Startup Lesson 11: You can

My daughter tried out for, and made, her school’s middle school soccer team.  She has only played 3 seasons of soccer, and those were in a fairly non-competitive church league, so she was very surprised to have made the team.  She didn’t think she could make it, but she really wanted to play.  As Dad, it’s my job to make sure the word “can’t” is very, very rarely used in conjunction with things my kids want to do.

This past weekend, after the snow and ice gave way to 60-degree sunshine, we were kicking the ball in the yard, and she showed me how she had learned a new skill.  I showed her how to take that up a notch and asked her to do it.  Her response? You guessed it: “I can’t do that!”  I showed her how again, and then asked her to do it.


She did it perfectly.  Twice.  My response? “Don’t ever tell me you can’t do something!” You can. You just have to try it.

Same applies to startups. Keith McGreggor of GT’s Venture Lab tweeted this just today:

Why do #startups not start up?
Fear, mainly.

Translated, in their brain, they’re thinking, “I can’t do that.”  Fear of failure. That’s why we say ideas are a dime a million. It’s execution that matters.  Many times, it’s just showing up (on time) that matters.  You can do it, but only if you try.  I’m sure there are dozens more bumper stickers to spell this one out for you, like “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, or “You never know until you try,” but they are all correct. You may not hit a home run every time, but a few bloop singles and a line drive double with a stolen base or an RBI? Will that get you by on your way to the home run?

It will. You can. Swing, batter, batter, batter! Swing!

What do you think about that?