Starting a Small Business: Lesson 1

May 10th, 2008.

The very first thing I’ve learned about this small business affair is if you mention you’re starting one, every single person you know will morph into Debbie Downer right before your very eyes.

“Ninety percent of small businesses will fail within the first 5 years!” they chirp like pre-programmed fail robots.

My retort is always the same: “So does that mean no one in the world should ever try to start anything ever again?”

In my case, I’ve never failed at anything I’ve set my mind to. Perhaps if I did, it would do me some good. I’d finally get to eat my piece of humble pie.

But more than that, failing doesn’t scare me. It’s the not trying that terrifies me. The idea that I may live my whole life without ever pursuing my personal vision, without even attempting to leave a mark or make a positive impact on my community, pursuing a scripted life crippled by the fear of possible failure scares the ever loving shit out of me.

There’s more to life than monetary success or failure. Furthermore, sometimes the journey is worth it no matter what the result.

So far, I haven’t yet bothered explaining this concept to those who recite the small business failure statistics as if those magical numbers will stun me into submission or a life of mediocrity. They’d never understand anyway. I learned a long time ago that fear and fear alone is the one emotion that separates the warriors from the weak. We’re like a whole different species, man.

Instead I tell them that I’m currently in the process of convincing a panel of lenders to lend me a cool million and I’m planning to use every piece of real estate I own, including my own personal home, as collateral.

When they whisper in shocked voices, “But what if….”

I curtly reply, “Hey, if I’m going to lose, I might as well lose big, right?”

It’s fun to watch the cowards turn green.

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