I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.
Today, I want to write about death…well, not exactly.
I recently attended a meeting of aspiring professional speakers. Everyone in the group claims that they want to be a professional speaker, but many come up with excuses as to why they aren’t further along in making that happen. “I’m fearful of failure,” one attendee said. Many seemed to agree with him. We’ve been meeting for months. In fact, we have one more meeting left. Fear? What’s that all about?
Entrepreneurs wake up every day with fear. What if this venture doesn’t work out? What if I run out of money? What if people don’t like the product? If they let the “what ifs” run their lives, they wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. What do entrepreneurs do instead? They push forward, the “what ifs” be damned!
I’ve been doing a podcast for a couple of months now. Once a week, I talk to entrepreneurs for 30 minutes. One of my favorite questions to ask them is how they got past the fear of starting their own business. The answers are telling. Many say they still have fear but keep going anyway. If you have a bear chasing after you, I’m guessing your first instinct is to run – precisely because you’re afraid. The fear is the motivator.
Fear is a powerful emotion. Oftentimes, we let it prevent us from reaching our goals. But what if we looked at fear as a motivator? I go to the gym every weekday morning, and one of the exercises the trainers often assign is a rope climb. I didn’t know how to climb a rope. I was afraid of looking foolish in front of the other gym goers and the trainers. At first, I didn’t want to try. Instead of letting fear keep me from trying, I let it motivate me. I thought to myself, “If I never learn to climb this rope, it’ll be staring me in the face every time I show up to this gym.” Once one of the trainers showed me a couple times how to climb the rope, and I tried (and failed) a couple of times, I finally got it. I now feel a sense of accomplishment every time I climb the rope. Next challenge – the muscle up!
How does all of this relate to death? The leader of the professional speakers group told us that we’re all going to die. We don’t know when, though. Because death is certain, it’s imperative for us to push for what we want. Let fear be your motivator. Think about the regret you’d have by not following your dreams. Isn’t that scarier than any entrepreneurial venture that flops?
Entrepreneurs get it. Those who have entrepreneurial aspirations but still haven’t pulled the trigger don’t. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Knowing that you’re doing to die, let fear drive you to success.