Head-first or feet-first into your next venture?

When it comes to pursuing a new venture, you can make one of two errors (I’ve made both). You may either throw caution to the wind and dive in with both feet, blindly trusting everything will work out; or, you can sit on the sidelines until you meticulously work out the details, waiting until just the “right time” to make a move.

When you're testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet. - Benjamin Franklin

To be sure, the first error can bring much learning. As Mark Twain once wrote, “the person that had took a bull by the tail once had learnt sixty or seventy times as much as a person that hadn’t.” A little forethought, however, can avoid some of the more painful lessons (and the scars that come with them).

Alternatively, you can err by overthinking, believing you need a clear forecast on your future before you take action. Or you don’t act until you’ve amassed enough (whatever that is) resources to cover every contingency. Good learning, the kind that’s helpful to shaping your next new venture, however, requires getting a little wet.

Neither yielding to an addiction of exuberance nor remaining stuck in uncertainty are helpful ways to get your next new venture. One is all feet—rushing in to make a big splash. The other is all head—making no splash at all.

Your next venture requires all of you; head and feet. It’s why you were given both.

Are you more inclined to be exuberant (feet first) or uncertain (head first) in pursing new ventures?

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