Entrepreneurs can handle the truth

entrepreneur jack

There’s a classic scene in A Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson cracks and shouts at Tom Cruise, “You can’t handle the truth!”. Turns out Tom could and Jack went to jail. Never mind  that.

Some people just can’t handle the truth. These people can’t be entrepreneurs.

If you want to start your own business, you have to be able to face the truth. The truth of your runway (how much cash do I have left?), the truth of your product (do people really want it?), the truth of your work ethic (can I work 80hour weeks for years on end?), the truth of your tolerance for uncertainty (can I work in an environment where I don’t know what will happen tomorrow?)

It’s easy to fool yourself. It’s easy to pretend the big sale is around the corner, or that your product is world class, or that you can still take your annual four-week family vacation and switch off your phone, or that you (and your spouse) can handle not knowing whether you’ll make payroll.

What isn’t easy is failing. The easiest way to fail is to duck the facts, put your head in the sand, be a Pollyanna and hope for the best.

Hope is not a strategy.

Face the truth, or fail.


Also published on Medium.