Valley of Death! Are you ready?

October 18, 2014
João Ferreira
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Let’s say you have a great idea or you’ve developed an amazing technology. Are you going to keep the blueprints in some dusty drawer or are you going to make something out of it? If you decide for the last option, I want to congratulate you for entering the world of entrepreneurship!

In this world, the air is the same, the food is the same, but not everyone survives. You can sense this immediately after stepping out the front door and noticing the large yellow warning sign with the red bloody letters saying: “Next Stop: Valley of Death”

What is the Valley of Death?

I guess that a person that helps entrepreneurs should be able to explain it properly to those who are just getting started… But it’s not that simple, and sometimes you need to be knee-deep in to understand it.

I guess to explain this harsh path I can set a parallel between the intangible “Valley of Death” and the tangible “Death Valley” located near the border of California and Nevada.

Be prepared to get through it!

The “Death Valley” is a really hard path for you to take, and to walk through it you need a lot of resources. What I mean about resources is not only the ones you get from the local hardware store. The most important resources to take on this journey are the internal ones! And those… believe me when I say this, will be used the whole journey! So you better have a lot of them! Better yet, you should be prepared and resourceful enough to build them as you need them.

Built on a dream, your internal resources can come in the form of motivation, resilience and passion. In the beginning, you use them to fight the “give up feeling” you get when you look at all the risks and probabilities of failure. Then, you need loads of it to get you through the way. You should use them carefully though!!! There’s no shame in giving up one dream if that dream will get you killed. Sometimes it is just not the right time to follow that dream… and you live to try another day with a lot more resources!

What about the external resources? Well, the amount and nature depend on the dream and how strong is your faith in it. Nevertheless, one thing you should take with you is a map! It’s not a very detailed map, but you should have at least two important things: the mark that shows where you want to be at the end of the journey (what you want to achieve) and the signs that show you the common dangers in the path.

There’s nothing better than having a map with the holes and the obstacles pointed out so that you can use the experience of others to support your way. Let’s face the truth: no one gets there alone, just like the first man that reached the South Pole didn’t make the whole journey for the first time… part of the path was done by stepping in other’s footprints.

We must always remember with gratitude and admiration the first sailors who steered their vessels through storms and mists, and increased our knowledge of the lands of ice in the South. Roald Amundsen

Just a heads up on this map subject: build your competences and learn how to read a map before you start walking and… have fun turning your ideas into reality!