Right now I’m in the middle of finishing and launching a new startup. And I’m absolutely terrified.
The clock is fast approaching midnight. I started my day tired and drowsy but still made it out the door in time to jam myself into the perpetual rat race traffic jam. I can count on one hand the number of hours that will pass before I have to do it again tomorrow. But here I sit, only a week away from launching a new business. And I couldn’t be more excited. Or nervous.
The Fear of Launching
This isn’t my first company. I’ve been down this road before. But I’m still nervous and I’ve got a fear of launching. One of my favorite celebrities to draw wisdom and inspiration from is Tony LaRussa, a future baseball Hall of Famer and all around effective leader. Tony once said, “If you aren’t nervous, you probably aren’t prepared.” Even after decades of managing baseball, Tony still got nervous before every single game. He was nervous because he cared about the product on the field. I’m nervous because I genuinely care about what I’m working on and the people that will use it.
A well documented problem that entrepreneurs face is that they never ship (or launch). They are so anxious that their product will have flaws that they just keep tweaking, never taking that step of faith and just shipping. The fear of failure drives us to pursue an unrealistic state of perfection, preventing us from ever going live. But the reality is that if you never ship, you’ve already failed.
The Entrepreneurs Bumpy Road
The path to launching a product is never smooth. It is always more expensive and takes more time than you originally thought, no matter how careful you plan. My path in this venture has been as bumpy as any other: I’ve faced rejection from potential partners, skepticism from friends and family, and criticism for investing in a business that is Christ centered. I’ve had every excuse to be discouraged. But true to the spirit of entrepreneurship, I’m thankfully blinded by my own stubbornness.
As we all know from life itself, sometimes bumps in the road come from where you least expect them. This is true, too, for startups. Those unexpected bumps hurt the worst because you don’t see them coming. As humans, we are tempted to blame God for the bumps in the road. But as Christians, we are challenged to think differently. We must understand things from God’s perspective. And somewhere in there is a good lesson.
Despite my fears and the opposition that taunt my dreams, I’m going to launch. And I’m going to do it courageously, because that is what my God calls me to do (see: Joshua). I’m going to launch and I know in my heart that millions of people are going to love it. Even better, I know in my spirit that millions of people are going to be encouraged in their faith because of it. But if not a single person uses my solution, I would not be disappointed. With the help of my friends, and the grace of God, I created something that I use and that helps me in my own walk with God. That alone is priceless.
The lesson here is that we do not worship God because of what happens in this life – in this short internship we have in a place called earth. We worship God because of who He is. Our God is faithful, just, and relentlessly loving. Whether our life is perfect and goes according to plan, or it is painful and full of disappointment, He is still worthy of our praise. That is a hard truth to grasp, but it is one I am reminded of during the launch of my startup.
Finally, I am also reminded that our walk with God is like launching a startup. We are often are afraid to “launch” our faith because we are filled with doubt. “I’m not ready. I’ve still got some things to work out.” We think that we have to be perfect before we approach God, as if He won’t accept us because of our sins. But this isn’t true. God doesn’t need to wait for us to be perfect to accept us. Jesus died for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to be perfect to enter into God’s presence. How sweet is that?
If you think you’ll get struck by lightning next time you try to enter a church, you’ve got it wrong. You need to just launch and know that defections and all, God can’t wait to take you back.
My challenge to you today is: just launch, baby. Launch into the presence of God without concern as to what flaws you might be bringing with you. So what if you haven’t been to church in years, or prayed in months, or read the Bible in just as long. Don’t worry about being perfect, because as entrepreneurs are called to just ship and improve later, you too are called to launch into a loving relationship with God, who will work out the details and flaws later. The Bible promises that God will receive you with open arms, no matter what condition you are in.
What are you waiting for?
Photo Credit: stevendepolo (via Flickr Creative Commons)