Almost every startup founder goes through a phase of uncertainty. 95% of the businesses fail in the long run. When you are six months to one year down your startup, you will face a period where you think that all this might not work. And you will start thinking about a plan B. What if the startup fails?
The tricky part here is that, your business is more likely to fail if you have a plan B. Entrepreneurship can be very hard and taxing for the founder. Entrepreneurship demands time, money and energy. Even if the startup is working well financially, many startup founders think about quitting because it just takes so much of them to keep things running.
If you have a plan B, you are more likely to give up along the way. If your mind drifts towards thinking about plan B, very soon, the plan B becomes the top idea in your mind. Your startup cannot afford a plan B.
Your startup would fail naturally, and it will end up leaving you thinking ‘I thought so’. If you are a pessimist, you will be proved right.
You will live the rest of your life with the plan B, but you will always wonder if you had a chance to make the plan A work if you had given your 100%.
And the sad part would be that, you might not have given 100% to plan A, because you were thinking about plan B all the time. You were too afraid of the plan A failing.
Fear of failure with your startup is an emotion that all startup founders face. I recommend people to face their fears and emotions with full presence than run away from it. Trying to run away from the fear of failure with plan A is what creates plan B in the first place.
Make fear your ally and do everything possible to overcome the fear. If you are afraid of competition, then study your competition. If you are afraid of cash running out, then study about debt and equity finance. If you are afraid that you cannot build a great leadership team, then read books about building great teams and think deeply about it.
The next time you think about your startup, and then think about alternative plans if your startup fails, stop. Don’t think what if this doesn’t work. It will work. Your startup will fail only if you decide to let it fail.
If a new idea is not working like you thought it would, then try something new. You can lose battles in your startup, but not the war. The war is to make your startup work in the long run.
Putting all your chips in is the price you need to pay to have massive results with your startup. You might look up to other startups who have succeeded and sometimes even feel jealous of them. But you have no idea the pain they have gone through to take it to that level.
If you are going through pain in your startup journey then you are in the right place. By going through growth pains in your startup, you are crossing a path that your competition will hesitate to. It makes you stronger.
100% commitment to one thing can be scary. But going all-in also releases tremendous amount of energy required to make it work.
When you have no back up options, no alternatives, no plan B, a part of you wakes up. That part is going to push you to the limits. This is the true startup fuel that makes a startup work.
Don’t be afraid of testing your limits on productivity and decision making. Growing as an entrepreneur to become insanely productive and make tough decisions doesn’t come by reading books. You grow as an entrepreneur when not-growing is not an option.
When you face challenges in your startup, you grow. And as you keep facing challenges, you are growing to face bigger challenges. The incentive to face tough challenges head on comes from not having a plan B.
Killing your plan B is the best startup growth hack I know till date. Many times, you might not even consciously realize that you have a plan B at the back of your mind.
You might want to spend some time with yourself, pondering about the seriousness of your startup commitment. You might have to think if everything else in your life is aligned to help the success of your startup. Even if you have one thing out of alignment, your growth will be stressful.
Actively identify your plan Bs in your mind and kill them one by one.
If your startup fails, what will you do? Do you think that you might be able to get a job? Think about how boring a job can be after a sprint of growing a startup. Think about how everyday of your life will look like an employee.
If you give some time to think about your plan Bs, you will realize that plan Bs are bad plans. If plan B was a good plan, it would be a plan A, not B.
The more time you spend going over every plan B and visualising it, the more you will realise that how impractical plan B actually is. And how much you would hate doing the plan B. And that’s the best way to kill all your plan Bs.
Bet everything you’ve got on your plan A. In this context, the Plan A is your startup. Accept no possibility of failure.
The only way to reduce the possibility of failure near to zero is to realize that failure is not an option for you. Plan A is your Plan A because plan A is your dream. And a dream deserves not to have a plan B.
A dream with a plan B is not a dream, just a fantasy.
Kill all your plan Bs and your plan A will have no option but to work.
All the best!