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What Brexit can Teach us About Entrepreneurship

Updated: Mar 12

Anyone following the Brexit challenge can feel for the UK. Having voted to leave and become independent of the EU, the hands of the parliament have fumbled with this for more than 2 years without deciding on how to leave.

Negotiations have gone on with the EU, everybody is discussing the consequences. Every academic is opining on the negative impacts of life without the EU.

But this is what it comes down to: FEAR.

In the face of fear you often think only of what can go wrong. In the face of fear you plan over and over again to try and eliminate all outliers. And in the face of fear the voices of the most risk averse advisors ring loudest in your ears (and believe me there are no more risk averse people than bureaucrats)

And this is why the Brexit is like someone debating whether they should become an entrepreneur.

So often I consult with potential entrepreneurs and they want me to give them all the answers. What is life like on the other side? How do you plan for all contingencies? How do I avoid failure?

I can only answer them this way:

You must overcome your fear with a leap of faith, in yourself, in your ideas, in your work ethic.

There is no way to plan for every contingency. When you go out on your own it will be messy. It will drive you crazy, it will push you. It will be hard.

But what I have found, and many other entrepreneurs have found, is that through this experience of pressure you get better. The process of going on your own tests your skills, changes the way you think and, interestingly enough, opens up possibilities that you may have never seen before.

I think if the UK can’t muster this faith then it is best they stay in the EU. It would provide the least amount of challenge to their people and make for a more comfortable economy in the short run.

As an entrepreneur it may sadden me a bit because I would enjoy watching how strong the UK might become on its own. But then again, after more than 25 years on my own, I can’t imagine a life in which I wasn’t an entrerpreneur.

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