There is one way to live and that is to risk falling to your death.
We recently met some wonderful people. Have you ever met people and almost instantly felt a strong connection with them? It almost feels like you’ve been friends for many years. We share so many similar life experiences, but most of all we share a humor about the melancholy and futility of life.
They’re also entrepreneurs and I find their journey through the ups and downs of business so inspiring and admirable. They have so many tales of false starts, failed dreams and disappointments, but they keep going. Giving up seems to never be an option and coming up with a new plan is like breathing to them. I just love that about them.
Entrepreneurship is sometimes described as jumping out of a plane without a parachute and building one on your way down. This is both scary and required.
Here’s how it works: Entrepreneurs come up with an idea on how they will change the world. Before they can help themselves they create a picture in their minds of what the world would look like when they’re done. They become excited about the outcome and a burning desire starts developing in their heart. That fire heats a furnace of emotion that eventually drives action.
You would think that the next thing a planning phase would be kicked off with a team, some whiteboard markers, sticky notes, tea and coffee, an old projector with a max resolution of 640x 480 and a power point prezi. But no, not with entrepreneurs. They go into full tilt and start executing steps that they haphazardly cobbled together in their forced sleep session the night before (because Google says they need lots of sleep).
And this is the point where they find themselves flopping through thin air with no support, no zipline, no parachute and no way to get back to the safety of the plane. To them there is one way to live and that is to risk falling to your death.
When our friends speak to us and we all reflect on what we’ve been through as entrepreneurs, I am always left with the thought that without this unbridled commitment to advancement, the world would be a sad place. What the world sees as a series of failures in us, we have to learn to see as steps closer to our breakthrough. It’s another step in the building of our proverbial parachute.
The funny thing is, as an entrepreneur, when you fail, you never really feel you’ve hit the ground. Rather you feel like you’re still tumbling around in the same thin air and the only way out, is to keep building that parachute.
The cash is depleted and you feel wounded, but something inside of you gets up and says “have another go”.
And then we go to bed and dream up another half baked plan and tomorrow, tomorrow we jump out again…
Here’s to the compulsive jumpers (and our friends). May you learn to embrace the restlessnes you feel as a gift from God meant to advance the world. Don’t stop. And know that cash is not a good indicator of success. Jumping again, is.