are you terrified? You should be! (about starting a business)

Original by Stuart Skorman. Edited for use in this blog about emotions in Entrepreneurship.

Starting a business is so difficult, wrenching, exhilarating, terrifying, and joyous-all at the same time that it’s almost an unnatural act. 

Who wants to inflict that kind of trauma on themselves? Who wants to expose themselves to that kind of nsk? Who wants to throw every ounce of themselves into what may be a futile effort, especially when conventual businesses offer plenty of jobs? 

There’s no way around it: start-up entrepreneurs are temporarily insane. 

We endure emotional and financial hardship because we don’t know what we are doing. Either we’re ignorant of the risks or arrogant to the point of believing we are immune to failure. 

Temporary insanity, however, is not the only mark of an entrepreneur. We also want to make things happen. We are determined to achieve greatness. 

The essence of an entrepreneur is the diehard belief that we are the only ones able to make things happen. 

We go above and beyond to turn our dreams into reality. While entrepreneurs have the egos to strive for bigger-than-life achievements. The end goal is hardly the same for everyone. Some entrepreneurs crave giant bank accounts. Others hunger after power—either the power of control or the power of impact. I yearn to make people happy through commerce. 

That’s what drives, excites, and thrills my ego. I love to see my creations, decisions, and initiatives foster customer satisfaction and excitement. 

An important lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is the importance of emotions. 

Some start-up business books emphasize mechanics: raising money, finding an idea, and marketing the idea. Sure, there are basic steps to learn but before you worry about mechanics, you should steel yourself for the emotional ups and downs inherent in the start-up world. 

Starting a business is rampant with emotional extremes. Strong emotions push you into the fray and carry you through to the end. But naming your emotions—joy, greed, passion, and fear—isn’t enough; you also need to harness them. 

Under the right circumstances, strong emotions can work in your favor. 

Emotions are like thoroughbreds; the fastest horse in the world wouldn’t win a single race if not for the jockey guiding and directing its explosive energy. 

Terror is to be expected. Starting a business is terrifying. Let’s face it: most entrepreneurs fail. 

But terror can be healthy if you aren’t paralyzed by it. 

Fear forces you to think. Fear of failure pushes you to work harder than you ever thought possible. 

Let your terror focus and fuel your determination.


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