Eight years ago, we decided to leave our jobs as head of HR and head of Brand at Red Bull, to set up FizzPopBANG Ltd. We’re often asked by people (and sometimes ourselves) how we found the courage to make the leap from the corporate world to starting our own business.
What started as an ‘off the cuff’ remark of a business idea, grew to a burning ambition in the space of a year. It felt like at every turn something validated our idea into a business. By the end of 2012, we had registered our company and resigned. A lightbulb had switched on that we couldn’t switch off…
All we knew is that we had each other and a shared passion for a subject we loved. How do you build a culture that gets the best out of people, so they achieve real brand employee engagement and are the best ambassadors for your company? Sounds easy now, but back then, it was like rocket science. How do we share this secret that we felt at Red Bull? A deep commitment to do our best work and make Red Bull successful.
We didn’t see ourselves as entrepreneurs. We are certainly people who grab life by the scruff of the neck, but our career map up until that point had been fairly traditional.
We had always worked in-house, never set up a business, both worked hard to craft our corporate careers and max out our ambition…so now we were jacking it all in to start something we weren’t even sure enough people knew about. Coupled with the fact we were still technically in an economic recession, our families thought we were mad. And we probably were.
Ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen?
The funny thing is, actually it didn’t take much courage in the end. It came down to asking ourselves; ‘what’s the worst that could happen if we do this?’ Our answer was ‘we would never get any work, no one would pay us, and we’d find a job somewhere in a few months’ time.’
Once you realise you can mitigate the risks of that first question, you realise there is another far more powerful question to ask. This allowed us to pull the rug from under the big hairy decision and face down the tunnel of uncertainty.
We suddenly realised that we would never know what could have been possible. We would have to live wondering ‘What if we’d actually been brave and just tried to build a business?’
Being paralysed by fear is the worst move of all
For any big decision, we like to feel in control. Not having a clear view of the outcome may mean you feel afraid to make it. It doesn’t have to be anything as big as giving up your career to start an unknown business.
Don’t be paralysed by the fear of the unknown or not wanting to make a bad decision so you are unable to move forward.
What is the cost of doing nothing?
What will life be like in six months, 18 months' and even 10 years’ time? You may find by asking this question that you are even more frightened by the thought of inaction and what kind of future that holds.
It sounds really simple but try it – we guarantee that by spending time looking at what’s stopping you, you’ll unlock a whole host of opportunities. The courageous version of you that you didn’t even know exists, will make an appearance.
If all fails, find a partner in crime….at least you’ll have a hand the hold when you make the jump into the wilderness.