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Archive for February, 2007

Fear, Entrepreneurship and Organization

Posted by Herman Najoli on February 24, 2007

A few mornings ago, I selected Dallas Mavericks owner and billionare Mark Cuban’s blog for a quick perusal. In one of his entries, he makes some interesting comments regarding starting a business and the spirit of entrepreneurship. He says, “There are few things more exciting than starting a business and getting things rolling. The fear, the adrenalin, the excitement, the hope that every entrepreneur feels, are all intoxicating. In fact, very often they are TOO intoxicating. Very often, along with some success comes the feeling of invincibility. I have been in situations where I have told myself that Im smart, I know what Im doing, that I will figure things out as I go, so its OK to take on this new opportunity.” (Emphasis mine).

I couldn’t agree more with this thought leader’s statement. Being at the point where I’m just starting my own organization, Better Life Company, I’m feeling exhilarated. It’s deja vu for me. When I was in college at the University of Nairobi, I started the Center of Knowledge as part of the SHEBA partnership (Stephen Herman Eternal Brotherhood Association). The Center of Knowledge was a resource unit that provided lots of personal growth materials to students at my college campus. Stephen was and still is a very close friend who worked with me in equipping so many young people back home in Kenya. Both organizations lost traction when I left Kenya and came to the United States but I can’t forget the feeling of invincibility I felt as I walked around the campus and toured the country speaking at high schools. 

Mark Cuban’s article is very insightful. He talks about the ‘fear’ of starting a new business.  That transitionary period is very tricky and you must be very focused. Successes through the transitions of life are determined by what happens inside of us. Think of the process of metamorphosis. When I was a kid growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, we had lots of ladybugs in our part of the country. I used to enjoy watching the process of change that happened as they metamorphosised into adult insects. At the larval stage, few people can tell that it will ever turn into anything that can fly.  Soon it transforms itself into a pupa and makes a cocoon around itself. The final stage of maturity comes when changes happen INSIDE the cocoon. The larva BREAKS OUT of the cocoon and becomes a beautiful ladybug. 

Nothing excites me more than embracing positive changes. Every single change I have embraced over the past seven years has completely revolutionized my life. I moved from Africa, to Texas, to Colorado, to Massachussets, to Tennessee, to Omaha and now I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio, which will be the US location for the offices of the Better Life Company. While this might seem like too much change, it’s been a journey towards the ultimate. Epic living! I’m intoxicated! Opportunity has knocked on my front door and I won’t be caught raking leaves in the back yard. I’m ready! All systems are tuned up and ready to fire. As Robert Schuller said, “You can’t fire a missile from a canoe!” If Mark Cuban will define my spirit as intoxication, I’ll accept his definition based on my philosophy of living an epic life and being in the flow of changing society.

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