There is something to be said about the psychology around being afraid of getting an answer of NO. As a bootstrapping entrepreneur you have to know that most doors won’t just open for you, you’ll have to kick them down.
However, kicking down doors doesn’t work if you are afraid to ask for uncommon things because you think the answer will be NO anyway.
This morning I came across an awesome blog post from Mark Suster titled The One Word That Shouldn’t Exist in an Entrepreneur’s Vocabulary. Suster states that his mom taught him at an early age that if “You don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Suster also says about his mom:
She was a hustler. And a ball buster. And a natural sales person. She was never afraid of the word “no” even to the point of embarrassing me.
The key takeaway here is that closed mouths don’t get fed. You should definitely go read Suster’s full post over on his blog.
One of the things I was told by my father years ago was that if you are not afraid of success, then your goals aren’t big enough (click to tweet this). I came across a blog post this morning from the wildly outspoken, bad-mouthed super angel investor Dave McClure that articulated perfectly what my dad was telling me .
McClure’s post is titled Fear of Flying, and the one thing he makes clear is that the fear of failure is not what scares most great entrepreneurs, but instead it’s the fear of flying and maintaining the altitude. He writes:
Of course it’s easy to fly high for a few days or weeks. Everyone gets lucky, hits their stride with gusto now & then, sinks a sweet 3-pointer once every 20 shots, writes some challenging routine that compiles the 1st time and works flawlessly, or closes a big deal they didn’t think was gonna happen. Sure, you can do that every once in awhile – but can you do it for a month? for a quarter? every day for a year? can you beat last month’s number consistently, and can you say with a straight face you’ll be able to beat that high-water mark again next month too?
This is an awesome post by Dave and I suggest you go read it on his blog right now.