Fear of Flying Solo

“Stop the plane at the end of the runway. That last landing was a little hard and I want to check the tire.” With those words my flight instructor jumped out of the 1938 Luscombe 8A taildragger turned around and smiled at me and said, “Make three take-offs and landings. When you’re done pull it up to the pump.” He shut the door and walked away never looking back as he strolled back to the hanger.

If you to fly there comes a day when it is time for you to solo.

My day occurred nearly 34 years ago on November 11, 1976. My thoughts turn back each year to that day when the signs of fall appear with the squirrels around my house going crazy gathering acorns and leaves starting to swirl at  my feet as I walk along the creek.

So what does this have to do with business? Well, today a lot of people are considering or have already started up their own businesses and if my email is any indication – many of them are afraid. I was thinking about fears I’ve faced in my own life and pushing that throttle in and heading down that grass strip runway while knowing I was the only person in the plane could have been an extremely fearful experience for me.

But, I wasn’t afraid.

Oh, I’ll admit to a lot of feelings as I pulled back on the stick and watched the ground disappear. Euphoria and butterflies hit all at the same time – but not fear. I had been practicing for that moment and had put in twenty-hours of flight time with my teacher flying in all kinds of conditions, practicing stalls, emergency landings, and anything else I might face when I flew solo.

Running your own business is a lot of hard work and it is easy to get discouraged. You can start focusing on failure when things aren’t going according to your business plan. You might begin to think that you’ll never succeed – that it will never get off the ground.

But, you’ve been practicing to do this all your life.

Are you ready to solo? Are you ready to stop being afraid?

There is only one way to find out and that’s to do it. Activity is critical for you. Analytical processing, asking others for advice, planning, reading books, and studying the masters have their place but even more important is the doing.

You are ready.
Believe it.
Start doing.
No more fear.

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