Get Out of Your Head and Talk to People to Overcome the Fear of Starting

Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

I’ve been a “watch-ya-preneur”.

In early 2000, a neighbor shared the book Rich Dad Poor Dad with me. He was an entrepreneur building his first business.

We had talked about start-ups and he knew my frustration with my full-time job at the time.

I read the book in one sitting on a rainy spring day. I’d like to say that the book catapulted me into entrepreneurship, but it didn’t.

I spent my spare time reading about business, how to come up with ideas, design thinking, audience building, customer problem fit and lean startup. Pick your favorite start-up buzzword and process. I’ve consumed it.

Looking back I regret the hours and years of reading and not doing. But, all that watching watered the seed that was planted so many years ago when I first read Kiyosaki’s book. That seed has been growing for years now.

It wasn’t until I forced myself to get out of my head and start talking to people that I realized how much time I had wasted thinking and not doing.

It took years of noodling. Then, with the help of a cohort based course that demanded putting yourself out there, things clicked for me. I made more progress in 4 weeks than I had in the last 10 years.

What I didn’t expect was overcoming the fear of putting ideas in front of people, dealing with uncertainty and making confident decisions with plenty of unknowns.

It makes a load of sense now looking back.

Product management and entrepreneurship is about listening to customers, making bets about problems, getting feedback and adapting to move forward to your goal.

I consider myself able to deal with a fair amount of ambiguity, but when you are the one making the decisions it carries a different weight. Queue the deer in headlights.

I’m not discounting the hours I spent pouring over blogs, reading books and dabbling here and there.

All of it adds up. Nothing is wasted.

So, wherever you find yourself, whatever roadblock you’re facing, it’s important to remember that no experience is wasted IF you take the time to learn from it.

Project leader. Product thinker. Write about human things. Find me at justinzack.com

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