Skydiving and entrepreneurship may seem unrelated, but they actually have seven commonalities you may be overlooking. I think an entrepreneur should skydive more than once for one simple reason — risk. Risk taking is an ongoing hurdle in every entrepreneur’s life. I don’t just mean the initial gamble of entering entrepreneurship.
As you continue on your journey, you will be confronted with a bombardment of decision making. These decisions will not always have clear-cut answers. Often, it’s all up to you on how to handle a tough situation — one you never saw coming and have never navigated before. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have no alternative other than to trust your instincts and make a risky determination on a consistent basis.
You will continue to feel like you’re more of a professional skydiver than a mere businessman as you continue on this entrepreneurial path. Trust me. Here’s why.
1. You must learn to face your fears.
Fear is a huge reason why so many people don’t take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship. Yes, the unknown is scary, and nothing is guaranteed in business, but if we can reframe our mindset from being less afraid of the unknown and more afraid of never knowing, we will begin to create a life of freedom, adventure and independence.
In skydiving, you have no alternative other than to face your fear, free falling.
2. Entrepreneurs jump into business without a parachute.
Like I said, entrepreneurship depends on taking risks. Skydiving is the ultimate thrill because of the inherent risk. When you’re in the plane and the door swings open, you realize how unpredictable your fall will be. Yes, you have a parachute, but when it comes to business, there is no safety net. Your only choice is to put on a brave face, look over the edge and jump!
3. Both force you to analyze whether you’re living life to the fullest or not.
No one wants a life of mediocrity. We all crave leaving our mark on the world, creating lasting memories and making meaningful connections. Whether we do that through our business, impact or through our example, we all want an outstanding life. When we look back at our lives in old age, we want to have zero regrets. We should all look back and smile knowing we did it right. Ask yourself, are you living life to it’s fullest or merely coasting by? Both skydiving and entrepreneurship make us feel excited about life. My advice — hop off that plane of mediocrity.
4. Building a faithful team.
I can’t emphasize the importance of building a culture and team that believes in your mission enough. Finding the right people to take that leap of faith with makes the jump that much more worth it. When you can look to your left and right and shout in exhilaration, you know you’re on to some big things.
5. Defying the odds.
When you’re up 13,000 feet high, with clouds surrounding you and adrenaline pumping through your veins, you have this moment where you realize the incredible power of the human race. We’re smart, powerful and capable of great feats. You recognize how two brothers created the first aircraft strictly through determination. You consider how meticulous skydiving instructors must be to navigate while freefalling and how engineers design a parachute safety device to ensure a safe landing. So many people defied the odds long before you decided to skydive.
Often times, entrepreneurs go into business because they see another way that hasn’t been done before. Through willpower, faith and drive, you understand how all things are possible.
6. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Freefalling is unlike any other feeling in the world. It is a rush that is indescribable. When you’re an entrepreneur, you will be forced to do things outside of your comfort zone, and a similar feeling will occur. You won’t be comfortable in every room. You’ll have adrenaline when pitching to investors. You will be unsure how to land every deal. But you have to trust the process, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable. All the growth, magic and opportunity lies right outside your of comfort zone.
7. Have fun.
Celebrate your wins. Often we get bogged down with self-criticism, doubt or failure. But what about all the wins? Be sure to celebrate all the successes along the way. Remember why you got into this game. It was a choice. Always have fun, be present, and enjoy the ride.
Are you an entrepreneur who has skydived? I’d love to hear what other similarities you found from both experiences. Snap me at hellogerard, and tell me how you think they go hand in hand.
Gerard Adams (entrepreneur,com) 14/01/2016