Jeff Pulver, founder of Vonage and now head of Network2.tv, has some Point of View to share.
A friend asked him about coping with a family that does not understand entrepreneurship:
I don’t want to talk with my family about my plans. I don’t want to explain them that I am not certain where my next project will come from, or my next check… my family comes from a different world, where steady job is the DREAM and Entrepreneurship is just something unheard of.
How does Pulver deal with this?
By believing in myself and when pushed, sharing the passion with others. By knowing that if I don’t go out and take risks and try things out that these opportunities won’t be looking for me. By waking up every morning and doing everything I can to MAKE a difference. By having fun knowing that the future is unwritten and by knowing that anything is possible. By looking deep inside and realizing that this is what I’m here for and this is what I believe in and it is up to me to figure this all out. And, and, because I know that if I’m right about this, I will be there to support my family because I will be able to do so. And if I’m wrong about any of this, that I learned something special from the experience that I will be able to apply the next time I try something out.
If you have a family focused on the paycheck and not on the entrepreneur’s dream, it can be tough to bring them along. I come from an entrepreneurial family, so it’s tougher for me to offer advice. But I do think basic salesmanship applies; if the person is motivated by stability, find ways to offer it. Budget a certain amount of steady income through stable projects. The risk averse will never “get” why you seek risk, so you may want to balance your risks with some baseline solid foundations.
Pulver also has some thoughts on success and failure, and “good mistakes.”
In life we are never always right, nor are we ALWAYS wrong. But as people we need to be able to create an environment which supports “good mistakes.” – Good mistakes become someone else’s special discoveries. Which in turn moves the needle forward.
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