Stains by Ryan Hide is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I remember the feeling of that first contract in hand — a promise that an organization was going to pay me to “consult” rather than work for them.  Then the first invoice.  The first revenue.

After spending eight years working in the corporate world, and another four years in startup companies, I decided to start a business in 2009.  I was confident I could be successful, and excited to bring my experience and ideas into the world on my own terms.  I had six clients within fourteen months and I was definitely leaning into my own edge.

It felt as if I was a tea bag being submersed in boiling water with the aroma of possibility seeping out all around me.  My own enthusiasm was only matched by my fear.  What was my value?

I had started blogging in 2007.  When I become an entrepreneur, I mysteriously stopped.  Why, when I love to write, would I stop?

The thrill of starting a business captivates many of us.  It’s one reason entrepreneurs gather: to share the adrenaline rush of taking risks. What is discussed less is the fear.  I am not just a representative of “some company.” I am representing my idea, my team, or just me.  It’s very personal, regardless of whether I’m launching a life-changing product, or just carrying a bag into someone else’s office.

Perhaps I stopped writing because I like to control the risk.  By meeting prospective clients and partners face-to-face, I can discern what needs to be said and done.  “Putting myself out there” with words and ideas means those words and ideas could circulate outside of my purview.

Being a successful entrepreneur and hiding are not compatible.

Today I decided to take some more risks.

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