It is not always easy task to overcome entrepreneurship fears. In fact, there are common fears that many entrepreneurs face. But you can learn to anticipate and manage your fears. Fear is a normal part of change.
“Find the positives of fear and don’t aim to go around it or avoid it. If you accept and embrace some fear, it can work for you. It just might be a sign that you are ready to start a change that has been waiting for you.”
Here are 5 common entrepreneurship fears you’ll need to manage if you want to turn your business dreams into a reality.
1. Fear of failure
Have you ever thought, “What if this all goes terribly wrong?” We all fear failure because we do not want our efforts and time to be wasted. As an entrepreneur, you may wonder, “What if my doesn’t take off?” or “What if I don’t have enough customers?” and “What if we can’t pay your bills?”
All of these “what ifs” are rooted in fear and can disrupt your efforts before you even get started. People often worry about what others will think if they fail. But Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, suggests: “Successful people don’t fear failure, but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”
2. Fear of disappointing others
The pressure to build a solid reputation and deliver value to everyone can be all-consuming. But it’s not possible to please everyone and it can even be harmful to your company. When you have a dire need to please everyone, “you have created an impossible situation for yourself. Trying to please everyone means always complying, never complaining or disagreeing. And we all know people who are simply impossible to please, even if you do exactly what they ask.”
It’s natural to want to please customers, employees that count on a paycheck from you for their livelihood, etc. But don’t let the fear of disapointing others demotivate you.
3. Fear of mistakes
Fitness expert and life coach, Jillian Michaels is noted for saying: “Nobody is perfect, so get over the fear of being or doing everything perfectly. Besides, perfect is boring!” This is true for everyone–especially entrepreneurs.
Don’t stress over every last tiny detail. If you run after the perfect website, the perfect office space, the perfect employee, etc. your quest for perfection can leave you nowhere.
In the Harvard Business Review Ron Ashkenas suggests, “If you’re not familiar with the law of diminishing returns, it states that at a certain point adding more effort will not produce significantly more gains. The challenge is knowing when you’ve reached that point. For many managers this is an important question: How far do I keep going on a project before I declare that it’s ‘good enough’ — and that further effort will not significantly change the outcome?”
You can certainly make changes, upgrade and optimize. But move forward, even if things are not perfect. Business is full of mistakes. Don’t miss the opportunity to make mistakes and learn and grow from them.
4. Fear of growth
It is said that your largest fear carries your greatest growth. Does fear of growth cause you to turn down opportunities that could help your business? Fear is an opportunity and a gift. If you are not growing, you are lapsing behind.
It is true that with growth, there comes more responsibility and new challenges. But if you avoid these things you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of becoming.
5. Fear of success
Often, people try to avoid success because they are literally afraid of it. “As Hugh MacLeod points out, success is more complex than failure. On some level, it’s more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t feel great on the surface. But achieving success (however you define it) means you are entering uncharted territory.” Entrepreneurship is never gained through self-sabotage.
Harness your fear
In a nutshell, every successful entrepreneur has been faced with fear and pushed past it.
“Experience your fear with a sense of energy and excitement,” says Joseph Wilner. “By trying something new or pushing ourselves past our comfort zone, fear will become minimized, and we can continue moving forward and seeking growth. The goal then is not to eliminate fear but to learn to harness it for our benefit. Let fear be the fuel that energizes your pursuits!”
As Mark McGuinness explains in 99U, “Sometimes all you need to do is ‘out’ the fear by admitting to yourself that you are, in fact, afraid. Paradoxically, it can have the effect of helping you relax. ‘OK, I’m nervous, which is pretty normal considering what’s at stake.’ (Deep breath) ‘Right, what’s next?’”
This article has been edited.
Arjun Setia works as a writer at ProofHub. For the past 3 years, he has been writing for various technology blogs. Coming from an intense background in science and biotechnology, he likes to relate advancements in technology with real-life activities. Connect with @proofhub on Twitter.
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