How to Overcome Your Fear of Entrepreneurship
- Deciding to launch a small business and become an entrepreneur is a risky endeavor.
- There are some common fears people experience when starting a business, such as the possibility of failure.
- Successful companies require adequate time, effort, and dedication from their founder(s) to build, sustain, and/or scale.
From your favorite corner store to your favorite social media platform, all businesses were started by one or a group of risky entrepreneurs. Some companies are created and meant to be small and local, while others set out to become nationally or internationally known businesses that change the world. For example, Jeff Bezos found Amazon, and now they employ 1.1 million people in the United States alone. Although this once small business has turned out to become an e-commerce giant, all businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them go through a stage of uncertainty about whether things will work out or not.
Deciding to start a business is a big decision that feels out of reach for some, as many people are scared to take the first step. Running a business does take a lot of work, but a successful business can allow one to monetize their skills and hobbies.
However, although some people may aspire to become an entrepreneur, the fear they experience from taking a leap into the unknown may lead them to abandon their dreams of being their own boss altogether. Below are some common fears people may experience when contemplating becoming a business owner and tips on overcoming them.
The fear of your business failing.
Becoming a business owner is risky, and no one wants to fail when starting a new chapter. Therefore, the common fear of failure and overthinking whether a new business venture will stay afloat can prevent some from starting their own company.
If you are someone who thinks, "I am not skilled enough," you need to change your way of thinking first. Look at the positives of what you have to offer because it is important not to downplay your skills. If you already have people asking you to share your gifts with them for free or if people are already paying you a small amount for your services, you have at minimum validated that you have a service that is in demand.
The reality is that starting a company is risky. However, as the famous quote from Michael Jordan goes, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.”
The fear of not being good enough.
Many times when an aspiring entrepreneur doesn't have access to the same resources they know others have had access to on the journey of becoming successful, such as funding or mentors, they doubt if they are good enough. If you have ever felt that way, know that you are undoubtedly still good enough. Your road to success may be longer and tougher, but you are just as good as anyone else who owns and operates a successful business.
As an entrepreneur, it is also about overcoming the misconception that things must follow a specific business model or be done a certain way to succeed. It doesn't. You can build your company your way. In reference, there is a key phrase to keep in mind. It is an old saying that "there is more than one way to skin a cat," meaning there is more than one way to achieve the same thing.
The fear that your business idea isn't innovative enough.
Another key phrase to remember when wanting to start a business but doubting yourself is "there is nothing new under the sun." This quote means that everything that one can perceive as unique has been done or thought of before. Therefore, if you feel you or your idea is not good enough to be successful, that couldn't be further from the truth. Your vision for your business doesn't have to be the next innovative startup to take over the world. It can simply be you narrowing in on a valuable service that people will pay for and need.
For example, keeping a home clean is one of the most common tasks of a homeowner. Yet, housekeepers exist because it is a task many homeowners would rather not do themselves, creating demand for this service.
The business idea doesn't have to be innovative; all it needs to do is create convenience for the consumer.
The fear of quitting your job for entrepreneurship.
Working a 9-5 job creates a steady income stream, whereas a new business may not make a profit until after a couple of years of operating. Therefore, the fear of making the wrong decision can hinder the process and success of having a successful startup. In addition, the fear of making the wrong decision can leave people in limbo and feeling lost as they do not know what to do next.
When considering starting a small business, immediately quitting your 9-5 job may not be a wise move. As mentioned earlier, a business may take a couple of years to make a profit. Therefore, quitting your 9-5 job that provides you with a steady income could lead to serious financial difficulties, and the financial stress could lead to you not being emotionally and mentally able to run your new business.
To prevent this from happening, keep working at your job–even if you drop to part-time–and use the disposable income left over to invest in your business. Over time, as the business grows and makes more money, the possibility of quitting your full-time or part-time job becomes more realistic. By following this approach, the fear of the unknown is removed and is replaced with reassurance.
The Money Wrap-Up
Entrepreneurship is not a suitable career path for everyone. However, with everything in life, fear will always be involved when stepping outside your comfort zone. So, two outcomes can occur. Either you embrace and overcome fear and try your hardest to succeed, or you decide the risk is too much and live in a world of thoughts about what could have happened if you overcame your fears.
If you wish to learn more about how to have a small business on the side while working a full-time job, you may enjoy the Side Hustle Pro podcast that discusses balancing a 9-5 job and a side hustle.