When the fear of success exceeds the fear of failure, you are destined to fail.
According to Investopedia, a Startup is defined as “a company that is in the first stage of its operations.” Interestingly the definition includes a few other important tidbits; “often bank rolled by their entrepreneurial founders”, “most of these are small scale operations” and “are not sustainable in the long term without additional funding”.
In that case…Congratulations! You have now leapt into a risky venture that most likely will fail. Neil Patel, contributor with Forbes, said it best, “As an entrepreneur, I know about failure.” That’s because 9 out of 10 startups will fail.
That brings me back to my opening quote and this question;
What is the fear of success?
Fear of Success means that you are not willing to take the steps necessary to develop a successful business. The cliché ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get’ is quite accurate. Success requires hard work and the luck is relative to the amount of work, research, and due diligence you put into your startup. Starting a startup is like going back to college – each milestone could be 40 hours of research! Essentially, luck is the result of hard work. So, you need not fear success if you are willing to work for it.
However, the fear of failure is a good thing. It should drive you and your team. Who wants to fail? Remember, 90% of us will fail on a venture or three. That does not make us, as individuals, failures. Be cognizant that the project or venture failed, not the people. The people, the hard work, are the true asset.
It’s what you take away from failure that leads to future success. Whether you consider Steve Jobs, the Apollo Program, or Google as a benchmark, their failures did not stop them from incredible success. In each case, the person, the team or the company were not scared of what it would take to succeed. And, in each case, they are incredible success stories.
Your mission, as you begin your journey on the next startup venture, is not to fear success. Embrace the principles of success. Surround yourself with team members who understand that success is the result of hard work. Embrace the failures. Learn to pivot (quickly). And never take a failure personally. Rather, use each failure as a step along the success curve.
Congratulations…and good luck!