The Start is What Stops Most People

“The start is what stops most people.” – Don Shula

Have you ever seen a little kid get on a diving board for the first time?

Most of them hesitate and make a real serious assessment of whether this new activity is a good idea.

Of course there is a range. There are always a few brave souls who jump without thinking and a few who have to be forcibly pushed.

The majority do the calculation that, if kids before them didn’t die, they’re probably going to be ok.

I was a cautious kid and I’m probably a cautious adult. They didn’t have to throw me off the diving board, but let’s say, everybody was getting really bored by the time I finally jumped.

What kind of kid were you?

I have chosen a livelihood that is full of risk.

Starting a business and being an entrepreneur is just one long series of new diving board experiences.

The thing is, now we’re not in an environment that has been designed for our safety. Some of these jumps may be our last. Hence most people will not follow this path for long.

The stress of constantly assessing risk and then taking it, wears them out.

I think this is where support of mentors plays a big role.

If you’re in a new venture, find people willing to share their experiences.

They can be the other kids in the pool, who say, “come on in the water is fine.”

But choose wisely.

This reminds me of the scene from Vacation, when Christie Brinkley jumps in the pool naked and invites Clark Griswold to join her.

He strips down (to his boxers), and stands by the edge of the pool for a ridiculous amount of time, swinging his arms, chanting, “This is crazy, this is crazy….”

Sometimes when a start a new venture, I feel like Clark, “this is crazy, this is crazy…”

But eventually I jump… and start. How about you?

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