The fears I have as a business owner, on the other hand, are completely rational, accurate, and grounded in reality.
Yes, building a successful business can be tough. And keeping it profitable is a challenge. But I have found that the biggest obstacles to being prosperous are the often-irrational opinions we have about ourselves. It is the sabotaging self-talk and limiting beliefs that hold us back, not the difficulty of any particular task.
Or as entrepreneur Jen Groover (author of What If? & Why Not?) says, “Until you can jump over your inner roadblocks, the outer ones will stay firmly in place.”
So…. What are you afraid of?
Fear of Failure
You are going to fail. I mean it. At some point, something you try will not work the way you want it to. Failure is not is not a sign of defeat, but instead an indication of progress. The only way to not fail is to not try. Use your setbacks as learning opportunities. Consider failure as just new, valuable information about how not to do something. Then course correct and move on.
Fear of Inadequacy
“She’s got so much potential!” Some people continuously bask in the glory of what “could be” rather than take action and maybe prove that all the implied possibility was misplaced. They fear that they are not smart enough, creative enough, talented enough, or lucky enough to succeed. If you find yourself constantly doubting your own abilities, make a list of all the business skills you know you have and you don’t have. Then get help with the latter ones by learning or delegating.
Fear of Financial Insecurity
It used to be that having a corporate career meant job security, a regular paycheck, health benefits, and a retirement package. Those were the perks of workin’ for the man (or the woman). But these days, owning your own business can actually offer better security. I mean, it’s unlikely that you’ll lay yourself off! Cash flow is probably the biggest challenge to new businesses. So keep your outflows done in the begining and learn to budget. Always get paid up front and if you offer a payment plan, take a deposit before you start your work.
Fear of Success
It’s surprising how many people suffer from this (and often they don’t even know it!) They unconsciously undermine their own growth because they are afraid of “getting too big.” While it’s true that a million dollar business brings million dollar headaches, it’s usually not those challenges that create the biggest fears. What if I can’t keep up my success? What will my family and friends think? What if prosperity makes me a self-centered jerk? You must get real about this kind of fear because it can be so insidious. Plan ahead for future expansion, and remember that as the boss of your business, you get to set the pace of growth. And as far as becoming a jerk, I think money is like a magnifying glass. It accentuates whatever is already there. I’ll let you make of that what you will.
So don’t let fear stall you and stop you. Use it as a tool to motivate you to action.