If you aren’t scared, you’re either going too slow or you’re a reckless

by Sep 24, 2012Lessons Learned

I have reached my point of saturation, seeing all these quotes lately in the startup community about being faster and faster without fear and finally have to say something. Fear is good! Fear is an indicator you know the consequence of your actions, which is a sign of mental maturity. When we fail to heed the signs and work with our limits, we cause massive disasters.

Walter Röhrl is an auto racing legend I highly admire because he has mastered some of the most dangerous auto racing types and is still alive. In response to a couple of tragedies in the racing world, I recall him saying: “If you aren’t scared, you’re either going too slow or you’re a reckless moron!” This is something mentors, and instructors always tell young race car drivers, especially since many of them have raging hormones, which is also not unusual in the startup world.

You have to have a healthy “relationship” with fear. It is not there to impede you but to keep your senses sharp and keep you humble. When you need to take huge risks, you are aware of the limits of “adhesion” and the laws of physics (or life), and you work WITH them to propel you forward.

Pushing yourself is the only way to succeed, but you have to be alive to enjoy the fruits of your victory!

Take a gander at the following video of an Aussie driver “tickling” these limits. Replace the cars with the companies we are trying to build. You can go from 16th to 1st place, but to not be reckless and survive, let alone win the race, you need to have a healthy relationship with fear.

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