Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
When I first started telling people, I want to leave the corporate world, and start my own thing, they all spouted the same statistic at me in various permutations and combinations.
8 out of 10 businesses fail. Or, 1/3rd of total new businesses fail in the first 2 years.
I was mystified by this response for two reasons:
- If someone is going into a new venture telling them about failure rates is definitely not the most supportive way to behave. If a friend of yours tells you, I’m getting married!, do you tell them that 50% of marriages end up in divorce? No! You congratulate them, and wish them all the damn best.
- Secondly, and more importantly, failure is a common part of any and all ventures. Even if I stayed in a job, there is a high possibility I would get fired, or let go, or the business would go bust, or whatever. Just because I’m in the corporate world, doesn’t mean that failure isn’t still an option.
I also think these statistics are misleading and utterly and completely false, because they only take into account the TANGIBLE. The money, the failure, the profit/loss. The stuff you can see and touch.
What about the intangibles!!
There are hundreds of intangible benefits of starting and failing or succeeding at a business. I think whoever keeps on spouting this statistic is doing a major disservice to the world. This is because whenever a fresh entrepreneur wants to start a business, they are going to look at this stat. And they might think, “Oh, what’s the point, I’m not going to make it anyway.”
But the funny thing they forget about all that they are going to gain that isn’t money and profits.
Businesses Give you:
To take that first step towards your dreams, and to do it in the face of uncountable threats, and obstacles, gives you this unshakeable confidence in yourself. You know you can do anything if you can do this one thing. Even if you fail, at least you were ballsy enough to take that first step towards your dreams. It is enough to say that this confidence will stick with you forever – you will be able to take on other feats that people would normally be afraid of.
To leave the corporate world, where everyone seems to be stuck in the grinding rat-race, miserable and dead on the inside, and to move forcibly towards your goals, gives a feeling of joy that cannot be duplicated. Everyday, you jump up out of bed, with the knowledge that you are working towards your dreams, and all of your time is your own, and you are doing it!
Taking that first step into the abyss, into the unknown, into the entrepreneur world, is scary, and it requires oodles of trust, not only in your own abilities and talents, but also in that higher power – you trust that you will be taken care of, and usually, that trust is rewarded hundred-fold. Having this trust muscle grow as you take other steps like this, will give you a strong and powerful connection with the source, the higher power. You will be able to take on other ventures knowing that all you need is to trust in yourself and in the universe.
Can you imagine a life that is fulfilling and joyful? A life where you get to spend your time as you wish – working towards something that is your own? It seems to me that such a life would be filled with ecstasy – a feeling that is quite uncommon nowadays. I would pay hundreds of dollars to feel this ecstasy. Most entrepreneurs feel this ecstasy on a daily basis – it is so worth everything you’ve got and more.
No Regrets –
The final but most important piece. When you are lying on your deathbed, and your children ask you, ‘Are you happy? Do you have any regrets?,’ you will be able to say with a clear heart, ‘No regrets at all.’ You did not have a little voice inside of you telling you to follow your heart, because you listened to that little voice and you took that bold move into the unknown. You are able to live with a clear conscience, failure or success, you followed your dreams, and you have no regrets at all.
So you see, life is more than a number or a statistic. When people tell me about this statistic, first of all, I want to shake them to wake them up. Statistics don’t matter. I’m living my life, don’t you see? And then, I want to tell them, it’s all about the intangibles, my dear, all about the intangibles.
The money will come and go. But the intangibles will last forever.
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