“Dear Fear” — An Ode to Entrepreneurship

Inspired by one of my favourite hip hop artists of all time; Kota the Friend, as well as Alex Lieberman (Morning Brew), and my role model, Michael Jordan.

February 5, 2024
5 min

Dear Fear,

I have been meaning to write you this for a long time.

For the past 27 years, you have lingered within me.

For the past 27 years, you disguised yourself as my friend.

For the past 27 years you have prevented me. Pulled me close. Held me back.

You kept me from talking to that girl.

You kept me from jumping that 90 ft cliff at 18.

You kept me from speaking my mind for so many years.

You held me back from so much.

Yes, many times I didn’t listen to you.

Yes, I still did what I was told not to do.

I took some risks. I took leaps.

I showed up to those CEO offices unannounced for a shot.

I closed that deal.

I built that company.

But you were still there the whole time.



And showing up, right as I needed to make THE decision.

But, Fear, you see, I have changed.

I am no longer that person I once was.

I no longer care about a lot of the things I used to.

I no longer fear failure or pain the way I might have before.

In fact, I embrace it.

I understand that these things are just “life reps”.

They are just part of the journey, for me to be prepared for when my time comes.

Besides, how will I know true joy and success if I do not hurt or fail?

I also know, Fear, that whatever images or stories you send me, they are just in my head.

In reality, I will never know until I try.

Not only that, I have learned in my experience, that pain is unavoidable and I might as well embrace it.

I cannot run forever.

I only have this one life that I can call mine.

And I’ll be damned if I don’t live it to the fullest.

But don’t be sad, Fear.

I understand that you have done all these things for me. To protect me.

You never wanted me to look dumb.

You never wanted me to be hurt.

You never wanted me to lose my friends and be alone.

You never wanted me to be something I might not be.

You never wanted me to be an imposter.

In the end, you always wanted the best for me and I’ll always be grateful to you for that.

But I no longer care, nor want to care about what other people think or losing my friends.

Those that will understand will stick by me and those that don’t, well it just means we aren’t a good fit.

And the only person whose opinion should matter in terms of who I am and what I can do, is me.

You may ask: Why am I telling you all this Fear? Why am I leaving you?

The answer is simple: I have found something that truly I cannot let go of: passion.

But more than that, ironically, I have found a new fear.

This new fear is stronger than anything that I have ever felt before.

This fear; it haunts me in my dreams and it follows me during my days.

This new fear: he goes by “Regret” .

Regret of not trying.

Regret of not becoming what I know I am.

Regret of not living my life to my fullest.

Fear, Look me in the eye.

It’s ok if you’re scared that I am leaving you.

So am I.

But we are scared for different reasons.

I am scared of what I won’t become.

And you are scared of what I could become.

Look at me, Fear.

I won’t let myself end where I started.

I won’t let myself finish where I began.

I know what is within me, even if you can’t see it yet.

Fear, look me in the eyes.

I have something more important than courage.

I have patience.

I will become what I know I am.

Goodbye, Fear.

It’s time to move on.


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Ash Fishman

Building in the Web3 music creator economy, while entrepreneur-ing like an athlete. Hunger on the Hillside. ⛹🏼‍♂️🏄🏼‍♂️🏋🏼‍♂️

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