Hey Entrepreneurs: Be Scared, and Do It Anyway! : Under30CEO Hey Entrepreneurs: Be Scared, and Do It Anyway! : Under30CEO
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Hey Entrepreneurs: Be Scared, and Do It Anyway!

| September 12, 2010 | 10 Comments

just do itSpeaking from personal experience, quitting my job to start my own company was one of the most unanticipated decisions I have ever made – and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being an entrepreneur has led to the thrilling adventure which now defines my life.

Starting multiple companies over the years has brought an immense amount of passion, inspiration and love to my life. The entrepreneurial experience has taken me to places I would have never gone without having chosen such a path.  Everyday brings a new and continual flow of challenges that seem to be mini triumphs – high points of a life journey and human freedom.

As you’re about to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, you may be wondering:

  • How does my life change after I open my first business?
  • Does my personality change?
  • Is it the beginning of fearless days, or a terrifying, endless nightmare?

As a first time entrepreneur, if you’re still unsure, hang on for one heck of a thrilling ride because if you’re not scared in some way, shape or form– then something isn’t right. It’s OK, and truthfully, very normal to be scared. A plethora of ambiguity and a high tolerance for risk are not part of the normal human psyche hard-wiring.

Another aspect of entrepreneurship to be aware of is creation. Whether a company product, website, technology or even just a business process – founding a new widget for the world truly does give birth to something new in you.

The journey of entrepreneurial creativity forces your mind to adapt to far broader ways of thinking by developing your problem-solving skills to their full capacity and raising your optimism – positive thinking plays a huge role in success. (ever heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy?)

Entrepreneurship is a combination of high ambition and the constant desire to create value. They determine whether you:

  • Make money or end up totally broke
  • Feel free or swamped when faced with an endless workload
  • Take responsibility for others and maintain high self-confidence

Over the years, I have been fortunate to have met with thousands of entrepreneurs. This has been extremely valuable in terms of pattern recognition – understanding those qualities which successful entrepreneurs encompass and exude.

In an initial meeting with a first time entrepreneur, based on my experiences, I seek to understand whether they encompass two very important qualities which are definitive keys to achieving start-up success:

1) Finding balance

Becoming emotionally reassured, regardless of circumstances, is imperative. This enables an entrepreneur to be unaffected by the forces that surround them.

The people who surround you will change. All of a sudden, you’ll look around and see only motivated, strong personalities that you are able to learn from, who inspire you toward new endeavors, and who (many times) will later become your co-founders in a new venture.

2) Learning, understanding and embracing a holistic personal framework

Most people think they have learned all they need to know about themselves. The usual comment is, “I know what makes me tick.” Guess what? You don’t.

As an example, do you know what the inner critic is? Odds are the answer is no. Read up on the subject before starting your entrepreneurial journey. Every successful entrepreneur understands and embraces the inner critic on their journey toward achieving start-up success.

From what makes an entrepreneur happy to the things that make them sad – when an entrepreneur understands every aspect of their personality and the capabilities they’ve been blessed with, it is an immensely powerful tool, especially in understanding how they can achieve happiness. Furthermore, it is absolutely essential for true leadership.

As you begin your journey, keep in mind one thing:

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is the byproduct and result of fear.

Fear cripples the imagination, especially the mind of an entrepreneur – so if you’re still hesitating, think again.

This article was originally published on GaryWhiteHill.com. Follow Gary on twitter @Gary_Whitehill

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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://epiclaunch.com Ben Lang

    Loved it! At times entrepreneurship is very scary, could define your life… Doing it is more important though, taking the risk usually pays off from my experience :)

  • http://twitter.com/zimoonline Zimo

    Very nice article. We are all learning whole life.

  • Ayoub H.

    Hi ,

    I’m an entrepreneur living in Morocco, most of the time, i read your blog from my rss reader without interacting with the blog, but this time i have something to say …
    I’m also 21 years old, and I have always been interested by entrepreneurship, creating added value, but living a co,fortable job is not easy, it’s highly risky, but i don’t feel any more passion leaving all the time at the same hour, and my friend due to your blog post, i’ll leave my job, to live my passion …
    Thank you
    Ayoub H.

  • http://twitter.com/ssaxbyPR Scott Saxby

    Makes me want to become an entrepeneur. Maybe one day. Not a realistic goal for me right now though.

    I’m certainly passionate about understanding my inner psyche and I’m constantly thinking about everything. Sometimes too much.

    Now I feel like doing something amazing… I had better go find something amazing to do.

  • http://www.tracecohen.me/ Trace Cohen

    I started my first company over three years ago when I was 18 and knew nothing. Was I scared? You bet! Over time though, it begins to become a routine and you face new challenges with excited and experience. My advice is to not try and boil the ocean all at once – things take time and you need to prioritize.Great list, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.garywhitehill.com Gary Whitehill

    Great to hear Ayoub.

    Make sure that you’re planful and mindful in the process of what your next steps will be. I have written a follow-up piece to this article about the reality of entrepreneurship, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/bCJn0l

    Best regards,


  • http://www.garywhitehill.com Gary Whitehill


    One of my favorite quotes says it all: “The things you don’t expect are likely to provide the greatest opportunity for you to succeed. ” Entrepreneurship provides that platform for the unknown :)

    Best regards,


  • http://www.garywhitehill.com Gary Whitehill


    You are more than welcome. Success is a byproduct of incremental steps – not large, gigantic leaps.

    Keep on trucking – luck is an accumulation of superior effort.

  • Usama

    “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney
    Take action and take one step at a time and not all at once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Watts-Resume/100001574288142 Watts Resume

    I started my company about two months ago and I did it on a whim. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, I got two clients right out the gate. I was so excited. I just relaunched my website and everything is going perfect. I am so scared about what’s going to happen, everything is so new but exciting at the same time. I just did it. Nike thanks for the slogan “Just do it”. It seems to be the only way nowadays!