Eric Ries, the bestselling author and creator of the Lean Startup Methodology defines entrepreneurship as the management discipline of high uncertainty. I think it’s not the uncertainty that makes entrepreneurship so tough, but the pressure coming from being in charge of your own future.
Uncertainty is a creation in our mind and fighting it is like trying to fight your own thoughts. It wraps our lives just like air wraps our bodies – trying to manage it is like trying to manage air. There is a reason we, as human beings, were given the ability to remember the past, yet no ability to see our future. However, we were given the ability to dream and plan it, which is underestimated by most people. Most of us are sold on the idea of luck and randomness, or in the case of religious people God, defining our fate. These beliefs cause most of us to live in uncertainty, waiting for things to happen.
As an entrepreneur you suddenly become in charge of your own future. It is a new notion to most people, challenging their system of beliefs and causing stress. Suddenly we are faced with too many choices and lack of ability to make the choice that is right for us. We were taught to use empiric methodologies in chemistry classes in school, but never thought about applying these methodologies to our own lives. We were taught writing a business plan for our company at MBA programs, but never been challenged to write a plan for our own lives. Or in the words of my favorite teacher Yogi Bhajan: “You know how to drive a car, but you do not know how to drive your life!”
Entrepreneurship is an eye opening experience that forces us to face the fact that we are responsible for every single thing that’s happening to us. The only moments we experience uncertainty are a result of self-doubt, lack of knowledge or lack of experience. All of these are challenges that most of us can overcome. All it takes is realizing where you want to go and simply making your way there, step by step.