Sometimes ideas are like recurring dreams. Seth Godin humbly says some of his best work is about labeling things we already know rather than coming up with new things. So I was struck recently by two related ways to explain the same thing: that moment of jumping off.

See what you think:

Last week I sat next to a friendly and likable local business owner on a plane from Eugene, Ore., to San Francisco. He talked about how and why his business was growing at double-digit rates even during the recession. He said:

“Sometimes you just have to jump. I call it a leap of faith. You don’t get to know. You’ve studied as much as you can, you’ve talked to your customers, and you just jump off.”

To put some context into that, Chris Meeker and his wife Erika own Imagine Graphics in Eugene, Ore. They bought a building, changed the company name–and doubled the business in about two years. They studied, and then they jumped.

Then there’s a young entrepreneur’s 10 lessons that I just posted today on my main blog, Planning Startups Stories.

Buried at number nine of her list of 10 is this one, the “all green lights” reference:

A wise mentor of mine once told me that if you wait to leave your driveway until all the lights on your route are green, you will never leave. You must jump and build your wings on the way. You will hit red lights. They are momentary and are times to stop, adjust and get ready to go again. Learn to embrace the red lights.

I think both of these entrepreneurs refer to the same idea, that moment when you stop studying and go.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.