Taking the Entrepreneurial Leap 

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Taking the Entrepreneurial Leap 

On the last day of my junior year of high school, I was in the wood shop helping the teacher close up for the year. One of the kids came in to pick up his project and it was a large, beautiful hutch, one of the nicest pieces I had ever seen in my 6 years of woodworking. Reflectively, I asked the teacher why I never made anything like that. His reply stunned me. “Because you never START anything like that.”  

That’s when I learned an important life lesson. Most things in life start with a simple decision. You choose it. Starting a business is just that simple. It’s not always easy, but it is that simple.  

When I was working with Husqvarna we ran a dealer recruitment campaign called “We’ve decided.” We went into dealerships in an area and told them that we had decided that we were going to have 50% market share in their market. We told them that we had a plan. We said “We have decided that we are going to have 50% market share in this market one year from today. What we are doing here today is learning more about your dealership to see if you qualify.”  

They realized that we were serious and committed to our goal. They all wanted to be part of that kind of growth and prosperity. We met our goals in every area that we went after. Making the leap to entrepreneurship is no different. You just have to decide. 

Will your life change? 

People often ask me if their life will change if they open their own business. My answer is OF COURSE! And it will also change if you don’t. Life is always changing. The Internet changed things. 911 Changed things. Right now, we are in the middle of this Covid-19 virus thing. Life is constantly changing and much of it is change imposed upon you from outside. Millions of people lost their jobs this month. That constitutes change as well. The question is what change do you choose? 


Many people fear a loss of control over their lives when they take the leap. They will suddenly be without a steady paycheck and they will have to call all the shots without leaders and teammates to collaborate with…at least initially. You may be working at home and your kids will be in your workspace. It may feel scary and out of control if you are used to a very controlled environment, but you will have much greater control over your company direction, markets you choose to serve, work hours, work week, direction and focus, customer service, quality, products and services, and ultimately, your destiny.  

Is there risk?  

Absolutely! But there is also risk is working for someone else your whole life. They are buying your talent at wholesale and selling it at retail. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be making a profit. They control your destiny and your career. They control your contribution to the world. Most importantly, they control your imagination, creativity and the way you think…and that is something I could never stand for. Can you?  

The real risk is the opportunity cost of what you could have done with your career and your life. The real risk is the opportunity cost of the contribution to the world that you could have made if you were doing what you are truly great at and truly passionate about. What is the cost of that? Are you willing to take the risk that you will be retired in your rocker saying “I could have been a contender!” Are you willing to take the risk that on your deathbed you will tell your children to take the risks that you were too afraid to take? Are you willing to look them in the eye and tell them that you played it safe and that your goals and dreams are going to die with you? I am not. I would rather go bankrupt 50 times than leave an opportunity unexplored. What are the real risks? I think you know.  

Start Big or Start Small…Just Start 

If you want to swing for the fences, get some investors and go all in…or start in your kitchen or garage or basement and take it one day at a time, one deal at a time, but start. Win or lose it will free your soul…and that is worth everything.  

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