Real Entrepreneurs Jump Off Cliffs And Build Planes On The Way Down

by Paul Hudson

Entrepreneurs are a wee bit crazy, yes. But if you’re completely sane, you won’t make a good leader.

You need to consider what people call "impossible" and believe that you can make it happen. You need to believe that the rules that they're following don't apply to you.

You need to be willing to function outside the box. The truth is that most of the "rules" that people follow are simply recommendations that have become the standard. And entrepreneurs succeed beyond the standard.

Being an entrepreneur means satisfying needs, innovating and making people's lives better and more efficient. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the job of an entrepreneur is glamorous and easy.

Sure, life gets a little fancier once you've made it big. But reaching that peak is incredibly difficult. As my boy Biggie puts it, “Mo' money, mo' problems.”

I’m currently helping a close friend of mine launch a new app. We have no idea if it's a great idea or one that won't take.

Ideas work only if people are willing to buy into them. And "buying into them" doesn't necessarily mean investing money.

Plenty of startups don't ask for money from users, and they still make a killing. But people must be willing to put in the time to use whatever it is that you’re creating.

You'll never know what will work until it hits the market, because user feedback is key to predicting your success.

In other words, you’re not climbing that mountain of success. You're diving off a cliff and building planes on the way down, doing your best to land safely in the valley of prosperity.

You won’t know if you can fly until you jump and find out.

You can plan and plan and plan... and you should! It’s always best to be as prepared as possible. But you can’t and won't be prepared for everything.

You will come across issues that you didn’t foresee, problems that you didn’t expect. The true test of an entrepreneur is the way he or she deals with such unexpected issues.

Some problems will be small and easy to handle; others will threaten to pummel you, and everything you worked so hard to achieve, straight into the ground.

You won't know your capabilities until you try. But you must believe that you can handle whatever comes your way.

If you don’t have faith in yourself, those you lead won’t have faith in you. When this happens, you'll all fail.

Say “yes” first -- and then figure out how the hell you’re supposed to go about doing it later.

When someone asks me whether I can accomplish something -- even if I haven’t attempted it before -- my answer is always “yes.” And you know what? I’m usually right.

We live in a world where information is free-flowing. You have the resources available to learn anything.

But no matter how much you prepare for whatever you’re taking on, you’ll never be prepared enough. If anything, you might have studied the wrong information.

An entrepreneur's job is to solve problems, and you won't know most of these until they arise. If you need to learn how to build an airplane, go ahead and jump, and Google directions as you’re making your way toward the ground. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish under pressure.

Be prepared to crash and burn.

You’re going to fail and bruise plenty of times before you learn to spread those wings and fly. This is why it’s always best to first jump off of a lower branch before climbing to the highest.

Failing helps you learn. Just keep in mind that failing is never pleasant. You will be disappointed; you'll possibly be hurt. You are almost certainly going to feel the urge to quit. Fight it.

Fight the urge as long as you possibly can. Try and try until you can try no more. Most people are simply not cut out to be entrepreneurs.

It’s not that they weren’t born ready -- no one is -- but most aren’t psychologically equipped for what's in store.

Does this mean that you can’t train yourself to be a leader? Absolutely not. Your mind is teachable. Problems occur only when you take on too much and get burned. Never overdo it.

Entrepreneurship is taxing in so many ways, both physically and psychologically. Nothing is worth the cost of your life -- not even your dreams. Play hard and play smart.

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