I acknowledge that entrepreneurship is highly unpredictable, and often stressful at the start. There are few certainties that the risks you’ll undeniably encounter will deliver results. But one thing I’m sure about…you have exponentially more potential than you give yourself credit for.
You need to focus on conquering your fears, rather than let them stifle you from achieving your dreams. During the last twenty years coaching newbie entrepreneurs I have listened attentively and understood their fears. Here are six of the most common ones I have heard and some accompanying tips to help you conquer them:
Procrastination can wait
You have no money; the planets aren’t aligned; your sick cat needs caring for. These are excuses…now is always the perfect time to start! You’ll never feel truly prepared and ready and that’s perfectly normal. But you must take action. Actions, not thoughts, precede success. Inaction is procrastination and it’ll debilitate you if you allow it to. Master the art of energy and motion and constantly drive yourself forwards towards your dreams and goals. If you make mistakes, so what? Use them as valuable experiences ~ you’ll learn more from these mistakes than you ever will just day-dreaming and procrastinating.
Ignore detractors and critics
Ignore what most people think or say about you. Accept that you’ll never please everyone all of the time ~ be yourself and ignore how others judge you. Family and friends may think you’re crazy but they have your best interests at heart and only want you to keep you safe. Of course, they want to see you succeed. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let the detractors wear you down. The following all overcame adversity and critics: Bill Gates’ first business failed; Albert Einstein didn’t speak fluently until he was nine years old; Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at age ten; Richard Branson has dyslexia. They certainly weren’t put off by their critics.
Avoid the “it’s been done before” mindset
Whilst this may be a reasonably valid point, “it” has never been accomplished by you. Entrepreneurs distinguish themselves by being authentic and not always original.
Take the fashion industry, for example. It’s inundated with the same styles, yet new and creative fashions emerge every year. Successful entrepreneurs deliver value in a manner that’s authentic to them, even if their product isn’t entirely original. How would you define original, anyway? Almost every product or service we know isn’t entirely new or original. For most of us, even our own knowledge has been learned from someone else, who obtained it from someone else, and so on.
So, even if most things have been done before, when you instil your own passion and personality behind your product or service, it becomes authentic to you.
You have enough knowledge to start now
You already possess knowledge. I’ve known clients who insist on reading one more self-help book, subscribe to one more webinar or attend “just one more seminar”. Then they can finally start their journey to pursue their goals. I’ll always advocate learning but it’s how and when you apply all that knowledge that really counts.
For example, if you saved $10 every day, you’d have more than a grand saved after two years. You don’t have to have a degree in finance or banking to know about investing. When you apply the knowledge you already possess, you’ll shape your own destiny and change the lives of the people around you.
A “light bulb” failure
Failure…what a horrible, negative word. Thomas Edison’s teachers are documented as saying he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was dismissed from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, he tried more than 1,000 times to invent the light bulb. When asked what it felt to fail 1,000 times, he responded “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Persevere, make mistakes, pick yourself up and use “failure” as a gift that will help you perfect your craft.
Embrace your limitations and outsource
It’s not essential for you to have an exact road map of how to reach your destination. At the outset you only need to know where you want to go. This is your vision. Stick to what you know or can do and enlist others to help you. If you’re not good at accounting or don’t want to spend valuable time doing your accounts, outsource the task to a virtual accountant.
Follow what other successful entrepreneurs are doing and observe how they operate their businesses. Subscribe to their mailing lists and social media sites and model your business on the parts you like. Use your own content and ideas to develop your own truly authentic product or service.
Finally, you have more ability than you imagine. The more you confront your fears, the less influence they will have and prevent you from achieving your dreams. Trust your capabilities and embrace risks. Entrepreneurship is knocking on your door.