I’ve often said that two emotions that are irrelevant for an entrepreneur are fear and anxiety. My favorite quote from Dune is “Fear is the mind killer” and many people get confused and don’t understand the difference between panic and urgency (where panic is just a more extreme version of anxiety.)

 @bfeld
"If you are afraid of exploding, you'll never take off. back to that fear thing."
January 9, 2012

During a particularly informative evening and day in Colorado Springs, I participated in a number of entrepreneur-related events. My favorite of them was a talk that I gave to a freshman class at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with John Street, a long time friend and one of the first entrepreneurs I met when I moved to Boulder.

The class that we spoke to was a freshman seminar about “Being Your Own Boss”. John and I quickly told our stories and then spent the majority of the time answering questions. One of them was something like: “What characteristics have made you successful?”


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I’ve often said that two emotions that are irrelevant for an entrepreneur are fear and anxiety. My favorite quote from Dune is “Fear is the mind killer” and many people get confused and don’t understand the difference between panic and urgency (where panic is just a more extreme version of anxiety.)

 @bfeld
"If you are afraid of exploding, you'll never take off. back to that fear thing."
January 9, 2012

During a particularly informative evening and day in Colorado Springs, I participated in a number of entrepreneur-related events. My favorite of them was a talk that I gave to a freshman class at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with John Street, a long time friend and one of the first entrepreneurs I met when I moved to Boulder.

The class that we spoke to was a freshman seminar about “Being Your Own Boss”. John and I quickly told our stories and then spent the majority of the time answering questions. One of them was something like: “What characteristics have made you successful?”

John went first. He stated that the two most important things about him were that he is “tenacious” and “oblivious”. Having known John for many years, tenacity defines him. He simply does not give up. While he can appear stubborn, he’s a learning machine, open to any feedback, constantly asking questions — especially when faced with challenges — and searching for better approaches on his quest to solving any problem he encounters. I view this as a perfect example of a tenacious entrepreneur.

I was puzzled by oblivious until John explained it. He said that he’s oblivious to why something can’t be done, or why something is difficult, or why someone doesn’t want something to happen. That made perfect sense to me and is a characteristic of many of the great entrepreneurs I’ve worked with over the years.

So, when you’re tenacious and oblivious, you’ll make the giant jump from 99% commitment to 100%. Notice I didn’t use the cliche of “110%.” It’s hard enough to give your all, and it’s good enough to make you a burning entrepreneur.

Comment by Allen Price
As an older entrepreneur, I face down fear every day. If I fall on my face I can't crawl back home to the room I grew up in and let Mom and Dad feed me while I lick my wounds. I have my own family, my own house, and and the "will I be able to afford retirement" questions loom closer by the day. Fear is not only the mindkiller, it can bring complete paralysis if you let it. The only solution I've found is to keep moving forward one step at a time. I'll freely admit I wasn't schooled in tenacity as a youth, but I've learned over the years that having a passion, a real passion, is the fuel of tenacity, and tenacity is the killer of fear.
September 2011
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