By Lorne Epstein
How many times have you had a great business idea and done nothing about it? If you’re like me, many. I’ve started companies, so why do I hesitate? Because failed businesses cost money, time and can hurt your reputation.
I always thought entrepreneurs — myself included — were crazy when they made the leap to a new venture. I changed my mind after speaking with Ric Fleisher, co-founder of roadside-assistance platform Urgent.ly, and TJ Radtke, CEO of skill-matching service Acertiv.
Talking to them, I was surprised to learn that these two startup founders are risk-adverse. When starting their companies, they took a methodical approach to calculating their exposure. Their business plans included a personal assessment of their own finances and how much financial risk they were willing to take on. They set approximate dates for meeting milestones. If they didn’t meet their goals, they were ready to drop their business to avoid financial disaster. And most importantly, both had money saved to fund their salaries for the duration of their startup efforts.
Lorne Epstein has started several businesses since the early 1990s, beginning with a VAR for Multimedia peripherals. He built Inside Job, a Facebook application that makes Facebook work like LinkedIn, and recently joined Reel Potential as their Story Evangelist. Reel Potential is the only company with legal license to resell Hollywood Movie clips. He’s recently built a recruiting practice in the Washington, D.C., area. Email him at Lorne@ElectricCow.com.