A Central Tension in Any Entrepreneurial Venture: Marrying Your Business But Also Keeping a Safe Distance

Continuing my riff on the role of passion in decision making, here’s a central tension in any entrepreneurial venture you don’t hear talked about much:

It demands complete emotional committment to be successful, but you’re also told not to have your self-esteem / self-worth too invested in the success or failure of any venture because, after all, many key factors are outside of your control.

In other words, pour your life into the venture, but don’t take it too personally if things don’t work out.

While we read many stories of successful serial entrepreneurs, or entrepreneurs who’ve had successes and failures intertwined, we don’t read much about folks who failed, failed, failed, and then succeeded. I’d love to read their stories and learn about how they at once married their early businesses but also kept a safe distance, how they at once maintained self-confidence while also welcoming the excellent motivator that is fear of failure.

2 Responses to A Central Tension in Any Entrepreneurial Venture: Marrying Your Business But Also Keeping a Safe Distance

  1. Toli G. says:

    Yeah, it seems to be all about mature boundary function: where does your business end, and where do you begin? It’s important to keep yourself detached from any business outcome.

    I too have often wondered where those stories of failure are at. Statistically, the more you fail the more you will succeed, right? Failure is a great thing (in the right context), but I think there’s a tendency for great leaders and thinkers to skim over these failures. I don’t think you should dwell on them, but there’s definitely valuable lessons in every “failure.”

  2. krishna says:

    I would rather make a few errors before I actually *fail*. Failures are difficult to detach. They hurt.

    By building in critical early warning systems in the business model, we can recognize errors in advance. Costly failures can be avoided that way.

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