Fear can be crippling. It renders us frozen, unable to look back and learn from previous victories or move forward to grasp new opportunities. For lots of people wanting to start their own business, fear is the biggest obstacle. So, here are a few tips to slay the three headed dragon of fear that might be holding you back.
Fear of Failure
If you accept the laws of probability and you are a glass half empty person, then you are likely to believe that startup failure will be waiting for you just around the next corner should you dare to step outside of your comfort zone and stick your head above the parapet. And no-one likes failure, especially us Brits. In fact the only thing worse than failure is the embarrassment that comes with failure.
I’m not trying to excuse perpetual under-achievement here, but why do we get so hung up on failure. It is this narrow view of life which condemns us to a risk-averse, mundane, grey life of mediocrity at best and unfulfilled potential at worst.
Failure never killed anyone, unless you’re attempting a houdini trick. In case you can’t get the fear of failure out of your mind, look in the mirror and repeat the following:
By giving myself permission to fail, I give myself permission to excel.
Fear of Criticism
A close second to outright failure is being judged and criticised by others. And in the UK we love a good roast. Not just a Sunday roast, we love to focus on the negative. You only need to look at the news or read the Daily Mail and you would think that there is no good in the world. We celebrate the underdog and downtrodden and despise the successful, which often leads to us being hyper-critical of everything we see. Just think of how often charitable and valiant efforts for good are criticised and talked down by people who themselves are doing nothing. Look at the rise in internet trolling. We’re not saying that all criticism is bad per se, but we need to recognise that we live in a culture where someone will criticise every action, regardless of whether it is deserving or not. With that in mind, we can’t let fear of criticism stop us moving forwards. The next time you start to worry about what people will say, just remember this:
To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. I am way more than nothing!
Fear of losing everything
We’ve all heard the stories of entrepreneurs who have lost everything, gained everything and lost again. If you’ve been fortunate enough to get on the housing ladder, the last thing you would want to do is risk financial security and end up on the bread line because you’ve sunk the family savings in a new startup which hasn’t worked out.
The reality is that it has become much easier to get a startup off the ground before you give up the day job, so the risks of financial meltdown can be managed to some extent. And how safe is a job anyway these days? Since the 2008 crash, just over 4m people have been made redundant in the UK.
Fear of not knowing what to do
You’ve read the startup stories and seen the facebook film, but you can’t quite believe that ordinary people like you can one day decide they’re going to give it a go and then just do it. Surely, it will be unbelievably hard, complicated, not to mention all of the red tape before you can even get started. Well, it is hard work, but there is an awful lot of help out there, like Soup to Nuts! There is more help than ever for anyone starting their own business from the government, job centres, incubators and accelerators. And if you needed even more evidence that you can do it, you only need to look at these child entrepreneurs.
Seriously, if under 10’s can start their own business, what’s stopping you.
Starting a business is hard work, but with Soup to Nuts I can get all the help I need