On the eve of Independence Day, 2016, I sit here (covered in dogs, of course), reflecting on what a major leap of independence I am taking as of tomorrow. July 4, 2016 marks the first day of Blue Heeler Arts being my full-time venture. No safety net up here on the high wire of the entrepreneurial walk. Stay focused on putting one foot in front of the other, look ahead and not down or backwards, and pray to whomever that there’s something soft below you, should you stumble and fall.
And fall I will, I suspect. That’s really the one absolute guarantee of any new venture that I’ve found in the past 20 or so years of being up on high wire after high wire. You’ll tumble, take a beating, and get spun around in new directions. Time and again. But, you have a safety net: your creativity, your passion, your drive, and most importantly, those folks who are there to catch you when that footing is lost.
It’s the human safety net that is easy to discount (or even completely forget about). The act of launching a new company is quite often a solo endeavor, at least sparked by the idea that scratches away in the entrepreneur’s head until it has to be released. Then, perhaps we add a couple folks to the team, but often not for some time. And thus, we get used to feeling like it’s all on us. And, yes, the hard fact is that it is on me. But, we all have a safety net in our network of supporters.
This dawned on me last week, when I sent out a brief announcement to those closest to me, letting them know I was heading out on the wire and fully dedicating myself to BHA. I was excited, but frankly, mostly awash in anxiety and a bit of terror: can I truly cast aside the steady paycheck life and turn a part time focus into my full time venture? And still be able to afford to buy Niko the quality of food a Chief Canine Officer deserves?
I was humbled by the response: so many words of encouragement, excitement, and more than a few “how can I helps?” and “call anytime for whatever advice I can offers”. This took the edge off and provided a valuable lesson for all of us out on the wire: you have a safety net in those relationships you’ve (hopefully) fostered and nurtured over how many years. There’s a larger group of folks behind you than you realize.