It’s completely normal to have tremendous doubts about investing time, money and energy into launching your own business. In fact, it’s one of the most nerve racking things you’ll ever do in your life –– but it’s also one of the most rewarding.
I get it, I’ve been there myself, but every worry and every stumble I’ve had along the way has been far out-weighted by the joy of living and working on my own terms to build a business I’m proud of.
Here are six of the most common fears people experience when taking the leap into entrepreneurship –– and here’s how to kick them to the curb.
Fear of failure
You’re not alone. Nobody likes to fail. But some of the greatest entrepreneurs and inventors of our time have built their empires on the many failures they’ve had along the way. Remember that Steve Jobs was a college dropout before he brought the world Apple (where he was later fired and rehired) and that JK Rowling was a struggling single mother when she sat down to write Harry Potter.
As children we failed at everything before we mastered it –– we fell on our face before we could walk, we muttered gibberish before we learned to talk, but most of us got there in the end.
Failure is a valuable learning lesson –– an important step on the way to greatness.
Failure also depends on what you define as success. If success means a garage full of fancy cars and private jets then, well, you’re most likely going to be disappointed, my friend. But if you define success as a fulfilling career, personal and professional growth, travel and freedom, then starting your own business is a success in itself.
Fear of inadequacy
Chances are, someone’s told you that you don’t have what it takes to ‘make it.’ Maybe it was your mum, your high school teacher or your jerk of an ex-boyfriend. And somewhere along the way it all became ingrained and you starting telling yourself that too.
It’s quite common for someone to feel like they’re not good enough to start their own business or that they don’t have the qualifications. There is no one way to start a business. If you have done your research, know your idea provides value and you’re prepared to learn and make mistakes, then you are just as qualified as anyone to start your own business.
Fear of humiliation
This is the big one. Fear of humiliation can be a tremendous roadblock to people pursuing their dreams.
Some people don’t even tell others they are starting a business because they don’t want them to know if they fail. It might be counter intuitive but the best thing you can do to overcome this is to tell people. Speak to anyone and everyone. You’ll discover that most people want you to succeed and will do whatever they can to help you. Before you know it, you’ll have built yourself a support base of people who believe in you and you’ll open up plenty of networking channels.
Fear of poverty
The fear of being poor can have a lot of sway over the decisions of an individual. It drives people into safe jobs and reduce their willingness to take risks. Altering your frame of mind to allow yourself to take calculated risks and not clutch to safety will free you from this doubt.
Remember - nothing ventured, nothing gained. You will never get have more than you do now without making a change and taking a calculated risk.
Fear of separation
For most people this fear is a greater manifestation of poverty but relates to losing everything including your standard of living, status and personal relationships. You must always remember that the people that truly love you don’t care if you have status or money. If they do, you might want to reconsider your relationship with them.
Fear of success
While it may seem odd, this is a very real fear that can prevent people from starting a business. It is essentially a fear of standing out and the pressure to maintain success once it’s acquired.
If you’re planning on starting a business, you must mentally be prepared for success, whatever your definition of success may be.
Fundamentally though, if you are seriously looking at starting your own business, you MUST be ready and willing to change. If you don’t like where you are, change is the only way out.
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