“You must be crazy to jump out of planes all the time.”
“You must be crazy to quit your awesome job at a ridiculously awesome agency to start your own business.”
Two quotes pertaining to two areas of my life that I’ve recently started to combine into one. My name is Sydney, and I am a skydiver slash entrepreneur. It sounds like we should be sitting in a circle at a meeting somewhere. But all joking aside, the similarities between skydiving and entrepreneurship are freaky sometimes.
[See The 50 Best Careers of 2011.]
There is nothing natural about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. And certainly nothing natural about leaving a stable job with a guaranteed pay check, awesome benefits, and a path promising growth and rewards for a job well done. So why do people skydive, and why do we start our own businesses?
The thrill? The thought of pushing boundaries you grew up with? Defying laws of gravity? The idea that “well, if I can do this, I can do anything?” Possibly all of those.
[See 10 Myths About Job Searching.]
For me, skydiving is a lot like entrepreneurship. Why, you ask?
1. It is risky. And with great risk, comes great reward. Before every single skydive, I have a routine that I go through. I check my gear to make sure everything is hooked up properly. I go through what the jump will be like in freefall, and I prepare myself for which direction I need to land my parachute once I get closer to the ground. Before I made the leap to quit my job and start my own business, I calculate the risk involved. How much will I need to make to survive? What kind of work do I want to do? What kind of clients do I want to work with? So far, I keep landing on my feet with each new adventure, be it that next skydive or a new client or idea for an existing project. And that, my friends, is the ultimate reward.
2. You’re proving to yourself that you can. Skydiving is, without a doubt, a very popular bucket list item. A lot of people want to try it for various reasons.
Sydney Owen in a few words: digital/emerging media strategist, skydiver, sushi lover, chaser of sunshine. Main Peanut in the Packet at 3Ring Media. She’s also a member of The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.