Before I left my cushy 9-5 corporate job to start my first online business I considered many things.
* Would I be successful?
* How would I fund it?
* What if I failed?
* Would anybody want the things I would sell?
I thought about all these objections and more for a long time. In fact I thought about them for way too long. I let myself get so caught up in the “what if’s”, the doubts, and the unknowns that I talked myself out of starting my own business for over a year.
I fell prey to the single biggest inhibitor of new businesses-fear. I let my fears overtake my confidence and convinced myself I couldn’t do it.
Thankfully, I didn’t let my fears talk me out of the best thing in life I ever did ( if you’re reading this sweetie you are the best thing in life too), start my own online business.
It wasn’t easy but I used a number of tactics to overcome my fears and finally gain the courage to start my own business.
The first thing I did was admit I was letting fear stop me from achieving my dream. It took some time but I eventually realized that I wasn’t really afraid of finding the money to start up my business or failing or finding a product to sell. Those were just manifestations of my fear.
Now fear can be a good thing. That emotion you feel when you suddenly come upon a bear in the woods or the feeling that prevents you from getting into the water with a bunch of blood thirsty sharks has a positive effect on your overall well-being.
But the kind of fear that prevents you from living your dream or doing something you want is prohibitive. And just like an alcoholic, you must admit you are afraid to start a business.
Acknowledging your fears has the uncanny ability to take the edge off them. Once you admit you’re afraid of spiders you suddenly don’t feel so bad about being afraid of them. Same with starting a business.
Once you admit you’re afraid of starting your own business and it’s what’s holding you back from achieving your dream, you can address your concerns head on. When you get bogged down with thinking about the obstacles and the what-if’s, you stop your forward motion. Instead of letting your fears stop you in your place, push back.
Don’t dismiss your concerns or push them out of your mind, a more sensible course of action is to address them head on. Examine your worries to find out if they hold water. You won’t know if your concerns are legitimate or not unless they are properly examined. So if you are afraid of finding money to start your business. Look into funding sources. If you’re afraid no one will buy your products then look into who your target market will be.
When I realized I was letting fear get in the way of starting my own business, I got mad. I got mad that I was talking myself out of doing something I wanted to do. Even after I admitted that to myself I still had fears though. But instead of letting those fears stop me I took a step forward. I took just one tiny step forward to starting my own business.
For me that was quitting my cushy corporate job. For most people that is a huge step forward. I don’t expect you to do the same thing. For me it worked.
But for you the step can be different. Buy a how to start your own business book. Join a joint venture program. Research what prices your competitors sell their products for. The point is to just do one thing. It doesn’t have to be as big of a leap forward as mine, but it has to be something that you need to do in order to start your own business.
Even though I’ve been an internet business owner for over five years now I still get fearful. I’m not immune. But what makes me stand out and made me the success that I am is how I handle those fears. Whenever I feel doubts creeping in about the future of my business or the market I entered I remind myself why I wanted to start a business in the first place.
Knowing all the reasons why you want to be an entrepreneur will help you overcome your fears. You might be afraid of failure. But if you remind yourself that you’re tired of your boss micro-managing you and you hate commuting and you want to spend more time at home then suddenly your fears become a bit smaller. Motivation can kill a fear faster than anything else.
If the idea of starting a business seems too daunting no matter what you tell yourself, you can opt to ease into entrepreneurship more slowly. Instead of putting it all on the line and taking on a large amount of risk, try starting a business on the weekends or on a part time basis. While still working your day job and earning steady paychecks, you can take those first few small steps toward your dream on the side. Just think of it as getting a second job. This way even if your worst nightmare comes true and the business fails, you still have the comfort of your full time job and regular paychecks.
It may also be helpful to ease into entrepreneurship with a partner. This takes some of the risk and tasks off your hands. Having another person to bounce ideas off of in the beginning is a major help. You’ll be full of self-doubt in the beginning stages so having a partner to confer with can make the process smother.
In the end I owe my success to overcoming my fears. Even though for a time I let my fears about starting my own online business prevent me from moving forward, I eventually had enough with being afraid and achieved my dream.
Fear can stop you in your tracks. It can prevent you from achieving success and doing what you want. The only way to overcome fear is to admit it, address it and then take steps to overcome it.
Good luck to you!