The whole startup/being an entrepreneur business came out of a Grace Hopper Keynote talk in 2013 by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO and author of Lean In). The striking part of the talk, for me and one of my co-founders, was when she asked “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” And it got us thinking. And it got my co-founder deciding that we were going to start a business. And here we are, almost a year and a half later, and it’s actually happening.
Today, we head out to a Teachers Convention to set up our booth. And for the next couple of days, we’re going to try and convince teachers that our product is a) worth it, b) awesome and c) something they are going to buy. We have no idea what is going to happen. We don’t know if we’re going to have a ton of people signing up next week or no one. We don’t know if we’re going to feel like we don’t belong in the exhibition hall, feel like we stand out (in a good way) or just blend into the crowd of booths.
But we do know, that this is something we’re afraid of doing. And that’s one of the reasons we need to do it. We need to get out there and just face our fears and see if this business is really going to take off or dive off a cliff. It’s not a terrible thing either way. Both lead to more opportunities. The first, with growing this business, the potential to actually pay ourselves, and the chance to develop more of our ideas. The second, to look at different doors, go in a different direction, and finish off our degrees knowing we tried, wholeheartedly, and that we learned so much more in this past year and a half that most of our 6 years of our doctoral program.
I challenge you to take some time today, tonight, tomorrow and think about this question. What would you do? What is holding you back? And then see what you can make happen.