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A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting outside at my fire pit, having a glass of scotch with my buddy who's running a$300 million company. We ended up in this deep conversation about fear and that uneasy feeling that creeps up when something just doesn't feel quite right. Now, if you're anything like me, I bet you felt that nervous excitement right before a massive change or a big event or a scary investment, right? What does this uneasiness really mean? As I was talking with my friend, we landed on this thought. When you're there right on the edge of something, your heart is racing, your palms are sweaty. How do you decide whether to take the leap into the ocean or stay on the shoreline? When you are standing at that proverbial fork in the road where a left keeps you comfortable and a right may be uncomfortable, how do you decide which way to go? What would future you say if you didn't go through with it? If you can see regret lingering in that hypothetical look-back, it might be time to muster the courage to jump. Now, in my opinion, the#1 reason entrepreneurs fail may not be what you think. I could talk all day about the myriad of reasons businesses fail because there's a ton of them. If we look at the facts, the reality, the analytics, the statistics, most of you will fail. I know that's not pleasant, but it's a reality. Now, we can root failure in not having sufficient market for our product or service, we can blame bad employees, we can look at cashflow, we can be underfinanced, we can blame sh**ty sales or marketing strategies, hell, we can even blame our parents if it makes us feel better. However, over the past 40 years, yeah, 40 years, because I started my first company at age 11, I've been building companies and studying entrepreneurs and the#1 reason they fail is fear. Yeah, fear. Most entrepreneurs are afraid of or uncomfortable with breaking out of their comfort zone. They won't ask for help when they need it. They won't take necessary risks to grow. They refuse to invest in that new employee or that unique marketing platform because they're scared. They're scared of failure, they're afraid of losing money, petrified of being wrong, whatever the bulls**t excuse of the day is, it's all about fear. Now, with the fire as our background, my buddy and I agreed on one undeniable fact, this is a reality that hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, it's like"I'm so glad I mustered the courage to hire that new employee" or"Thank God I invested in that training as it totally reshaped our future." On the other hand, hindsight can also work in the opposite direction"I really wish I didn't let fear win in that moment". When fear nudges you to stop moving forward, that feeling sticks with you, and not in a fun, nostalgic kind of way. That feeling of regret really sucks. This whole thing reminds me of a Jim Rohn quote,"We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons." Life is not going to randomly throw some discomfort our way. This uneasiness is just part of the package deal of being an entrepreneur. But here's the kicker. We get to decide how we let that pain, that discomfort, that fear shape us. Will it be the pain that helps us grow or the pain that whispers what could have been? Here's the thing that we figured. More often than not, it is juiciest parts of life, the most thrilling parts of building a company, usually ask a hell of a lot from us. When everything's on the line, it's pretty damn easy to mistake that pressure and discomfort as a red light or a stop sign, right? Feelings like loneliness, uncertainty, a dinged-up pride or maybe even a shot to our confidence might feel terrible. But most of the time, these feelings are just the price of admission for something potentially amazing to come in the future. But here's the challenge, keeping that in mind when you're feeling nothing but stress and overwhelm and uncertainty? That's the real challenge. The good news is, it's a challenge that we can totally tackle. We can win this! Entrepreneurship is about jumping into stuff we might not feel totally ready for and then figuring it out as we go. And honestly, fear is going to pop up no matter what we do. But if we can see that fear is a sign that we're onto something, there's something more available to us. That's when the real magic and the beauty happens. There's a reality, we do not get our dreams or our goals! We get our standards and if our standards don't change, we will never grow. If your relationship with fear does not evolve, you will never grow. If you don't start putting different s**t into your brain to change the fear factor, you will never grow. If you don't start hanging around with people that play the sport of entrepreneurship better or differently than you do, you will never grow. There's always going to be discomfort and fear, there's always uncertainty, and here's the reality, the great ones look fear in the eye, give it a wink, blast through to that next level and never live with regret.