What should all first time entrepreneurs know before starting their very first business?

Startup Consulting

The following is a guest post from fnBlog Contributor MarcHoag, Co-founder and CEO of VentuRocket. This post, originally posted on Quora, discusses the philosophy of what a first time entrepreneur should know before starting a business.

(There’s a lot of great practical advice already written here, so what follows below is something a bit more, um, philosophical, if you will.)

If you’re doing it for the money, you will fail. But not for the reasons you think. Short answer: have a fear of failure, but not a fear of not making a lot of money. Long version below explains this bit of seemingly rhetorical nonsense.

First things first.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make tons of money and become rich and successful and have your red Ferrari (or white Lamborghini?) one day. I don’t like when people try to make broad sweeping greater-than-thou pseudo philosophical / moral arguments that it’s wrong to want these things. If you work hard and earn them, by all means enjoy them. It’s crap to say otherwise.

Never fear not becoming rich.
But the problem is that if making money is the reason you want to build your startup, then you will always have a fear of not making money, and if you have a fear of being without money and great success, you will never have the courage to take the necessary risks to succeed in the first place and thus ultimately fail. Put another way, you need to pursue your startup with abandon such that you don’t fear being without money, such that you risk anything and everything to succeed.

Instead, just fear failure itself.
However, you should have a fear of failure and be motivated with an insatiable hunger to make your startup succeed. But this fear of failure is not the same thing as a fear of not making a lot of money: the former is a fear of something, while the latter is a fear of nothing.

Motivationally, if you fear something you don’t want, you are far more likely to succeed than fearing something you do want: the former will ensure you do whatever it takes to get it, the latter will cause you to hesitate and avoid risks.

Focus on your startup; the money will follow. Focus on the money, your startup will fail.

Good luck! :)

Want to learn more about @venturocket?  Check out Marc’s Quora profile or connect with him on Twitter @marchoag

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