Feb 082016

Of course shrinking the elephant makes things even easier!

Of course shrinking the elephant makes things even easier!

Launching my own startup is the scariest thing I’ve ever done!

Though before that, moving to London for an assignment was the scariest thing I had ever done.

And before that, going freelance.

But before that, quitting my job and going on a sabbatical.

Before that, changing jobs.

Leaving university.

Going to university.


Every life has a number of “big changes”. And at the time they happened they are all the scariest thing you have ever done!

Now I look back and I remember being scared, but I don’t understand (or perhaps better to say, I don’t feel it). Because seriously, how scary is it to change jobs? Everybody changes jobs multiple times in their lives. What was the fuss? Or moving somewhere else. People move to different countries all the time, so why worry?

I worried (was scared out of my brains!) because it was new for me!

Now it’s not new anymore. Taking away any feeling of fear.

Except for the current new thing (launching a startup)! So many things that I need to figure out, so many things to learn. What is the industry like (confusion!)? How do you figure out how what product to go for (aaargh!)? How do you market a product (panic!)? So many steps to take, each of which I haven’t a clue about and which can fail (miserably!). It’s overwhelming and difficult and scary!

Though, it’s mostly scary when looking at is as a whole, when considering all the steps that I need to take at the same time.

Because each step individually might be difficult and unknown, but it’s not overwhelming.

So, I need to figure out how to do marketing? Ok, let’s read up on marketing. Ask some people. Think about it hard. And maybe experiment a little bit. Sure, there are things to learn, it gets confusing and it’s certainly not easy. But with sufficient time and patience, I will get this bit. The process itself is simple enough to follow. It’s repeatable. And thus that single step is not scary anymore.

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself”. But it can be even better, fear can be an indicator of where you need to focus. This part scares me, so I probably don’t know enough, am not certain enough of my skills yet. Practice and learn and the fear goes away.
So far, this has been the case for all of the sub-steps. There are certainly failure points (when do you know enough? Are you missing anything crucial?), but they are manageable, the risk can be diminished to any desired degree (still too scary? I can take four years to do a university study of marketing…). That might not be effective, but it’s certainly possible. The question thus becomes “when do I move to the next part?” And the good thing is, if I feel that I moved ahead too quickly, it’s definitely possible to take a step back.

Looking at the whole thing, it’s scary as hell. But I never have to deal with the whole thing, I’m only dealing with small nuggets of it at a time. It’s like eating an elephant: Eating the whole thing is impossible. But eating one bite at a time is perfectly fine. Until at some point you have actually eaten an elephant. Or launched a startup…

Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

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