Most entrepreneurs like to think of themselves as pioneers. Trailblazers. Adventurers.
It’s a very romantic image, isn’t it?
There’s only one problem: in the Americas, the pioneers were the ones found along the trail with arrows in their back.
If you are committed to being a pioneer, you are also committed to receiving the arrows.
If you don’t want that kind of risk, it might be best to let other people be pioneers, and for you to follow after they’ve taken the risks, and done the dangerous work. You might be happier as a “settler”.
This is not an indictment of your character. For instance, you’re not being a pioneer if you become an accountant. Or even a CEO. But both can be very profitable and honorable career choices.
On the other hand, staking your future on an uncertain technology startup is pioneering. We love to hear the success stories – the “outliers”. What we typically don’t hear about is the hundreds of thousands of people who go off on the pioneering trail, never to return.
So you have to ask yourself: arrows, or no arrows?
Question: Are you more of a pioneer, or a “settler”?