Does the thought of starting a business fill you with fear? This article will show you how to overcome the fear of starting a business.
We like reading stories about entrepreneurs who have made it to the top despite the many challenges that they faced.
While these stories allow us to dream of one day writing our own success stories, we often focus on just the good parts.
We rarely ask about how they overcame their fears.
In a society where only the strong and fearless survive, talking about failure is sometimes perceived as a taboo.
We don’t like letting people in on our greatest fears because it makes us seem vulnerable and weak.
When we lack the courage to start a business, it sets us off on an emotional rollercoaster.
We all have this inner voice that berates and belittles us so we think we don’t have what it takes to become successful.
We create this space that’s filled with stress and anxiety.
So, it becomes almost impossible to see the opportunities that are laid before us.
Still not convinced?
Here are 5 ways your fear is stopping you from succeeding in business.
5 Ways Your Fear is Sabotaging Your Success
1. It’s Preventing You from Seeing the Great Things that Lie Ahead
One way that your fear is sabotaging you is that it makes you feel pessimistic about the future.
When you’re overridden with fears, you only see the bad side of things.
So, instead of seeing a world that is full of opportunities, you see a world that will only give you failure and disappointment.
It’s a dangerous place where you and your skills will never measure up.
It’s dangerous to have this mindset.
What’s even more dangerous is that the longer you think this way, the harder it is to shake off the feeling that you will overcome the fear of starting a business.
2. It’s Limiting Your Potential for a Huge Income
When you’re blind to the opportunities, you’re basically limiting your capacity to earn more money.
You may not like to admit it, but your thoughts can dictate how you live your life.
If you’re too focused on anticipating your failures rather than envisioning your success, then you’re really in no position to earn more money.
Focusing too much on your fear is like saying you don’t deserve to earn a huge income.
Besides, how can you expect to see the profit if you’re scared to start a business in the first place?
3. It’s Hindering You from Trying Out New Things
Your fear also has its way of making you think that being in your comfort zone is the safest place to be.
When you let your fear take over your mind, you’re conditioning your mind to play it safe.
It’s this frame of mind that is stopping you from trying out new things, like signing up for a class that will help you develop your skills.
It also stops you from attending networking events that will allow you to rub elbows with the most influential personalities in your industry.
Staying in a safe zone will do nothing for your character.
It will only further impede your efforts to overcome the fear of starting a business.
4. It’s Stopping You from Scaling Your business
Let’s say you’ve somehow managed to start your business even with all the fears that you have.
Even if you do well in the beginning, your fear eventually catches up to you when it’s time to scale your operations.
For the fact that you’re scared of what’s going to happen next, you’ll be compelled to operate the same markets, limit your growth, and stay within your comfort zone.
While it’s very tempting to stay in the same place when you have a good thing going, businesses don’t thrive that way.
Your business will eventually fail if you don’t learn to take chances.
5. It’s Affecting Your Overall Wellbeing
If you don’t work to overcome the fear of starting a business, it’s going to affect you in ways that you never expected.
Because of the stress of constantly living in fear, you’re more likely to overwork yourself in order to compensate for whatever it is that you think you lack.
This means you’ll have no time to exercise, eat healthily, be with the people you love, or even work on your personal growth and development.
Not only will your health suffer, but also your capacity to feel happy and content.
Before you can battle your fears, you first need to know what exactly is it that you’re afraid of about starting a business.
To help you reach success, here’s a list of the 10 fears that every business owner has, and how to overcome each one.
10 Fears Every Business Owner Needs to Overcome
1. Fear of Failing
You may fear that you’ll never achieve your goals, no matter how hard you try.
While all roads to success will always have its roadblocks, don’t let that discourage you.
Try asking yourself, “what’s the worst thing that could happen to you if you do fail?”
Remember, if it doesn’t kill you, then it will only make you faster, better, stronger.
2. Fear of Setting Goals
You may fear that you’ll set the wrong goals and put the entire operation in jeopardy.
Many people, unfortunately, put off starting a business because of this fear.
Goals are important because, without them, you’re only relying on luck to start your business.
3. Fear of Not Having Enough Time
You might fear that once you start your business, you won’t have time for anything else.
Perhaps you think you will say goodbye to weeknights with the buds and weekends with the family.
While there’s no denying that businesses can be demanding, especially during the start-up phase, all you need is to have a good time management method to have work-life balance.
4. Fear of Being Found Out
This is the fear that people will eventually find out that you don’t have what it takes to start or manage a business.
Even the most qualified entrepreneurs have their share of self-doubt.
This is common to successful entrepreneurs as well as people just starting out.
5. Fear of What Other People Will Say
Do you fear you’ll be watched and criticized for every single business decision that you make?
As humans, we all have the innate longing to be accepted by others so when people judge us, we tend to take to heart what they say.
When you focus too much on what other people have to say about you, the courage to overcome the fear of starting a business becomes a challenge because you start to doubt yourself.
Keep your eye on the prize and surround yourself with people who support you.
6. Fear of Asking for Help
This is the fear that you will look stupid or be rejected when you ask for help.
Most entrepreneurs are under so much pressure to do well that they find it hard to ask for help when they need it.
Remember, the only way that you’ll be able to achieve great success is by getting the support and assistance of others.
You won’t know who among your inner circle would be willing to help unless you ask.
7. Fear of Speaking in Public
This is the fear that you won’t be able to get your message across because you don’t have the skill to give a good presentation or deliver an inspiring speech.
Public speaking may be one of the most common fears that many people have, but that’s no excuse to quit trying.
The key to getting over your fear of public speaking is to get out there and just do it.
