Entrepreneurship is rife with false myths; among the most pervasive and destructive of these fables is that entrepreneurs are those rare individuals that takes a shocking risk by trading off their stable career and lifestyle in favor of launching their own venture, to the horror of their friends and family. However, they come out on top having starting a successful company, taking it public, and getting rich in the process. All in one smooth, seamless attempt. Professor Sarasvathy calls this the “plunge,” and while it may be catchy and make good material for blockbuster films about Silicon Valley, it isn’t grounded in reality. Rather, research on successful founders across varied industries shows that these individuals are defined by their continuous entrepreneurial efforts. The entrepreneur’s journey is a series of successes and failures, and entrepreneurship is more like the art of learning to outlive failures and successes over time. Thus, ‘undertaking’ a venture is not something done in a single moment, but a continuous commitment over time. The Founder Challenge Pledge is the antithesis of the plunge; it is the commitment an aspiring founder makes to oneself to begin the entrepreneurial journey and to persevere in spite of numerous setbacks across their career, knowing that entrepreneurship is not a 0-1 variable (Sarasvathy, 2002). Where do you begin?
Become a Founder
Start something now. Find a problem you are interested in and leverage action methods to address it. Alternatively, start with an existing resource or tinker your way toward building something the world might need.
In 3 Months
Take action in a rapid way that sustains your motivation and allows you to move your ideas forward.
Share your work and embrace the founder identity. But at the same time, acknowledge that your pursuit is about curiosity, learning, & growing. No one likes the founder that brags about how they venture is about change the world without any evidence. Dream big and balance ego against traction.