Kids all across the country are donning their costumes, excited by the prospect of scaring and being scared. Entrepreneurs face and overcome fear on a daily basis – braving a wide array of boogeymen, real and imagined, that rise up to spook self-made men and women.
But of all the spectres that haunt the psyches of entrepreneurs, perhaps the deepest are fears that involve loss.
In honour of Halloween 2014, we pinpoint the 3 scariest things for entrepreneurs.
Bankruptcy. The word "bankrupt" comes from the Italian phrase banca rotta, meaning “rotten bench.” It’s a vivid and even visceral image: you sit down and everything collapses beneath you. That primal feeling of collapse, with all the money suddenly dried up and the debts unpaid, is a bone-chilling prospect for any entrepreneur.
Losing talent. Look at any successful company and you’ll find, at the heart of it, great people. It’s hard to imagine what Apple would be like without the design genius of Joanathan Ive or Yahoo! without the hard-driving leadership of president and CEO Marissa Mayer. Top talent is the lifeblood of any vital company. And losing top talent is, dare we say, much like a vampire's bite: draining, debilitating, terrifying.
- Losing one’s drive. Companies that are fuelled by an entrepreneurial leader essentially run on that leader’s drive, ambition and resourcefulness. A truly successful company will develop its own momentum – as key personnel step forward or a hot product takes off. But every organization evolves, and part of that process is a need to re-imagine and re-invent itself, and that requires the drive and vision of a leader. What happens if that leader's drive – suddenly, unaccountably – vanishes? It would be like a ghost turning solid, a mummy coming unbandaged, a werewolf turning vegan. Scary!