This is one great way to overcome the fear of starting a business.
Practice talking to people as much as you can so that you become more confident relating to different people.
Even if you forget to say something, don’t dwell on it so much because the person you’re talking to probably didn’t notice anyway.
8. Fear of Saying No
This is the fear that people won’t like you or support your business if you say no to any of their requests.
As much as you would like to please everyone, sometimes, you need to politely say no if it’s going to take too much of your time and effort.
There are times when saying ‘yes’ to others means saying ‘no’ to yourself.
9. Fear of Meeting Fake People
You might fear that you will meet people who will eventually betray you.
When starting a business, expect that you will meet lots of people.
Some will be good for your business, while others will only distract you.
Watch out for people who say one thing in front of you and another thing behind your back.
10. Fear of Ridicule
This is the fear that you will be ridiculed for your ‘creative’ business idea.
New and innovative ideas rarely sit well with everyone in the beginning.
This is because people often need a bit of time to ease into changes.
While you may not get the acceptance you’re hoping for right now, just continue to do what you do.
Eventually, everyone else will catch on.
Even though it may seem like these fears are reasonable, they can do major damage to your business.
It won’t just affect your own morale, but also your employees’ or your team members’.
The same way that passion is contagious, your fear can also be ‘acquired’ by the people you work with.
As a leader, you’re in a unique position to pass on your knowledge and values to those around you.
And yes, even your bad habits and fears.
This is why, if you want to know how to overcome the fear of starting a business, you need to start with what’s on the inside of you.
Before you can get started on your action plan, you need to do 2 things.
First, you need to change the way you think and second, you need to prepare for success.
How to Change the Way You Think
Confront Your Specific Fears
Just like with everything else worth having in life, it takes courage to overcome the fear of starting a business.
So, if you still haven’t confronted your fears, now is the perfect time to start.
Ask yourself, what is it exactly about starting a business that you fear.
- Is it not having enough funding?
- Is it not having the support of your family and friends?
- Or is it the thought of failing and not having a backup plan?
By coming face to face with your specific fears, it will be easier for you to prepare for them.
On a piece of paper, list down all your fears about starting a business.
Once you’re done, strikeout each fear and replace it with an encouraging statement.
Be Moved by the Greats
What do Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey have in common?
They all failed at some point in their careers.
But instead of allowing their failures to define them, they got back up and tried again.
Can you imagine what kind of world we’d be living in if the greats didn’t gather the courage to start again?
We wouldn’t know the joy of Disney animated cartoons or the innovation of Apple products or the inspiring life story of Oprah.
Whenever you start to feel demotivated, just look at how these big names made the impossible possible, and hopefully, you’ll regain your courage to overcome the fear of starting a business.
Make it a habit to read about the life of an entrepreneur or a business leader.
Post inspirational quotes from someone you admire around your workspace so that every time you feel discouraged.
You can take a few seconds to look at the quote and be reminded of how others before you have succeeded.
Remember that Failure is Just a Phase
Even if you do fail in this business endeavor, keep in mind that it won’t last forever and it isn’t going to kill you.
Sure, you may have a lot at stake, but you’re never going to know if your business idea is going to work or not if you’re not going to at least try.
Success begins in the mind.
So, if you’re already thinking of the many ways that it can go wrong even before you take your first step, then you’re basically setting yourself up for failure.
Failing may be unpleasant and uncomfortable.
However, it’s not as worse as not giving it a go and regretting it later on.
Whenever you start to feel tense about failing, take a few minutes to refocus your thoughts on the positive side of things.
If you feel stressed, take slow deep breaths to relax your body and mind.
How to Prepare for Success
Set Your Goals
The first thing that you need to do to prepare for success is to set the goals you want to achieve.
Starting a business can be really tough, especially if you have to make some drastic changes in your routine.
The only way that you’ll be able to manage your erratic start-up is by setting attainable goals that will keep you focused in the direction that you’re headed.
Setting daily goals, even if it’s as simple as making x sales calls by the end of the day, can have a huge impact on your success.
Identify the main goal of your business.
Write down on a piece of paper the mission that you want to achieve.
From there, you’ll see the tasks that you need to do to reach your main goal.
Make sure that your tasks are time-bound so that you don’t end up procrastinating.
Create a Business Plan
Once you’ve set your goals, you need to create a business plan to back it up.
Having a business plan will remind you of the seemingly little details that you need to take care of when you’re setting up your business.
If you’re trying to overcome the fear of starting a business, your business plan can help mitigate some of your fears as you’ll have a better idea of how to get from point A to point B.
The only way that you’ll be able to make sense of your goals is to work through your business plan.
Find a good business plan template that you can use as a guide.
While some people prefer to go, rogue, following a template helps keep all your plans organized.
Some will also give you clear instructions on what to write for each step of your business plan so that you won’t use writer’s block as an excuse to not get it done.
Read, Read, and Read Some More
If you’re serious about becoming a successful entrepreneur, then you need to read, read, and read some more.
Reading will not only teach you the basics of starting a business.
It will also inspire you to come up with creative ideas that will set your business apart.
Reading relevant books will help you gain new insights and develop important skills that you need to get ahead in your business.
It will also help you keep an open-mind as reading helps you see situations from different perspectives.
Find books that will help you break into the specific niche that your business belongs to.
Schedule reading into your daily routine.
If you can’t find the time, you can make time for it by making your commute productive.
If reading isn’t really your strong suit, you can listen to audiobooks for podcasts instead.
The goal is to learn something new every day.
Go through the steps in the article above regularly.
They will guide you on overcoming your fears and help you find the courage to proceed.
Here’s to your business success.
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