5 Ambitious Ideas that are scarier than anything you’re planning.

We all get a scared when we’re about to pull the trigger on something that we perceive to be “big.” Big means different things to different people. It could mean launching a small business. It could mean spending a few grand on your first advertising campaign. It could mean spending a few million on an untested idea. Whatever your “big” is, I want to encourage you to take the leap. Here’s a little inspiration to help you do it. Just remember, no matter how enormous you think your Everest is someone has funded something crazier and succeeded. Here are some lessons in bravery to keep in your back pocket. #1 – Virgin Galactic – Your new idea/venture/task is scary. I grant you that. But, Richard Branson is building the world’s first commercial spaceship service.  You may say, “what does he have to lose? He’s a billionaire.” Well, he could lose his billions if he bombs it big time. He’s literally throwing hundreds of millions into a company that will allow rich people to hang out in space for a few minutes. It’s ambitious, it’s exciting, and it’s going to work. So, maybe you shouldn’t drag your feet on that coffee shop you’ve always wanted to open?

#2 – Red Bull Stratos – We all watched the footage of Felix Baumgartner as he plummeted (basically) from space. This was all put together by a company that wants to sell you energy drinks. It’s a very bold venture that has paid off in spades. On the week of October 14th 2012 this was all anybody, anywhere was talking about. It was a bold leap of faith on a very scary idea. So yeah, some guy skydived from space? Maybe you can run that half marathon you’ve been talking about?

#3 – Everything Google ever does – This company has taken pictures of every street in the entire world. They plan on scanning every book in recorded history. They allow their employees to spend 20% of their working time on special projects of their own choosing (so long as it’s for Google.) In short, Google dreams bigger than anybody. For now they use their powers for good. Let’s hope they don’t become a Bond style super villain. Maybe you can build an advanced home office to get you started on your plan for world domination?

#4 – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – These were ordinary guys. They took a correspondence course on how to make ice cream. That means, they just decided to learn about something they were interested in. As in, they didn’t come from experience or money. They pooled $6000 together, found a college town that was missing an ice cream store and opened shop. But, the real thing that made them huge was pushing the norm. If they just made chocolate and vanilla, they may not have gone anywhere. I wanted to put this one in because it wasn’t started by a billionaire or an already huge company. It was two regular people like you and me. They picked something they liked, found a good place to start, and turned the product on its head. Maybe you can still become an expert in that one field you’ve always been interested in?

#5 – XFL – The XFL was a new professional football league that aimed its sights on taking down the mighty NFL. It was a hugely ambitious venture. It was also an abysmal failure. So, what’s my point? Well... what’s the worst that can happen? I’d rather strike out a few times swinging than get hit by a pitch. Don’t be afraid of failure. Swing for the fence. Their will be another day, and another idea.