Eight Fears You Will Need to Overcome before Starting a Business

Business Development 7 min read, September 10, 2019

If you think about it, establishing a business is simple enough. You initially have to have a vision, think about what type of business you’ll start, and draw up a plan according to that vision. Your business plan should be solid – it should detail all the important facets of the business you plan to establish, especially when you plan to start it and where you’ll get the funding for it. As long as you have a well-thought-out plan, everything will ultimately fall into its rightful place. Even the most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that there is no secret trick to ensure victory in a business endeavor. They just stick to essential ethics, making sure they observe those moral principles all the time. Of course, it pays to have a keen “entrepreneurial eye”, since that will help you turn your vision into an actual business.

The only thing that can derail the start of a business is when an entrepreneur is held back by fear. Once fear sets in, you may be putting the success of your business on the line. Here’s the thing, though: fear is something you can’t avoid. It is a big part of starting and running a business. Fears are natural, and you shouldn’t run away from them. Instead, you need to learn how to overcome those fears if you want to succeed.

Nevertheless, you can only overcome those fears if you know what those fears are. To give you an idea, here is a list of those fears:

1. Fear of change

This is probably one of the first fears you will encounter. There are bound to be some changes because you are practically embarking on an adventure. You have a vision of how you want this new adventure to take place, but the thing is you don’t want to screw up something that has potential. This is especially true if the business you have in mind is something that will take you out of your comfort zone. You will never know what the outcome will be unless you overcome your fear of change by taking a gamble and making a crucial decision.

Photographer: Estée Janssens | Source: Unsplash

2. Fear of failure

“Failure is not an option,” so they say. However, when it comes to business, failure is inevitable. How so? Well, an email marketing campaign gone wrong is a minor failure. A mobile version of a website that doesn’t display well on a smartphone or tablet is already a failure. In other words, no matter how small or huge a setback is, it’s still a failure. Now the question is will you let it stall your journey or will you consider it as a pit stop? If you allow it to stop you, then that’s it for you. However, if you consider it a temporary stop, a place to re-think your plans to see what or where you went wrong, then you’re using your failure as a learning opportunity, something that teaches you an important lesson you can apply to your business.

3. Fear of being uncomfortable

Earlier we touched on going out of your comfort zone. That can be a scary thing, venturing into unknown territory. Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur, you’re supposed to embrace things that you’re not familiar with. You will never learn to figure a way out of a sticky situation, much less come up with a novel business idea, unless you’re willing to embrace things that you think make you feel uncomfortable. Sooner or later, you’ll get used to them, and before you know it, you’ll be thriving in an uncomfortable setting.

4. Fear of the unknown

Starting your own business is like walking down a straight path only to find multiple forks in the road. Which one are you going to take? What will happen if you decide to go down one direction? Obviously, you don’t know the answer. Why? Because it’s something you haven’t experienced yet given that you’re just starting your business. In business, there are bound to be challenges, failures, and triumphs. You will never know which among those three you’ll discover unless you try. So stop fearing the unknown. Be bold enough to take a step forward. Do what you think makes sense. If you make a mistake, learn from it. If you fail, use that experience to fire you back up. Simply put, don’t hold yourself back from walking down that path because you don’t know what awaits you. The path will unravel as you continue your journey, and then you’ll have an idea how you should go about it.

5. Fear of letting others down

When you’re starting a business, there will be people rooting for your success, and there will be those who will not be as supportive. While it’s never wrong to listen to what they have to say, don’t make the mistake of allowing their opinions to be your deciding factor in your undertakings. The fact is you can’t please everybody. People who truly support your efforts, like your family and friends, will be the support system you need from the start until your reach the pinnacle of success even if you take wrong steps in the beginning of your journey. Never forget that.

6. Fear of being wrong

As an entrepreneur, you’ll be facing countless scenarios that will require you to make huge decisions. You may make a wrong decision from time to time, choose a wrong strategy, or deal with the wrong people. However, instead of letting your fear of being wrong or doing something wrong trample on your confidence, stay where you are. Perhaps you just need to make a few tweaks or change your approach. Either way, you need to understand that being wrong is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur.

7. Fear of risks

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Those are the words of Thomas Stearns Eliot, more widely known as T.S. Eliot, one of the major poets of the 20th century. If you think about his words, you’ll see how much they make sense especially when applied to a newbie entrepreneur like you. If you’re held back by your fear of taking risks, you will never know how if your business will be successful or not. You can only strategize and calculate so much. There are times when you may have to go in blindly, but it’s a risk you have to take. Take a leap of faith.

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Photographer: Filippo Ruffini | Source: Unsplash

8. Fear of saying no

As an entrepreneur, there are some things you need to anticipate such as clients calling in favors, making last-minute requests, asking you to change this or that, and more. You don’t always have to agree to what they want. Learn to say no firmly, but gracefully. It’s easier said than done especially if you want to be in your client’s good graces. It may even be a tad awkward to say no. Nevertheless, as you go through life as en entrepreneur, you’ll get a better handle of it. Saying no will come naturally, more so if it’s the only option you have.

9. Fear of not reaching ROI

You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur unless you’re willing to take on huge financial risks. Being an entrepreneur is like being a gambler – you go all in or not at all. Return on investment (ROI) will not come in overnight. If you give up before you make profit, then you’re not giving yourself a chance to make profit at all. Keep working hard even if returns seem to be taking their time.

10. Fear of not attracting clients

Marketing is there for the purpose of driving clients to your business. Nowadays, there are different forms of marketing campaigns you can use to get more people to know about your business. Take advantage of those. Always approach your business with joy. Be true to your word and deliver what you promised your clients. As long as you take on the right marketing plan, give importance to the needs of your clients, and value customer satisfaction, then attracting clients will be a breeze.

These are just some of the fears that can hold you back, as an entrepreneur, from doing what you’re supposed to do. Don’t let these fears determine the outcome of your success. Be bigger than your fears so you can conquer them, because that’s the only way you can be successful in your endeavors.

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