One of my most favorite articles of all time is one by Wilson Harrell, then an editor of Inc. Magazine, that focused on the issues around being an entrepreneur and published back in 1987.
If you have not read it, I suggest that you do, since it speaks to the unspeakable and relates to what one feels as one starts a business. He called that membership in The Club of Terror!
The post is extremely well-written and clear as a bell — the tones still resonate for me and I am completing my 30th year of being in business for myself. He says things like this:
Now, I realize that you didn’t bargain on this when you started your company. Terror is something that entrepreneurs don’t expect, can’t escape, and have no way of preparing for. You won’t find any college course on the subject — Handling Terror 101 and 102, or whatever. Nor are there any on-the-job training programs. To my knowledge, nothing has ever been written about it, either, and few people even talk about it. The truth is that those of us who have experienced entrepreneurial terror seldom admit to it. As a result, it remains a deep, dark secret.
Above all, don’t take terror home with you. No matter how sorely tempted you are, do not under any circumstances share terror with people you love, unless they happen to be partners in your company. It will only make them despondent and maybe even sick. They put up with enough just living around an entrepreneur. Besides, you need the experience.
My own belief is that the ability to handle terror, to live with it, is the single most important — and, yes, necessary — ingredient of entrepreneurial success. I also believe that it is the lonely entrepreneur living with his or her personal terror who breathes life and excitement into an otherwise dull and mundane world. From that perspective, the Club of Terror is a very exclusive one. Welcome.
You can click on the icon below or this link to read the article in its entirety:
I hope you like this as much as I do.
For the FUN of It!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
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