How I Built the Courage to Take the First Bold Step to Entrepreneurship

How did you go down the path of Entrepreneurship? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Dheeraj Pandey, founder, CEO and Chairman of Nutanix, on Quora.

The burning desire to do something, to create something, to change my life, to change the lives of some others who signed up for the cause. If you truly believe in "the worst is not bad enough" principle -- and keep repeating it whenever your heart starts to pound on uncertainly -- you will muster the courage to do the irrational. The most irrational of things have a rational worst-case reasoning behind them. Having a difficult childhood helped strengthen that conviction.

I've also believed in balancing people-and-results, tech-and-business, and frontend-and-backend in the way I read, learn, and execute. I learn a lot from history. History gives me courage. I firmly believe in matching patterns and drawing parallels between the past, the present, and the future. A die hard conviction in "the more things change, the more they remain the same" helps me with product and organizational design, connecting seemingly disparate worlds and events, and taking risks. The biggest reason for me to come back to Quora every week is to read even more on history. Reading about the past makes me a more visual person, as I am forced to imagine how things would have been. And I do think a lot visually, which helps me "land" the nebulous ideas into something more concrete.

As for instability and uncertainty, I've learned to modulate my emotions. The daily highs and lows can make it a crazy ride, unless you focus on the average line, and don't get too elated or too depressed on a daily basis. Breathing meditation has helped, as have my loyalty to Mike Robbins (authenticity), Simon Sinek (start with why), and Deepak Malhotra (negotiation). I'm beginning to respect Nassim Nicholas Taleb's discourses on antifragility. Every day, I wake up and remind myself of the simple yet extremely profound saying: "what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger."

And lastly, my partner-in-crime -- my wife -- is an immense source of strength and support in everything I do. Entrepreneurship is hard stuff, and if you don't have a buy-in from your life partner, it becomes ten times harder.

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