Don’t jump off a cliff
You know what’s dangerous? Daring new, first-time founders to take crazy risks in the name of being true entrepreneurs.
Reid Hoffman is famous for saying, “an entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.”
As an entrepreneur myself, this quote speaks to me – the hustle, the nerve, the willingness to do hard and dangerous things. I resonate so much with all of these sentiments.
And yet, as someone who coaches founders, I also hate this quote. Because it glorifies the notion that entrepreneurship is about taking crazy risks and somehow just making it work. That kind of risk-taking is only accessible to the very fortunate few who can afford to crash and burn and walk away from the fire unscathed. It leaves behind all of the incredible, talented founders who don’t have the personal means or freedom to spend years and millions of dollars chasing down a bad idea.
I don’t believe entrepreneurship requires complete personal and professional sacrifice. That’s just the story we’re being told.
Instead, I believe we can follow the path of successful, serial entrepreneurs, who know how to take calculated risks. Who understand they shouldn’t jump off the cliff at all. They should rappel down, with skill and equipment to protect their journey along the way.
Each day, I publish an idea I'm working on, highlights from a founder coaching session, or other tidbits from my work with founders, investors, corporate partners, and accelerators. Check out the Hustle+Fire blog for more.