The experience of being an entrepreneur is often thought of as one that is daring and highly rewarding. However, an entrepreneur’s journey is more about facing their fears on a daily basis than feeling like they’re on the right path.
Seth Godin says that resistance is what keeps creators from achieving their goals. This can take the form of procrastination, stress, and fears too. In this post, we’ll look at the common fears that entrepreneurs have to deal with. By understanding these fears and examining the flimsy foundations they’re built on, we’ll be able to deal with them and grow into more confident leaders and business owners.
Let’s check out the common fears that many entrepreneurs face and how to do away with them.
Fear of Lacking Expertise and Credibility
A common feeling with many successful entrepreneurs is the feeling that they inherently lack the ability to run a profitable business.
Even people who have proven track records in their work suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’. They feel like they are pretending to be good at what they do and don’t deserve the recognition or success they have.
There are a few ways to approach the fear that you may lack credibility and expertise.
The first thing to remember is that if you are starting out as an entrepreneur, then you don’t have to know everything from the outset. Learning as you go will help you retain the lessons you learn and make you more experienced.
You can also continue to learn by joining online courses, listening to podcasts, and building your skills. Leadership and entrepreneurship are activities that require constant learning. It’s the willingness to learn from mistakes that matter.
Be aware of your thought processes and check in to find out if you’re feeling the effects of ‘imposter syndrome’ or that you don’t think you know enough. With awareness, you can dismiss the unhelpful thoughts and take steps to learn new skills.
Fear of Failure
This is likely the most pressing fear that any entrepreneur may have. Entrepreneurs usually put their hearts and souls into their ideas and businesses, and the idea that they can fail is stress-inducing.
Some fear of failure is helpful since it can motivate you to work hard and take risks, but too much harms your likelihood of success. The fear of failure can cause unnecessary anxiety, cloud your judgment, and lead to poor decision making.
The truth is that many startups do fail and there’s no guaranteed path to success. Part of being a leader and an entrepreneur is assuming the risk.
What helps is developing the mindset of acceptance. Acceptance means allowing for the possibility of failure but doing your best in spite of that. You need to remember that relying on data, creating a great product, and taking care of your customers will give you the best chances of success.
Failure is temporary and you’ll always learn something important from it which helps you become even more effective in future efforts.
Taking Large Investments
In any business venture, it becomes necessary to undertake investments that are financially intimidating. Hiring a fully salaried employee, investing in an expensive marketing tool or machinery are significant undertakings.
You need to invest in such things to grow your business while having no certainty that your investment will pay off. In cases like these, it isn’t unusual to freeze up and procrastinate on investing in the right tools.
Relying on data, facts, and measured considerations can mitigate this fear to a large degree. When you know what you’re investing in, your expected rate of return, and have taken up a reasonable payment scheme, you’ll gain a sense of control.
Making rational and data-backed decisions are powerful ways to manage your business. But they also serve to ease emotional discomfort and feel confident in the financial decisions you take.
Fear of Being Wrong
The entrepreneur’s journey is not a common experience for most people. It’s a path that that diverges from the normal life choices that most people make. There’s risk involved and many entrepreneurs often receive negative feedback about their life choices.
So, being ‘wrong’ and even losing face can keep entrepreneurs up at night, worried about whether they’re doing the right thing.
I think that taking a major step like starting a business gives you the greatest opportunity for personal growth. You’ll soon learn not to get affected by external judgments that hurt your ego but don’t have much truth to them otherwise.
Being an entrepreneur means making mistakes, failing, or even disappointing yourself and others. But this can happen even if you take the safe routes in life. Learning from mistakes is just part of the experience. It’s helpful to remember that you’re displaying courage and perseverance by creating something new that helps people and society in general.
Fear of Financial Ruin
There’s no denying that if your startup doesn’t become successful, you’re likely to see financial setbacks in life. While businesses offer great rewards, the flipside is that you’re taking big risks involving money and time. Time and money that could be placed into a job that pays a steady salary and offers greater stability.
You can mitigate such risks early on by being financially responsible, planning, and making rational decisions. Work with mentors, financial advisors, and others to manage your money as best as possible.
Before you launch your business, save up as much as you can, and look for loan options that are manageable. You also need to mind your expenses and invest in tools like marketing software or equipment only after doing your due diligence.
With some financial training and legwork, you can offset the risk to a large degree. So stay updated on news and invest in your financial education. And finally, collaborate with trade associations and governmental institutions that exist to help businesses become more effective.
Every entrepreneur has to deal with fears as part of their journey. In some cases, you just need to be aware of your fears and push through them. In others, you have to plan and be rational when it comes to making decisions.
Make sure that you keep learning by reading, doing online courses, and getting advice from a mentor. As you become more experienced, you’ll learn to manage your fears more easily.
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