A lot of people want to pursue entrepreneurship to achieve financial freedom and live the lifestyle they want. Unfortunately, many of them fail to start because of fear. Sure. Starting a business is scary, especially if there is a lot at stake or if you don’t have extensive experience.
Imagine taking on the risk of following the achievements of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Everybody would look up to you. Some people like your family or friends would wish you luck and success. Others would want you to fail. All these are pressures and expectations you need to handle.
Unfortunately, popular surveys such as Wakefield Research shows that one-third of Americans choose to jump out of a plane rather than start a business. It is because of this prevailing fear that a lot of wonderful ideas and innovation remain in the closet.
So why does this fear occurs? What can you do to overcome it?
In this article, we’ll detail how you can get over such fear and put to reality your business plan. But before that, let’s take a look at some of the major fears of aspiring entrepreneurs.
Common Fears of Aspiring Businessmen
Failure – We all experience fear of failure in whatever endeavours we have. Likewise, entrepreneurs who want to pursue growth or start a new business project have to contend with this type of fear. Who wouldn’t? After all, studies show that the majority of startups fail within their first five years of operation?
There’s a high chance that you’ll be part of these failed businesses. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Finances – Money is always a challenge when attempting to start a business. Let’s say you have a daytime job, but you’re exhausted and can’t go on being an employee. The bright possibilities of having your own business and being your boss come to mind. But then it dawns on you, and you’ll have to risk your existing salary or bonuses just so you could materialise your business plan.
Mediocrity – A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs easily get sold to the idea of starting big and earning big right away. They don’t want to accept the reality of going through the humps and bumps of the entrepreneurial journey. But succeeding in business means starting as a mediocre at some point but not allowing such to deter you from being productive.
That means you need to strive for excellence despite challenges and difficulties.
Letting People Down – Harsh as it may sound, some will not like you for starting a business. Others will hate you and find ways to bring your business down. That could be because they are envious or they just don’t like you as a person. They want the worst things to happen for you.
Unfortunately, that’s an inevitable reality. You cannot please everybody around you. Whether you consider that person a friend or a family member, you never know what he/she could be stabbing you in the back. But again, you can always choose to move on from such fear and dedicate your efforts to people who matter to you.
Being Wrong – Sometimes, you get hyped to plan or start a business because you got inspired at a certain degree. But then, it dawns on you that you might have been mistaken with your decision though you already prepared the necessities. Such can also root from fear of failure and can hinder you from kicking off a project or scaling an existing business.
But here’s the thing. When starting a company, you can be either right or wrong from time to time. There is also a high possibility that you will start wrong, leading to instability. That leads to a mounting fear, crippling your hope and confidence. Good thing, there is a way out of that.
Now, that we’ve had some of the common fears covered, it’s time we take a look at what you can do about these. Yes, fear is something you don’t have to avoid but confront head-on. Here are some practical ways on how you can do just that.
Tips for Confronting Fear When Starting a Business
Pursue Attainable/Realistic Goals
Every entrepreneur gets stuck on how or where to begin when starting a business. There is just a lot to think about, and various systems and procedures to consider. But if there is one thing that makes an entrepreneur successful, that is the ability to set goals.
Begin by determining the collective vision and mission of your company. Be clear with that before setting specific tasks to achieve such a vision. Start small. You don’t have to implement ambitious tactics right away. Take time to learn the process so you can effectively scale your business in the future.
Yes, having smaller tasks can make it easier for you or your team to realise your company’s vision. They also serve as good indicators to start with because of smaller means more digestible and less intimidating, especially for starters. Again, you don’t have to start perfect to succeed. Just do it and learn along the process.
It also matters that your goals should be realistic, especially when you are starting a business as a sideline. Make sure the goals you set match your current level of skill and financial capacity.
Prepare to Succeed
Of course, you can always think about the possibility of failing. But as experts would say, what you constantly think about becomes your reality. So, wouldn’t it be better if you focus your thoughts and mindset on how your business can succeed? That is why be mentally prepared to succeed. Of course, you also need to learn how to do that.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, be clear first with your goals. Then, identify and implement strategies to achieve such goals. Make sure you meet these needs. Also, it matters to equip yourself with knowledge and relevant skills.
Let’s say you want to start a small business selling organic coffee from the highlands. To make this work, you need the following:
- Sufficient market to buy your coffee products
- A product with a competitive price and quality
- Channels to connect the product with the target market
- Strategies to compel people to buy
To do all that, you need a business plan. It helps identify the gaps or problems affecting your target market and determine opportunities on how your business can help address such. In short, your business plan serves as your blueprint to success.
Change Your Mindset or Attitude About Failure
What specific reasons make you afraid to kick off your dream business? Could these be the following?
- Failure makes you look like an utter loser or an undependable person
- Failure means losing your reputation, your money, and properties
Both of these readily assumed fears are misconceptions. Failure doesn’t make you less of a righteous person. Nor does it make you a loser. That could only happen if you decide to give up and leave the rest behind. But if you rise to the challenge and set new approaches, then surely, you’ll start drawing favor to your side.
Who cares about what people think of you? Again, some will despise or be jealous of you. But, there will always be people ready to cheer you up and help you get back on your knees whenever you fall. Focus your attention and efforts on them, not to those who rant or resent out of their insecurities.
Failure Isn’t The Destination
Suppose you started your e-commerce store, selling products you’re passionate about. During your first three years, you were gaining substantial sales. But out of nowhere, a virus invaded your site, causing it to crash into oblivion. Does that mean that your entrepreneurial journey is over?
No. A lot of successful businessmen hurdled failures after failures. But you don’t have to go all through that before achieving sweet success. One thing you can do is to structure your company in such a way that limits your liability by establishing credible partnerships.
But if you do face total bankruptcy, that does not mean that you should also risk your health or that of your loved ones. Bottom line? Failure can be frustrating, but it is not life-threatening. It does not mean an end to everything. It serves as a vent to different opportunities, to learn something new, and establish fresh collaborations.
In other words, always look at the positive side of failure. If Albert Einstein gave up one of his 10 000 failed experiments, he would not be the great scientist we know of him today. So rather than focusing on the way you failed or the pain it caused, devote your effort in crafting solutions to start a more sustainable and resilient business.
Failures will always be part of your entrepreneurial journey. Even if you achieved massive sales and growth, your company could still go bankrupt. So the point is? Be prepared. Ride on and take it as an opportunity to enrich your experiences and the company’s foundation. Don’t let your fear distort the way you look at failure.
Instead, set a positive and growth mindset so you can attribute failure as a springboard to more and more success.
Again, fear is normal when you want to start a business. But instead of wallowing in what may not happen, take it as a fuel to keep you going. Turn it into positive energy to make your business ideas happen.