Media likes to paint this image of legendary entrepreneurs for us – IQ of 240, fearless and heading straight for the danger, but research shows that it couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people do not know that Bill Gates only dropped out of College when Microsoft had funding, and even then, he returned for about a year before dropping out again. Same for Mark Zuckerberg – at point when he dropped out, Facebook had 500K in funding and was valued at five million, so these decisions weren’t as risky as someone might think.
Research shows that entrepreneurs are usually very risk considerate. And that’s actually the reason for their success. It might be mind blowing to hear for the first time, because of so much legends that go around about how one guy dominated the market against all odds and stuff, but it’s reality. The best entrepreneurs are the ones that understand and compare risks with returns, and act accordingly. It’s great skill to be fearless, but it can lead you to some stupid decisions. Being fearless when potential awards are too small would be a stupid decision. Take Facebook, Mark didn’t go after the goal of connecting whole world instantly. He started very small and took somewhat big risk – taking a year away from college. Notice that he didn’t drop out, which means that if Facebook had failed, he could always go back.
In book called Originals, Adam Grant also describes founders of Warby Parker, a company that sells glasses online. When he asked them bunch of questions about company and their commitment, he found out that most founders were not as committed as he might have expected compared to classic image of entrepreneur that media is painting today. Founders had back up jobs, and in fact, weren’t focusing all their efforts on this idea, so he obviously passed on investing. Few years later, the said startup is valued at somewhere around billion or two dollars, and that’s what inspired him to look into this phenomenon.
One more effective way to handle stress is going away and taking break from work. It can be few hours, or even days, if the work schedule allows it. It keeps you from burning out and in the same book, Grant actually argues that procrastinating can actually give you a lot of ideas for creative approaches you can take to solve your problems. I go ice fishing myself, just haven’t bought the ice fishing clothing yet.
And original people, who want to put something from their head into the real world, are afraid too. They are afraid that they’ll fail and will have to go back to living with their parents, but they know how to channel that fear and use it to their advantage. They use it to trigger the GO emotion in their minds, so instead of sitting around worrying about what others will think of them if they fail or how miserable their lives will be, they just dive straight into it, but not without analyzing risks and rewards first. They might also use other methods, such as their hobbies to get away from it all. Personally, my hobby is making stuff from wood using tools, and i recommend everyone to read some material about this topic, it’s impossible to not fall in love with it.