Dear Aunty B,
I really want to start my own business and think that I have a great idea and the experience and contacts to make it happen. The problem is that I’m quite successful in my job and I’m terrified about making the leap into the entrepreneurial world. What if it doesn’t work out?
Any words of advice?
Get used to being scared if you want to be an entrepreneur. Each day is a journey into the unknown without the security of a salary and a set job description. Yes you say you have a great idea, experiences and contacts, but do you have the mental toughness you need? There must be millions of small businesses out there that never got off the ground because someone in your position lost their nerve at the last second.
Writing in FastCompany, Shawn Porat says to be a successful entrepreneur you need to overcome these three fears:
1. Fear of failure
“Whenever I notice the fear of failure creeping into my consciousness, I consider the consequences of taking no action at all. In most cases, this ends up being a scarier prospect than the possibility of failing,” Porat says.
2. Fear of being wrong
Porta says this is an ego-based fear that makes you stay the course because you’re emotionally invested in a certain way of doing things.
Don’t get so invested that you don’t listen to your customers and stick with something that isn’t working at all.
It’s OK to make mistakes if you learn from them.
3. Fear of not pleasing everyone
Finally, Porat says you need to get over your fear of not pleasing everyone.
“If you want to succeed with a business, you must deliver something that someone wants. This much is obvious,” he says.
“However, it doesn’t follow from this that you should (or can) please everyone.”
Identify your market and please those people instead.
As Porat makes clear, you don’t have to feel bad about being afraid. It’s only natural. What matters is whether you can overcome those fears.