10 Tips For Overcoming Your Fear Of Starting A Business
Building a successful business is a journey and, like every other kind of journey, it begins with that first step. Of course a great many would-be business owners and entrepreneurs never get to taste the success that they’ve dreamt of and the two biggest reasons for this are as follows:
Fear of failure or rejection
Lack of execution
In this post, we’re going to look at the first reason…FEAR. You can have a terrific product or service and a solid plan to deliver it to the marketplace, but if your fear of failure is greater than your desire for success, then it’s unlikely that you’ll even get your venture off the ground. The good news is that fear can be overcome. Here are ten solid tips for overcoming your fear of starting a business.
1. Start writing down your goals. It’s been proven that, by writing down your goals, you are far more likely to achieve them. If you can pinpoint your specific business goals and sharpen each one into a few words or short sentence, then you’ll have something to work to and you won’t feel as though you’re shooting in the dark. Writing down your goals forces you to visualise them in your mind. It adds clarity, direction and a sense of purpose, which prepares you for the tasks ahead.
2. Recall why you’re starting a business. Fear can arise out of nothing more than a loss of focus. If you find yourself bogged down in the detail of starting a business – crunching numbers, getting your tools and systems in place, setting up your office or working space – just take a minute to step back and remember why it was that you made the decision to start your venture in the first place. Re-focusing on your ‘why’ will renew your passion for the business, giving you a second wind and chasing those distracting fears away.
3. Become comfortable with the idea of change. Starting a new business venture will necessitate some form of change in your life and most of us, by nature, are resistant to change. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and can require a shift in mindset. Sometimes, just altering the order in which you do things in the morning can be enough to cause discomfort and unease. You need to adjust yourself to the concept of change. Start small by altering just little things in your daily routine until you become more comfortable with change. Slowly build on this until you are stepping further out of your box and becoming increasingly more at ease with the concept and execution of your new routine.
4. Accomplish unfinished tasks. When people first launch a business, they are often overcome with a fear of the things that haven’t yet been accomplished. You make dozens of lists of the things that haven’t yet been done and often spend so much time worrying about them that it can be weeks or months before you actually get around to taking action. Don’t brood over all of the unfinished tasks; focus on just one or two and set out to accomplish them. This will create an awareness that you are in fact achieving something and that your business is moving forward.
5. Refuse to make excuses. If you are constantly making excuses for your actions (or inactions), you will never conquer your fears. Just because you’ve never built a business before doesn’t mean that you can’t acquire the knowledge you need and become successful at it. Rather than making excuses for your failings (or perceived failings) take steps to educate yourself and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to turn your vision into reality.
6. Educate yourself. Most of the fear you will feel is fear of the unknown, which is very natural. The cure to fear of the unknown is education; so start learning everything you can about your business, the marketplace and entrepreneurship. Read books, review articles on the Internet and familiarise yourself with every aspect of what you need to know to build your business. One of the most valuable things you can do is to talk with other business owners. Ask them to share their experiences with you and to offer advice. Not only will you be better informed, but you will realise that the challenges you are facing are no different to those that every business owner faces at some time or other. Knowing that you are not alone will reduce your fears.
7. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Information overload is very common in the early stages of developing a business and when the pressure starts to build up, you’re likely to come crashing down hard. Instead of allowing yourself to become overwhelmed, step back and make a list of the steps needed to complete each of the challenges facing you. By breaking big tasks down into smaller bite-sized actions, they will quickly feel less daunting and more easily achievable.
8. Play the ‘What If’ Game. Some experts encourage business owners to avoid the ‘what if’ game, but I find it a very useful exercise. Think of the worst things that can happen as you build your business and decide how you will overcome the odds to resolve them (there is always a way). Because this is just a hypothetical exercise at this stage, you won’t feel pressured by the ‘what ifs’ and this will allow you to apply clear and rational thought to your problem solving. Once you’ve figured out how you would solve the potential problems, there will be far less fear associated with the prospect of them occurring.
9. Ask for help. It’s unrealistic to expect that you can learn and achieve everything on your own, so don’t be afraid to ask others for help. As mentioned in No.6, get advice from people who have been in your situation themselves. Running a business by yourself can be a lonely place and sometimes you need nothing more than to just talk to someone about your plans, challenges and experiences to date. Their feedback will keep you grounded and can help you feel like a weight has been lifted of your chest.
10. Spend time with family and friends. Even though you have pressures and fears associated with starting your business, you need time away from it. Decide when your ‘personal time’ will begin each day and make sure that you meet that cut-off. This doesn’t mean that you need to stop thinking about your business entirely – in fact if you have an entrepreneur’s mindset, you will rarely stop thinking about it – but it will help you to compartmentalise the different aspects of your life and prevent them from intruding on each other. Immersing yourself in the ‘compartment’ reserved for family and friends will allow you to set your business aside for a while. It will still be there when you return to it and you’ll arrive back with a clearer head and renewed vigour.
Dedicated to your success,
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