Entrepreneurship is a life changing decision. Just like every other major decision in life, it brings with it risk and a wide array of emotions. It’s not always easy to overcome these fears but what you’ll find is – these fears are faced and felt by every entrepreneur at some point. Overcoming your fears is what separates successful endeavours from failures. But, how do you overcome these fears? A good way to start is by learning to anticipate and manage your fear.
Instead of avoiding your fear, face it head on and confront it. If you acknowledge and embrace your fear, you can turn it to your advantage. It might just be a sign reflecting that you are prepared to start a change that has been waiting for you.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve learnt to overcome my fears and, trust me, it has made me better at tackling problems in my personal and professional life. As they say, you should share your knowledge; I’m here to share my experience of overcoming my entrepreneurial fears.
Below are the main fears that entrepreneurs face and how I overcame them to convert my dream to reality:
Fear of Failing
While thinking about starting your own company, you must have thought- “What if everything goes terribly wrong?” As humans, all of us fear failing because nobody wants their effort, time or money to be wasted. As a budding entrepreneur, you may fear that your business may not take off or you may not have enough customers to sustain growth.
All of these thoughts are rooted in fear and they can hamper your efforts before you even embark on your start-up journey. Most of us often worry about what others will think if they fail. Remind yourself that, ultimately, people who become successful don’t fear failing, but understand that failures are a part of life and are essential to learn and improve.
Fear of Not Meeting the Expectations of Others
The growing pressure of building a strong reputation and delivering great value to everyone can be incredibly time consuming. However, it is nearly impossible to please everyone and doing so can even prove harmful to your company. Pleasing everyone means always complying and never complaining about problems. We also know several people who are too rigid to be pleased regardless of you doing exactly what they have been asking for.
It’s natural to want to please your customers and employees who are dependent on you for their livelihood. Nevertheless, you should not let the fear of disappointing others affect your efforts or bring your down.
Fear Of Making Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s also apparent that nobody in this world is perfect, so get over the fear of not doing everything perfectly. Moreover, being perfect is really boring! This is also true for entrepreneurs.
So, don’t stress over every last detail of your business process. If you will run after the perfect office space, the perfect website, the perfect employee, etc. your hunt for perfection could possibly leave you in no man’s land.
If you are unfamiliar with the law of diminishing returns, you should learn it now. In a nutshell, it states that after a certain point, adding extra effort will not generate substantially more gains. The challenge is in knowing when you have reached that point. For many start-up managers and entrepreneurs it’s an important question that how far do they need to keep going on a project before they declare it to be ‘good enough’ and that further effort won’t bring any significant change in the outcome.
It doesn’t mean that you should not be making changes, upgrading or optimizing. It’s more important to know how far forward you have to go to make changes.
Fear Of Running out of Funds
Most people rightly consider monetary profits an important parameter for the success of any business. If your business is generating a good return on investment, eventually, you’re going to go out of business. Companies can also face situations where they run out of working funds due to lacking enough customers. The fear is obvious, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t navigate through this financial roadblock and guide your company towards greater success. All you need to do is embrace the fear whilst at the same time ensuring that you have financially planned for such situations.
In the early stages of your business, you may not be generating as much business as you originally planned. However, there are options available, for instance, alternate business finance such as Cash Flow Finance or Invoice Finance to overcome a financially tight situation and once you become stable you can pay it back according to your capabilities to the providers. Likewise, there are several other ways to maintain a good cash flow in your business to overcome the fear of not getting good ROI. Find yours and be brave to take market risks with a reliable business finance provider by your side.
Fear Of Growing
It is rightly said that your worst fears carry your best growth. It may however be the case that your fear of growing as a business may cause you to turn down opportunities that could have helped your business. Don’t let this happen as fear is not just an opportunity, but sometimes a gift. It’s not rocket science that if you are not growing, you are falling behind.
It’s true that growth often brings with it greater responsibility and new challenges. But by simply avoiding this fear and the incurring responsibilities, you may never really know your capabilities.
Fear of Success
Quite often, people avoid success because they have a literal fear of it. Being successful can be more complex than failing. To an extent, it is more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it may not feel too great on the surface. But achieving success (whatever the definition may mean for you) means that you are taking the road less travelled and heading towards unchartered territories. One must keep in mind that entrepreneurship is seldom gained through self-sabotage.
At some stage, all successful entrepreneurs have had to face their fears and push past it. By trying things that are challenging and pushing beyond your comfort zone, your fear diminishes, allowing you to continue moving forward towards further growth. Your goal should not be to eliminate fear but to learn to use it for your benefit. Lastly, remember what Nelson Mandela said- “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”. So, let your fears be the fuel that boosts your pursuits and sets the example for those who will follow in your footsteps.