Friday, May 15, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Fear #2 of entrepreneurship

"No one will want the product or service my business produces."

This is the #2 fear of entrepreneurship for me, the second in a series that I'm doing after being inspired by Gary Novosel, Founder of The Food Medic. In our interview, he gave a piece of advice that really resonated with me: if you're afraid of starting your business, write all your fears down, and then put them aside. So here we go, fear #2 - no one will want what I'm trying to sell.

Isn't that the age old story of rejection - people won't like me, I won't be good enough, or, the worst - I won't be relevant. What I say and think and do will not matter and no one will care. Ouch - painful ideas and thoughts that we work very hard to suppress, and yet at least at one moment of weakness in our lives, we've all felt them.

One of the fun things of starting a business and making a product or service is continuous improvement. The enemy of good is perfection - so don't wait perfection to get the idea out the door. If you do, that product will never see the light of day. You'll tweak and tweak and tweak, until someone else beats you to the punch and puts together a similar idea.

And what's the very worst that can happen? People won't by what we make, we'll get feedback, change the product, and try again. Not so bad, right? Or maybe it's just not reaching the right audience, or a wide enough audience. Or maybe it's an idea that just needs time in order to b adopted by the market.

I was thinking about this fear all day today, wondering how I'd write this post and put it in perspective. As I rounded the corner toward my apartment this evening, a bunch of little kids ran up to me to drag me to their lemonade / cookie stand. For $0.10 I could get my choice of a cookie or a glass of lemonade, or for $0.20 I could get both. These kids did not have one bit of fear telling me about their business and the cost of the goods they were selling. I envied them.

I walked toward my apartment, happily eating my chocolate chip cookie, and honestly, it was the best cookie I've ever had. Entrepreneurship is alive and well among kids, so couldn't we just model our own behavior after their fearlessness? It's at least worth a try.


Gary said...

I started my career in the Navy, but computers were my passion at the time and I ran a business named Software Garage while working rotating military shift work. I've since advanced my career and have held four positions as Chief Technology Officer. I also was able to work as a chef during the dot com bust of 2001 and worked in three restaurants in Austin before returning to high tech as a CTO.

Christa is taking my advice to heart and I admire her a great deal for that. There were many times in my career I was ready to throw in the towel. But something or someone inched me forward again and pulled me out of that stagnation. Christa reminds me that no matter who or where you are, inspiration can come from places you never expect. Thanks again.

Gary Novosel

Christa said...

Thank you so much for your comment Gary! And for your inspiration for me to write this series!

All best,