Is Fear Putting The Freeze On Your Small Business Dreams?

One of the biggest hurdles to accomplishing anything is gaining the confidence to get started. That’s certainly true for launchingMarie-Curie-Quote-Green-background-black-text your own business.

I was ‘fortunate’ when I started out as a freelance writer seven years ago. The corporation I had worked for (for 17 years) was acquired and my position was eliminated, therefore forcing me to buck up and make a change. What started out as a career upset has led me to this fulfilling career that offers flexibility and an opportunity to shape my own professional destiny.

But had I not needed to make a change, I honestly don’t know that I would have taken the leap. The prospect of self-employment was scary to me. Having been a SCORE mentor several years ago, I’ve talked to other aspiring entrepreneurs who have found it scary, too. So scary, in fact, that they failed to launch. They gave in and gave up before they got going.

Is fear standing in your way of starting your own business?

  • Fear of being laughed at
  • Fear of not knowing enough
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of wasting your time
  • Fear of other people’s criticism
  • Fear of not making enough money
  • Fear of hard work
  • Fear of letting other people down
  • Fear of letting yourself down

These fears aren’t to be downplayed as insignificant or silly, but they are to be overcome.

How can you do that?

  1. Assess your skills realistically, not through the lens of self-criticism.
  2. Do your homework to find out what’s involved.
  3. Prepare by making a plan.
  4. Start.

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” ~ Marie Curie

 

Your turn! What fears are you facing in your business pursuits? What fears have you overcome and how have you done that?

Boo! What’s Most Terrifying About Being a Solopreneur

Fear. I think every solopreneur feels it to varying degrees throughout the stages of their careers. And with good reason; Fiery skeletons imagestarting and running a business can be scary stuff.  You have elements of uncertainty. You have to work hard – really hard.  You have to deal with things that are sometimes out of your control (personally, that’s the one that frightens me the most!).

As Halloween creeps up on us, I thought I’d share a few of the ghoulish and gruesome challenges solopreneurs face as we establish and build our businesses.

Face Your Fears: The Most Terrifying Things about Being a Solopreneur

Putting Yourself Out There – Networking

This is paralyzing for some solopreneurs. They hesitate to put their best foot forward for fear of sounding conceited, and they dislike networking.  No, not everyone is a “salesperson,” but you have to get out there (face to face and via social media) to build connections and let people know about the value you offer.

Dealing with Numbers – Business Financials

Business financials are spooky to many of us.  Heck, my hands got all cold and clammy just writing this.  When you run a business, you have to learn some of the basics though. You might also want to get the help of a book-keeping professional – even if only to periodically check your Quickbooks or other platform to make sure  you haven’t made any errors.

Wondering, “Am I good enough?”

Especially when starting a business, you might feel trepidation at competing with other solopreneurs and businesses who have been around longer than you. How do you get over that? Confidence and competitive research. Take stock of your strengths and capabilities and learn whatever you can about your competitors to discover what makes you unique and gives you an edge.

Too Little Work. Too Much Work.

If you do a lot of project work as a solopreneur, you might experience cycles of feast and famine. Not having as much work as you want or need can lead to some nervous nail-biting. But having too many projects at one time can also be hair-raising. How do you find the right balance? While not all of it is within your realm of control, you can level things out a bit with careful planning, choosing clients and projects wisely, and knowing your capacity limitations.

Experiencing Failure

Sheer terror! None of us go into business expecting to fail, yet failure comes in all shapes and sizes. Even solopreneurs who have run successful businesses for years deal with failures along the way. Who hasn’t lost a bid on a project or lost a client for some reason or another? Not everything will go the way you want it to all the time. You’ll slip up. Unforeseen circumstances will throw a wrench into your plans. Become mentally agile so you can roll with the punches, learn from your mistakes and misfortunes, and keep your eyes on the big picture.

Life as a solopreneur certainly does put forth some things that go bump in the night, but none should stop you in your tracks and turn you into a business zombie. Stand courageous and show those ghastly entrepreneurial fears who’s boss.

What things have scared you most during your career as a solopreneur?

By Dawn Mentzer

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net