There is a great deal of fear involved in starting your business, growing it, and taking it to the next level. Every entrepreneur has to deal with it. But to be successful, in any stage of your business, you need to face your fear.
Sometimes that’s way easier said than done, trust me, I know.
In fact, in every stage of business, from starting up a tiny one-woman operation five years ago to changing my business name, niche, pricing structure and hiring employees, I’ve struggled with fear that felt insurmountable. As time goes by and I’ve faced my fears it gets easier, but it’s still there.
However, once I decided that I wanted to help other women in their businesses and have success in my own business more than I was afraid of failure, that’s when both my business and myself were truly able to grow. And I know that’s true for you, too.
Here are 7 ways to overcome your fears and take your business to the next level, though you can apply these to any stage you’re at in business.
1. Identify your fear(s).
What exactly is it that you’re afraid of? Common ones are:
-I’m not ready yet.
-Fear of failure.
-You don’t know how to do everything you need to do.
-Fear of not being good enough.
The truth is, you’re never going to be totally ready. But you’ll figure it out as you go. Chances are you’ll fail. But you’ll learn from those mistakes and failures and become even better. You likely don’t know how to do everything you need to do. For that, there’s outsourcing or an opportunity to learn even more to serve your clients. Feel like you’re not good enough? You are, plain and simple. For these and other fears that pop up, realize they are just an excuse. Move forward anyway.
2. Realize it’s not all about you.
That sounds a bit negative, but it’s actually a good thing. If you mess up, so what? People are typically more worried about their own businesses, their own lives and what people think of them to spend too much time focusing on you. So get out there and do what you need to do.
3. Determine the worst-case scenarios.
Really, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Someone says no? You’ll look silly? Someone will think badly of you? Even worst-case scenarios typically aren’t that bad; even if they are, how likely is it that the worst-case scenario is actually going to come true? Now flip it… what’s the best-case scenario? Isn’t that possibility worth the risk?
4. Focus on your why.
Why did you start your business? Why do you do what you do? Write it down. Focus on your why and your goals to drive you when you need an extra boost to overcome your fear.
5. Take action.
That means stop procrastinating. It’s so easy to push things off when you’re anxious or worried, but delaying just makes things worse and makes you stress out more. Take baby steps if you need to, but do at least one thing – no matter how small it may be – today.
6. Find your support system.
Sometimes you don’t want to do anything because you’re scared to death and you need a little extra push from someone close to you. When that happens, a support system is crucial and is one of the best ways to help overcome your fear. While a support system can be friends, family or fellow entrepreneurs, I’ve found it’s best to try to find a healthy mix. Friends and family will be able to support you in a different way than those who are walking this entrepreneurial path. Find and surround yourself with people who are like-minded individuals who can relate to what you’re going through, give you advice when necessary and be there for you when the going gets tough and fear starts creeping in.
7. Learn to accept (and embrace) your fear.
The fear is not going to go away. Learn from your mistakes and use your fear to better yourself and better your craft. It’s easier said than done, but try to welcome fear as an experience to learn and grow, and remember that fear can actually be a good thing. Courage is being scared to death and doing it anyway. Slowly but surely, action leads to confidence, which helps abate your fears and move your business forward.
Be positive, even when it’s tough, and believe in yourself and your business. Go after what you want even if it seems crazy. As George Addair said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”