I started my first business about three years ago upon getting out of the Marine Corps after ten years of service. At the time, people said to me “You’re very brave and courageous to start your own business” – I thought it was an odd thing to say. I was excited about the potential and wasn’t afraid of the unknown.
Fast forward three years…one failed venture, losing multiple partners and getting burn by a plethora of other things I didn’t know anything about; I now feel anxious and a certain amount of fear about launching my new company.
I get it now. I realize why people said I was brave and courageous to start my own business. (Although, I’d like to clarify that it’s easy to start your own business – what’s hard is turning it into a success.)
I clearly remember all my struggles, pains, disappointments, lessons learned, and heart breaks. I lost my house, went into the debt and isolated myself from many of my friends and family.
With all that being said, the truth is that the anxiety and fears are based on more than knowing what launching a business and trying to grow it is about – it’s mostly based on the fact that there is nothing else in the world I rather be doing. What happens now that I’ve found my calling if I can’t make things happen? This is the proverbial fear of failure. Many people never try or do the things they really love and are passionate about because they can’t face the possibility that once they try; they might fail.
Three years ago I didn’t realize how passionate and in love with business/entrepreneurship I was. I didn’t know that my world would come to revolve around it and that it would bring me such a high level of satisfaction and happiness. I never would have guessed that being in business would challenge me and push me to grow faster than anything else I had ever done before. I definitely didn’t have a clue of how free being an entrepreneur would make me feel. As a matter of fact, I didn’t actually realize the depth of those things until I took a billet back in the Marine Corps. But now I know.
Defining Moment – This Fear is a GOOD Thing
I will soon step back out from having steady income (from being back in the Marine Corps) to running my own business full time again. My hunger to succeed is greater than ever before. The anxiety and fear that exist is new and actually welcomed.
It’s not the absence of fear that makes us brave – it’s doing those very things we fear in the presence of fear. I’m glad I’m feeling this fear. It will keep me conscious of not repeating any past mistakes. It will keep me on my toes and make me think things thoroughly instead of my former “jumping into everything head first.” This new fear is making me a wiser entrepreneur and although, I have never in the past appreciated having fears – this time, it’s a good thing.