What are You Afraid Of?

*Tell us, Found|READers: What are YOU afraid of?*

A few nights ago I had a conversation with a founder whom I’ve long-admired. Barely 40, he’s already done a lot in his career, and his company has achieved a level of recognition that most founders can only dream about. Yet he remains the most tireless, and hardest-working guy I know. His idea of a vacation is a globetrotting conference circuit. “I get to see new places. It’s a break for me,” he says. (He means it.)

But *the other night I got lucky.* Over a “quick drink” (he makes no time for dinner) I asked him why he continues to gun so hard, day in and day out, even when it appears as though he could slow down, just a little. Usually fast with an answer, this time he paused. He adjusted the cocktail napkin under his wine glass. He pursed his lips. And paused again. Finally he said:

*”I can’t slow down. I can’t, because the truth is, I’m terrified of failing.”*

I was startled. No one would ever suggest this guy was at risk of failure, yet this most basic fear still plagued him. Then his phone rang. Like an alarm. He suddenly caught his stride again, and explained himself: *His fear doesn’t plague him, he said, it energzies him.* Fear is what drives him to excel, to get up earlier, stay up later and try one more time. It’s like a gift. The ultimate motivator. At least that’s how he views it.

This struck me *as a useful lesson* for all founders — a great way to turn a perceived weaknesses into a strength. *And so we want to know, Found|READers: What are YOU afraid of?*