One of the things people often ask me is ‘What made you want to do this?’. It’s a question most entrepreneurs and new business founders are familiar with, but the answer reveals much more than you might realize.
The ‘standard’ response is often a skin deep, politically correct sentence that essentially tows the accepted thinking commonly prevalent today. ‘I saw a problem and thought I could fix it either because no one else was, or because I thought I could do better’. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m afraid that’s only part of the answer.
If we dig a little deeper and really probe when we’re talking to entrepreneurs, it’s not that they only saw a problem, it’s that when they saw the problem they weren’t in a position to effect the change they wanted to bring and so something had to change to enable them to pursue the dream. Gates, Jobs and Zuckerberg all famously dropped out of college because the solution they had to the problem they saw couldn’t be accomplished to the same extent and with the same speed if they hadn’t and that my friends, is the power of independence.
It’s the spirit behind which this country was founded hundreds of years ago. The idea that if we break out on our own, we can achieve something greater and something better than if we stay doing what we’re doing, with the people that we’re doing it with. It’s the hunger that drives us to realize that as a wise friend of mine once said, you’re either pregnant or you’re not. There’s no half way to building a successful business. You’re either in or you’re out and if you’re in, then independence is often (although not always) the best path to tread to achieve the goals you’re probably setting for yourself right now.
Leaving the perceived safety and security of stability, to charge out on your own can often be the biggest hurdle for many entrepreneurs. Just think though, what the world would look like today if Gates, Jobs and Zuckerberg hadn’t taken the leap.
independence [in-di-pen-duh ns]: freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.