by LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles | Featured Contributor
This is the best idea that you have ever come up with and you know that if all the planets align as they should, you will be on your way to financial freedom. You’ve done the research, completed a financial analysis, and weighed the pros and cons and all the details seem very promising. To take things even a further step, you’ve spoken to your significant other and they support your idea whole heartedly. So, YEA, you surge forward to embark on this awesome endeavor of “Owning It” and you start.
Then it happens, that impending doom rises up in your psyche. You begin to doubt the validity of your research, you feel like your partners enthusiasm for your venture is beginning to wean, and you feel that your overall idea was a bad decision, a huge mistake! What were you thinking? Why did you think that you could do this? The doubt begins settling in and finding a nice warm comfortable home deep down in your core. It spelled its name on your soul F.E.A.R. So, what do you do now, how do you move forward from this paralysis?
Okay, so first, calm down and take a deep breath. Now, let’s talk about 5 of the top fears that you may experience as an entrepreneur and things you can do to help conquer those doubts.
Number one: Fear of Failure
First let’s start by saying it’s okay to have a fear of failing. You are not alone, every entrepreneur does. Understand that fear can be a source of your motivation. Read books and listen to motivational tapes and videos. Keep your mind and spirit fed with a constant diet of inspiration. This can help you remain focused on your goals. Recognize as you are going through this process, you will experience some failures. But from these disappointments, you should experience your greatest lessons learned. Embrace those failures and ask yourself what you’ve learned and keep a record of those experiences. Revisit them as a reminder and when you see yourself going down a similar road make an immediate course correction. Finally, if you’ve decided that you want to count your failures, don’t forget to also count your successes. You may find that your successes are more plentiful and well outweigh any failures you’ve experienced to date.
Number two: Fear of Financial Distress
Let’s face it when starting a business, you must expect that there are probably going to be more dollars going out than coming in. Whether you are borrowing from family and friends, bootstrapping, or taking out loans to get started, it’s a very scary position to face. First, you must start off by creating a budget. There will be those unknowns, but determine how much you expect to spend on marketing, materials, and other tangibles. Be sure to track the budget at least monthly and adjust accordingly when you are going outside of your budget. Don’t forget to have some form of tracking system. Whether it’s an accounting system or an excel spreadsheet, you should keep detailed records of dollars in and dollars out. Find areas where you can cut expenses. Can you use less expensive materials, but keep the same high-level quality of your product? Can you combine services within your supply chain to cut costs? These are all things that you must constantly assess, throughout your business lifecycle. Finally, connect with your accounting professional quarterly to ensure that any tax liabilities or obligations are on track. You don’t want any surprises during the filing period.
Number three: Fear of Getting Lost in the Business
You will spend a lot of your time, energy, and resources in beginning and running your business. You will make a lot of sacrifices, sometimes those sacrifices might be at the expense of family and friends. As a result, resentment can settle in on all sides. Yet again, this can leave you questioning if this was all worth it. Your relationships are strained, you are stressed all the time and you’re starting to become bitter. Here is what you need to do, schedule important things in your life and prioritize. Take a weekend and spend time with a loved one. Secure a day out of the month and just spend time doing something just for you. Seize the time to be present in your non-business life, you can do both and it helps to limit feeling as if you are lost in your business.
Number four: Fear of Perfection
So, chances are you’ve never run a business before, so there is a lack of experience. That makes you a tad bit nervous and fearful that you will mess up. You see so many strong women running their businesses and they make it look effortless. The thing you don’t know is, they went through the same trials and tribulations that you are experiencing, and they just stuck with it, missteps and all. Stop comparing yourself to others, you don’t know HER STORY! Mistakes will be made, then you’ll make some more. Entrepreneurship is like clay and molds to each entrepreneur differently.
Number five: Fear of Success
You can do this and you will look back and won’t be able to believe what you’ve accomplished! GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!