Let me start with an admission – I am paranoid. No, I am not a negative person or the kind who would make life a living hell for themselves and those around them. Instead, I’m your quintessential entrepreneur who experiences paranoia about his venture, its current state and the future.
Well, truth be told, most of us entrepreneurs often fall victim to paranoia on an interval that can well be described as above normal. Ask any of your entrepreneur friends and they will vouch for this.
In the last four years of running my own venture, I have experienced this up and close. I have lived through multiple experiences of when I have self-inflicted myself with thoughts on how I am getting it wrong. So much immersion in negativity only to then receive client testimonies that talk extensively to how they have benefited from our products and services.
This is a classic story of to the moon and back. It takes more than just courage to live through this tale especially when it repeats itself many times over within a span of days.
Allow me to make another admission – it’s only very recently I’ve realised that paranoia is my poison. Again, Before you get all jumpy and make your conclusions from this, give your horses a pause and read three key reasons why I believe a healthy dose of poison (in this case paranoia) isn’t bad after all.
#1 Paranoia helps separate the wheat from the chaff
It’s not unusual for us entrepreneurs to over analyse the potential of our ideas and go overboard on execution hence investments. While no business is risk-free, successful entrepreneurs take decisions that ensure risks are minimised.
Paranoia helps us balance our decisions by making us think of the worst possible outcomes and ensuring energies are focused only on ideas that hold merit.
#2 Paranoia helps keep focus on the next move
If falling prey to going overboard is a problem for most entrepreneurs, getting overly caught in running everyday operations is another end of the spectrum. In fact, the latter happens more often since most entrepreneurs initially don multiple hats and are very hands-on to nearly every part of the business. Between all the multi-tasking, losing focus on the next wave of innovation is but natural.
Paranoia ensures entrepreneurs dedicate a sizeable portion of their energies on the next move to help take the business to newer heights.
#3 Paranoia helps plan for that rainy day
While running your own venture does mean you have to become more street smart and flexible to ensure delivery and client satisfaction, it also means that you have to plan for a war chest to ensure you come out clean from any unforeseen circumstances like additional taxes, change in government regulations et al. Truth be told, not all entrepreneurs have this war chest – while for some it’s purely out of choice, for others it’s not an option yet given their financial status.
Paranoia keeps reminding entrepreneurs of that moment when they went through a crisis without a war chest only to make them realise the importance of it.
If you are an entrepreneur and living through periods of paranoia, then cut yourself some slack and tell yourself that it’s really OK for you to experience this.
Having said that, like with everything else, practice moderation and stop yourself before slipping into moments when paranoia overtakes reality. In healthy doses, paranoia can well be your poison to hit upon that next big thing!
If you have a similar story, do drop a line to share with other readers.