/09Off

The difference between a successful entrepreneur and one that sits on the sidelines


Humans love reversibility. 

If we can do something and know that we can roll the tape back it if we mess it up, we are much more likely to do it.  One of the killer features of Microsoft Word (and pretty much now pervasive in all the OS and other OSes) is the Undo feature.  Arcade games are fun because you have more than one “life” to get further in the game.  How many of us would be more honest and free to speak if we knew that we could take back something we said that we didn’t like after we said it?
So I think the difference between a successful entrepreneur and one who watch from the sidelines is not likely a lack of skill, talent, availability of start-up capital, or any of the usual reasons you would imagine.  No, I think the difference is that the successful entrepreneurs have a broader sense of what is reversible when it comes to building a business.  For many of these successful entrepreneurs, trying a business and failing at it is not truly the end of the world, but rather something that can be written off, and can then be a launching point for the next business.  The sideliner, in the meantime, contemplates that the risk for starting and failing is too great, it isn’t reversible, and isn’t worth the risk in starting.
The grain of truth hidden here beyond starting businesses is probably this:  most anything in life that we feel is a risk for which failure is not reversible is likely in our imagination.  So what is stopping you from taking that risk today?  I’m sure there’s an Undo Button of Life somewhere to be found…
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