The Top Ten Fears of Entrepreneurs, and How to Overcome Them
"Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out." -- Benjamin Franklin
As a rising entrepreneur, you are faced every day with unpredictable and unfamiliar situations that can take over your mind. "To leave your job, or not leave the job?" That is the major question. But did you know there are other major fears that plague entrepreneurs from reaching their fullest potential? According to www.dictionary.com, Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Below are just a few fears that rising entrepreneurs have, and some innovative advice on how to overcome them:
1. Fear of Not Knowing the Business
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are successful businesses. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs limit themselves by trying to be experts on Day One, or what's worse, imitating others without learning the business. This fear, however minor it may seem, has a way of limiting your potential as an entrepreneur. Give yourself the time to do as much research as possible, meaning, taking a seminar or webinar, finding a business consultant, studying other likeminded businesses, joining the Entrepreneur's Organization, and reading books on how to develop successful businesses. Being as knowledgeable as possible will help you in the long run.
2. Fear of Failing
This goes hand in hand with #1. Among not knowing the business, a lot of rising entrepreneurs are afraid of failing. Three simple words can release this anxiety: Don't Give Up. According to an article in FastCompany, "Why Most Venture Backed Companies Fail," 75 percent of venture-backed startups fail. If ever you do experience a setback, do some soul searching to see what exactly went wrong, and how you can improve on those mishaps going forward. You may discover a new passion for a project as you go along.
3. Fear of Missing Your Opportunity
Anything worth having takes time. It's important not to rush the moment, and to find grace in where you are currently. That being said, you should never quit your full-time unless you can match (or overmatch) the salary with another opportunity.
4. Fear of Being Overwhelmed
Entrepreneurs always make the mistake of taking on too many projects when first opening up a business. The entrepreneur is not only the CEO & Founder, but also the Social Media Manager, Finance Operations Manager, Blogger, Business Consultant, and Communications Outreach Manager. Basically, a Jack of All Trades, but a Master of Nothing! The easiest way to take some of the hats off is by outsourcing help, whether if it's through friends, family members, co-workers, or putting an advertisement on Craigslist. Also, getting in touch with local colleges and universities' career centers to scout for interns is a Godsend! Let them help you do the work!
5. Fear of Not Making Enough Money
We all want to quit our 9-5 full-time jobs and immediately make money. In a perfect world, this would be a simple task. However, when you are first starting out, it's important to have a major passion for what you are doing, because if the money doesn't automatically come as quick as you want, you will need that same interest to carry on and attract customers until you can make a profit. The key is to budget as soon as you have an idea. If you set aside $50-$100 every pay period, then you have enough to develop a foundation. Also, consider developing a Price List for your customers, advertise discounts on social media, and network, network, network! At some point, you can barter with another local startup to exchange services.
6. Fear of Not Knowing Where to Begin
This fear can sink an entrepreneur from the very beginning. When you have so many ideas going on in your head, it can be hard to develop a clear and concise plan of direction. Never fear. Develop a timeline that can work for you. Most often, drafting up a business plan is the best way to go (see how to set up your business plan technique here). Additionally, find someone who achieved success in the business you are setting up. Make plans to connect with the more seasoned entrepreneur and have them explain the ropes to you. That extra set of advice can be lifesaving!
7. Fear of Copying
A successful film director once said, "There's no such thing as an original idea." This is not what any entrepreneur wants to hear, but sadly, it is true. Almost every new product, service, or business model owes inspiration to something that came before. However, it is NEVER okay to downright steal another company's idea. If an idea from another successful business sticks out to you, then great, let it serve as inspiration for you to brainstorm your own magical twist, ultimately developing your own strategies.
8. Fear of Not Attracting Clients
Part of your main goal as a business owner is to offer your products and services to people who are in need of it. It's a scary thought to offer your products and services to the world and wonder if they will be valued or whether you will attract the right customers to your business. The best way to overcome this fear is to research your market and industry in advance, scout for customer feedback, and orchestrate polls on social media. Approach your business with determination and confidence, while constantly delivering your services inline with industry standards.
9. Fear of Losing Interest
This fear happens more often than not. Let's say you've done everything for your business. You developed an awesome business plan, connected with great people, and even brought in a ton of money, but slowly you feel your passion for your dream is dwindling. What is this feeling? It's known as burnout, and can be the number one killer of dreams for entrepreneurs. The remedy? Take some time off and set up your "out of office" reply. You need to take some time away for yourself. Go on vacation or take up another hobby while you figure some things out. If you come back to the table and still feel like breaking up with your business, then there's a deeper, underlining issue and it's time to do what's best for you. Seek advice from business partners.
10. Fear of Going Back to a 9-5
No one likes to return to something old unless they have no choice. The bright side? Taking what you learned and making notes of what worked and what didn't. If you have to return back to a 9-5 don't take it as a failure move, take it as a temporary moment in time to collect your thoughts and build up more income, as well as a lesson learned. You can always return to what you feel the most passionate about, once you collect your head and gather your ideas!
In closing, whether if it’s fear of failure, of being overwhelmed, or of letting other people down along with yourself, it is crucial to overcome these feelings if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. Take ease in knowing that with every change there is a Day One, and in order to move into your destiny, you must simply take one step forward and the rest will come along!