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- Starting Your Own Business
I’ve been trying to decide who to give $7.5 million to.
The money is for a new synthetic biology project I’m managing as part of my Air Force reserve work. There are a lot of things that drive me crazy about continuing to work in the government, but I still love awarding big sums of money to innovative scientists trying to push the edge of our knowledge.
Programs like this attract the very best scientists in the country. Most grants are on the order of $1 million. Getting $7.5 million completely transforms your career and reputation.
As you might imagine, it’s not an easy decision. The chances of ultimately getting selected for funding are roughly 2.5%. In an extremely competitive field like this, the difference between success and failure often comes down to something small.
Leading this effort gave me a big picture view of competition and an objectivity I don’t always enjoy. All of a sudden I realized my own approach to getting help and getting ahead was less than stellar. I bet yours is too.
These lessons learned will be useful for anyone who thinks they have to tackle every big challenge alone (ummm, overachievers, I mean you).
But if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of starting your own business, either on the side or as a full-time replacement for a job you’re eager to escape, for goodness sake, don’t skip this post (or the webinar announcement at the end of it).