The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma
Recently on Twitter, someone told me:
@jonacuff I have so many things I love to do I fear picking one & being wrong.
This is the entrepreneur’s dilemma. You’ve got too many business ideas, too many passions and too many plans and don’t know where to start.
The fear is that you’ll pick the wrong one. The fear is that if you choose incorrectly, your future will be crippled. The fear is that you’ll go so far down one path that you’ll never be able to get back to the right one.
That is ridiculous.
The truth of the matter, the reality of the situation, is actually just the opposite. Here’s why:
Every great idea requires some bad ones first.
You’ve played the “Angry Birds” app, which was designed by a company named Rovio. Your kids have played that app. Everyone you know has played that app. In fact, the Angry Birds apps have been downloaded 1 billion times.
That number is not surprising. This is: Angry Birds was not their first app. It was not Rovio’s second attempt. Or their third. Angry Birds was actually their 52nd attempt. They had 51 other apps that weren’t hits.
Fear will tell you that your first idea will be the best idea you ever have, and it’ll put incredible pressure on you to pick the “right” idea. Nonsense. Your best idea might not be until idea number 52. But if you don’t get started on the first 51, you’ll never know.
Perfect is a poison.
I learned a simple lesson when I became an entrepreneur. Waiting until you’ve got the “perfect” idea is a great way to make sure you never launch a business. In fact, 90% perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head. The business that is open always outsells the business that is closed.
You don’t get to the finish line unless you start.
Every successful business in the history of mankind has one thing in common. Someone had to start. They had to put pen to paper or idea to iPad and actually begin. They couldn’t get to the finish line until they first crossed the starting line.
But most of us want the promise of the finish line before we’ve put in the perspiration of the starting line. Business (and life) doesn’t work that way. The start matters most because it’s the only way to get to the finish line.
I completely understand the fear of picking the wrong idea to work on as a business. But here’s some scary math: If you have 10 ideas for a business and you pick the wrong one, you’ve still got 90% of your ideas to explore.
If you have 10 ideas for a business but are afraid to pick the wrong one, so you never actually get started, you ruin 100% of your ideas.
Pick one and start.
The business you never start fails 100% of the time.