When I was nine or ten years old, I remember telling my dad that I had butterflies in my stomach before a little league football game. “That’s okay,” he said. “It means you’re excited, and you want to do your best.” Those words shifted me from anxiety to positive antici­pation. I felt that if I put my best foot forward and had a good time, everything would turn out well. My father had put a useful frame around the energy I had inside, and that made all the difference.

As you chase your big idea, here are three strategies for putting a useful frame around your passion and energy:

1. Clarify your reasons and goals. Get clear on why you want to start a business and how these motivations will influence your startup plan and approach.

2. Distinguish the fire in your belly from the weight on your shoulders. The first feeling comes from true passion, a can’t - wait-to-get-out-of-bed feeling, while the second is one of ob­ligation and compliance. You will feel some of each as an entrepreneur. Look for roles that maximize the fire and min­imize the weight.

3. Understand what you bring to the table. Acknowledge and ac­cept your personality, skills, and motivations, all of the di­mensions of founder readiness outlined earlier in this chapter. This self-awareness will drive your healthy and skill­ful use of entrepreneurial passion.


Resources and Readings

Thanks to Internet search technology and social media interconnec­tivity, answers to most entrepreneurial questions can be found with a few clicks. I have attempted to list sources beyond the usual …

Startup Readiness Tool

This tool can be used to: ■ Evaluate and improve a founding team’s readiness to launch a business ■ Calibrate the timing of a startup effort (accelerate or delay) ■ …


The deepest form of entrepreneurial commitment acknowledges and accepts that there are forces in the marketplace that are beyond the founder’s control, forces that will impact the venture’s destiny for …

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