One metaphor I have encountered is that entrepreneurship is a contagious fire with every successful flame infecting the desire for a burning blaze of entrepreneurship around it. All eventually burn off, and the first flames have the hardest work to do, but each fuels the heat of the fire and makes it possible for the blaze to burn hotter as long as their is a chimney to escape, fuel to burn, and fresh air to feed upon.
That flame of entrepreneurship is part of the human spirit (as I once heard from Daniel Isenberg). Entrepreneurship is no different than art, music or poetry; it has an element of creativity and it is a way of expressing yourself. Given the right conditions, that expression can be set free to the benefit of all.
But what are those conditions and how do you set your flame to work and provide it with all of the conditions for success? I pooled a group of my friends asking, “When you have a great idea, what keeps you from starting the business?” The number-one answer, hands down, “Capital.”
Where does that answer come from and how many people really look hard for capital? Or is it mostly, “If I happened to inherit a load of cash I would consider it.” My intuition say that is rooted in fear in lack of capital as security. There is this fear of a gaping hole of failure sitting smack-dab between the 40-hour per week job and successful entrepreneurship. Few are willing to look down into the cavernous pit to find a manageable trail much less climb down and explore. The feeling to me seem to be a sense of inadequacy and uncertainty about whether you could, with your own free with and strength, climb back up (on either side) once down in this ditch of despair.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. – Mark Twain
I encourage everyone to see how far their ideas can go. There is no shortage of ideas out there, nor any lack of songs in your head or desires to dance; the real inhibitor is your own mind. In my opinion and experience, more than anything else, being an entrepreneur requires the courage to face, express, & conquer yourself.