Entrepreneurship is a journey sprinkled both with immense satisfaction and a generous dose of fear from time to time. The pressure of succeeding, of proving that your business idea is valuable, and at the same time the pressure to derive enough profits to make it sustainable, can spark a whole array of different types of fear. A key ingredient to overcoming this feeling and becoming a successful entrepreneur is to identify a particular fear and then work towards solving the underlying issue.
The fear of failure, fear of the unknown, of taking risks and the possibility of having to deal with financial difficulties are all valid concerns, but at the same time, they can also be valid obstacles. Regardless of how innovative or brilliant your idea may be, fear can work against you and keep you from even starting your business. But it does not always have to be this way. The key is to recognize the fear and work towards attaining reasonable goals that will help you minimize it and, in the end, overcome it. We look at four types of fears that can keep you from achieving your business goals.
Fear of failure may be the number one type of fear keeping entrepreneurs from achieving their goals. Finding the courage to take those first steps means breaking free of this fear and this is essential for anyone dreaming of starting their own company. A successful entrepreneur will most likely have to take risks from time to time and this can either lead to failure or reward. As successful business owners often find out for themselves, embracing a possible failure is essential in order to make way to new opportunities.
Overcoming the fear of failure is something even some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates have had to deal with. In a famous speech to the Graduates of Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs talks about the fear of failure in comparison to death: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Having a clear business plan can help entrepreneurs handle the fear of failure. Setting attainable goals can make the tasks seem more achievable and can work towards diminishing the fear of failure. This is often a good point when opening businesses that are generally perceived as being more complex, in terms of requirements and equipment. As an example, those entrepreneurs willing to enter the medical services field and open a hair transplant clinic or another type of clinic will face several types of requirements, from complying with health and sanitary issues to equipping the clinic and hiring the medical team. This requires a complex business plan and setting goals that can be used as stepping stones can be useful.
Another advice is to ignore the perfectionist voice that may be telling you that you are not yet ready because the product or website is not as perfect as it should be. You need to start at some point and postponing the launch of the business by hiding behind a perfectionist mask is unlikely to bring any significant advantages.
For example, investors who start a business in Singapore will have to find solutions for dealing with the high rent prices in this popular business and financial center. However, one solution for lowering the costs could be to work from a co-working space. This will not only allow you to redirect a certain income to development or other business areas, but it can also be a unique opportunity for networking and discussions with other entrepreneurs and startup owners.
Entrepreneurs can face criticism not only from their family and friends but also from potential investors. One possible underlying issue for this fear is that, as an entrepreneur, you do not feel sufficiently experienced for this type of endeavor. Regardless of what other people may say, including those closest to you, it is important to believe in yourself and your achievements thus far and, most importantly, believe in your business idea.
The idea that once you run your own business you are legally liable and are also responsible for your employees can work against you to prevent you from ever taking on this type of responsibility or it can work as a motivator that can help you focus on the best legal and management practices.
Business management experience comes from facing several different corporate management issues, starting from the ones related to opening a company, to hiring and managing employees and handling the annual reporting requirements. Even in jurisdictions famed for their ease of doing business, investors who form a company in Ireland, for example, will enjoy a friendly business environment but will still have to comply with the different corporate requirements – a task that may seem intricate at first.
Fear can be harnessed and put to good use by discovering, understanding and resolving the underlying issue. Being able to create healthy and effective fear-handling mechanisms is essential both for business and personal purposes. In the end, you can come to accept that one fear or another may always walk by your side as you build and grow your business. But this does not have to stop you from becoming a successful entrepreneur.