You Have the Courage by Toni Rasmussen

June 15, 2016
You Have the Courage

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill 

Though Winston Churchill is known as the British Prime Minister who lead England through the challenges of WWII, he had previously worked as a war correspondent for a daily newspaper. While reporting about the Boer War in South Africa, he was taken prisoner. He escaped to Mozambique, a distance some 300 miles away from where he was captured.  

Imagine being in Winston Churchill’s shoes – try to fathom the fear and the unknowns in his journey of escape. So must entrepreneurs face uncertainty while dealing with doubt and even fear?  Will it work? Are people open to this? Am I absolutely crazy for even thinking this?  

The answer to these and many other questions are part of facing the unknowns. Ultimately it takes courage to make the shift from the known to the unknown.  Courage is not limited to any special class of individuals – it is not one of those “you either have it or you don’t” traits. It is not an innate state of being, rather it can be acquired by anyone.  But sadly many never take the step to let courage guide their steps.    

In entrepreneurship, courage is required to deal with risk and the potential of failure. Entrepreneurs are continually trying new things - failing at some, succeeding with others. Have an idea but worry that your courage quotient is too low?  Build your courage by taking the following steps: 

  1. Do the research. 

  • What's been done? What are the pain points? How can this be fixed? 

  1. Weigh the consequences with this risk. 

  • What happens if it doesn't work? How much am I willing to invest? 

Ultimately, you face the opportunity and ask yourself Am I meant to do this?  Is this my purpose?   

If yes, then make the leap of faith and take the risk. 

Having courage does not mean you morph from the tiny, yellow tabby kitty to a big, strong, prideful lion just because you visited the Wizard of Oz. Rather, having courage means you have faith in yourself, your abilities, the timing, and your choices. 

Imagine yourself as Winston Churchill in your entrepreneurial captivity - are you going to remain a prisoner of your own thoughts? Or are you going to escape to something with far greater potential?