Lesson from Elon Musk via “5 Entrepreneur Talks You Must Watch Before 2014”:
…there’s always something wrong. It’s usually something small. At any moment, the probability of failure is high. Ultimately, you can’t let the small details derail your big vision. Keep your heart, and head, on track, and your potential will be limitless.
Quite a few entrepreneurship heavyweights have weighed in on the issue of quitting.
Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, one of the leading accelerators in the world, says that companies fail for one reason and one reason alone: The founders quit.
Let’s face it: Startup life is brutal. The failure rate is high. Even the companies that succeed face long, grueling slogs. You also have to deal with a constant stream of criticism, from customers, competitors, co-workers, and sometimes, investors. If anything goes wrong, rest assured, it’s your fault. And startups often rip you from your comfort zone on a daily basis. There is no soft couch to sit on. You are usually in a fight for survival, relevance, attention, sales, revenue, talent, and funding. Relax for a minute—and you’re toast.
That’s why I tell my students contemplating launching new ventures that the first thing they need to get right is their mindset.
The proper mindset for a fledgling entrepreneur is that of… a rhinoceros. Sure, rhinos are known for their massive horns and tough skin. But there are some lesser-known qualities that rhinos and great entrepreneurs have in common. Read more.
It is important to develop an internal culture that encourages experimentation. We did that and that’s how we came up with Lyft. I’d also tell them to be open to pivoting. Remember that the company you start off with isn’t always the company you end up with. And know that is okay.
Find people who have been [where you are now] and spend time with them. That is what I did when I was 26, and it catapulted my career.
Dan Martell, who founded of Clarity as a fledgling 26-year-old tech entrepreneur.
Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
I dropped out of many colleges. I just didn’t like school. I’m a poster child for not doing things in a careful way, which is actually my biggest suggestion for burgeoning entrepreneurs. You can’t sit down and predict. When you do that too literally, you will lose out on the kind of intuitive journey that allows you to reach a passionate livelihood.