As Red Bull Strato’s jumper, Felix Baumgartner said, “When I was standing there on top of the world so humble, you are not thinking about breaking records. I was thinking about coming back alive. You do not want to die in front of your parents and all these people….I thought ‘please God, don’t let me down.”
I love this quote from Felix for many reasons, but the main being he is brutally honest describing his feelings of risk. This type of risk is felt in many facets of life, whether you are a music artist performing at the Super Bowl, a startup founder launching your first product, or like Felix, someone trying to break a record for an advancement in science.
Everyone is always watching. Yes, you get the thrill of 100,000 fans singing to your song, write-ups in major tech blogs, and your name in the Guinness Book of World Records. But what if it doesn’t happen like you dreamed? What if you fall flat on your face? Once you are doing something monumental that took hours of practice, development or research, it becomes a new kind of risk. The best kind of risk is taking a chance that no one else has the courage to do.
When you have the feeling that it’s no longer about your goal, that it’s bigger than that, then you know you are taking a real risk. One that makes you think ‘God, please don’t let me down’ is one that any determined entrepreneur has felt many times. The feeling of quitting your salary job, not sure if you can pay the bills, “what the hell am I doing?” kind of risk.
Once you prepare yourself for any risky endeavor, you calculate the pros/cons of the action and what may be the potential result. To become an entrepreneur, learn to take small risks on a daily basis. After taking so many small risks, you’ll build these skills and become a better decision maker. An entrepreneur takes a chance with risk in mind, understanding the potential backlash of a failed attempt or if you’re ever so lucky, a payout worth its weight in gold. An entrepreneur feeds off the excitement, the thrill, the uncertainty of what the future holds.
Most entrepreneurs fail. But to be an entrepreneur is a success in itself. Because you are willing to take the chance, to build something greater than yourself and in exchange for your risk taking ability. You know that you are one of the few in America, that are true change agents, creating jobs, giving back to the community and inspiring those to follow their dreams.
Felix had the dream to break the sound barrier by going up to the highest point for a human at the edge of space, and then jump. Want to be an entrepreneur? Leap and enjoy the ride.