The worst case scenario as a failed entrepreneur-0

The worst case scenario as a failed entrepreneur

Steve Sammartino | June 21, 2014 | Startup Science | 3 Comments |

The fact that you are reading this on the internet right now, on a laptop, possibly on a smartphone, certainly if you’re in a developed economy means that your worst case scenario in life, for most things, is not really that bad. The cost of failing as an entrepreneur or with your first startup, is even less bad, than most other things. Yet the fear of this type of failure is omnipresent and often keeps people away from starting in the first place. Well, I come with good news for aspiring startup founders:

There is a very low probability you will go hungry, or end up sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge if your startup fails.

Here’s a list of things that might actually happen:

  • You’ll start another startup, avoiding those stupid rookie mistakes you made the first time round. Go round  the block again, but better prepared.
  • You’ll join another startup, with all the startup-ish-ness of being a founder, but as a staff member with both salary and a small equity stake.
  • You’ll go back into corporate in a better position, on higher pay and with more respect from the extra skill set you now have.
  • You’ll be more enriched from a life journey which was scary, fun and holds an enthused audience while telling the story in the pub.
  • Or, you might actually succeed and build something amazing – yes, it does happen.

As far as failing as an entrepreneur or startup founder is concerned, the risks in real human terms; read here physical survival, access to food, lodging and other physical necessities, are well, pretty close to zero. So it begs this question:

What are you waiting for?

You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have the desire to have a crack and see what you’re capable of in starting a new business, being a founder. And now that you know (or more aptly have been reminded of the truth you already suspected) you won’t starve to death or get eaten by a saber tooth tiger and that the fear is only emotional, it’s time to step up, quit your job, and get to it. What we must do is be able to separate perceived danger, from actual danger. Our forefathers took far greater risks than we ever have, crossing oceans with no map and risking their lives in search of something better.

The ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs has never been stronger. The barriers to starting something have never been lower. And we want you to join us on this amazing accumulation of life experiences as an entrepreneur. And no, you don’t need an original idea. No, you don’t to be a technical wizard or door busting sales guru. No, you don’t need to be anything more than human. Because we humans have the entrepreneurial ethic built into our DNA. It’s why we live on every corner of the earth, it’s why we sit atop of the food chain and it’s why the world around us looks the way it does. It’s all the result of the enterprising spirit. And now that the risks are so low it’s time to make the decision and do it. We’re counting on you.

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Steve Sammartino

Steve Sammartino is a Startup Coach for Pollenizer. Steve has had 4 startups with 2 successful exits and is known for helping companies transition from industrial era thinking into the digital age. His new book - The Great Fragmentation - Why the future of business is small - comes out late July. His blog has over 30,000 readers a month.
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Latest posts by Steve Sammartino (see all)

  • samotage

    Going hungry, and bouncing off the zero bank and juggling what may be in the tank is the right of passage for a founder. Without it, they are nothing.

  • Pingback: Marketing genius, social pitching & worst case scenarios | Start Up Blog

  • Paul Hayes

    Did you not lose a house and have a marriage breakdown because of a failed startup? Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of your biggest fans, but I’d like to hear your take on the risks for married founders with children and mortgages. Lessons learned and possibly how to protect yourself would be great.

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