Why would you start a start-up during the corona crisis?

4 Aug 2020

On the website of Innovation Origins we read a nice blog by Bert Overlack at the end of July with the question whether it is worthwhile to set up a start-up in these Corona times. To start or not to start?

 

Does it even make sense to start a new company or take over an existing company in these uncertain and turbulent times? According to Bert, the founders, as successors, weigh up the opportunities and risks. And given the many uncertainties, limitations and negative news surrounding Covid-19 and the so-called Corona crisis, it is understandable that the uncertainty and therefore the risks outweigh the opportunities. Behind it is the fear of failure.

There is also the doubt of making the right decisions and possibly dealing with feelings of guilt afterwards. Understandable. Anxiety is a very important emotion, because it points to risks that we cannot fully foresee. It tells us to be careful. And that is what we must do in a situation as we are experiencing it now. But acting carefully doesn't mean you shouldn't act. Successful entrepreneurs are characterized by the fact that they are aware of their fears, but do not let them get blocked.

Doubt is part of it

Doubt is a part of this day and age. How are we supposed to know what the right decisions are? We have been talking for years about VUCA times (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and how we should act in them. Some companies have long lived in a VUCA world because their markets and technological conditions were just that - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And suddenly we all live in a VUCA world. Within weeks, Covid-19 has turned our world upside down, showing us how little we know, how complex our dependencies in the international trade of goods are and how difficult we find it to accept that there are no clear answers and solutions. We must have a dual vision before making important decisions in these times. So look at both sides. And then make decisions and overcome your doubts.

Face your fear

Why? There are many stories of successful entrepreneurs and their secrets of success. All successful entrepreneurs that Bert knows have faced their fears and doubts in crucial situations. They have faced and overcome their personal fears. And to allay their doubts, they sought advice and other opinions and then determined a direction. What remains are the possible feelings of guilt. We usually feel guilty when we know that we have consciously done something wrong, failed to live up to expectations, and are caught. We cannot make all the right decisions in our lives. I don't know anyone who has passed. But we can deal with reasons why as humans we make mistakes, we make wrong decisions that can lead to failure. We can learn from the experiences of others and try to integrate them into our behavior and decisions.

Don't lie to yourself

Entrepreneurs fail because they lie to themselves. Because they don't want to admit, talk about or ignore unpleasant facts. This includes our blind spots and prejudices. We have them all. By not dealing with it, we cannot recognize our unconscious thinking and action patterns and therefore cannot include them in our decision-making processes. So we deceive ourselves - lie to ourselves. Another reason why entrepreneurs fail is the hubris, the hubris to be able to do anything, to know no boundaries and to feel that they have endless financial, temporary and energetic resources. Self-confidence and conviction for your own goals and projects are important and a prerequisite for business success. It is just as important to understand your own resources and their limits. Because with violence everything goes well - many things also break. Doubt is also one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs go bankrupt. Doubt, this feeling of being on the accelerator and braking at the same time, walking around in circles, losing orientation and going nowhere. And to use a lot of energy in the process. Doubts can only be overcome with a clear decision. Being successful as an entrepreneur also requires bold and daring decisions.

Opportunities in every crisis

Crises are opportunities. And opportunities turn into crises if they are not used. The Greek word crisis not only means opportunity and crisis, but also decision. A crisis only becomes an opportunity if we are prepared to make decisions. All old wisdom teachings have in common that they describe the world as polarity. This means that there are opportunities in every crisis and risks in every opportunity. Bert's answer to the question of the founders and successors whether they should take an entrepreneurial risk during this period is always: If you are convinced of your idea, do it.

Good advice: Take advantage of the opportunities that lie in this corona crisis and contribute to the fact that we will have a better world afterwards than before. And be aware of the risks, especially the personal risks: self-deception, hubris and doubt. The greatest risk of an entrepreneurial activity is the entrepreneur himself.

 

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