I recently polled my followers to find out what their biggest entrepreneurial fears were. Just as I suspected, most people have the same types of fears when it comes to entrepreneurship and business. I myself had a lot of these fears and have learned how to overcome them.
Here are the top 5 fears and my solutions for how to deal with them.
1.Fear of Failure
This was hands down the biggest entrepreneurial fear. I would classify this as a fear people face when they are first getting into entrepreneurship, but it sure can haunt you or be triggered deeper into the journey as well.
First of all, fear of failure turns out to be a good thing a lot of the time. What I mean by that is that it can serve as a guide if you don't have a mentor or other way to guide yourself. I failed my way into numerous successful businesses. The lessons I learned allowed me to adjust my direction. I began learning from my "failures" and before not too long the businesses became successful.
In fact, I can't think of a single business I've ever started that didn't have some glimpse of failure early on. If I were to have thrown in the towel the first time I smelled "failure," nothing I've ever done would have been successful. Ever.
2.Fear of Not Having or Making Enough Money
Numerous people pointed out that they constantly feared not having or making enough money, aka fear of financial insecurity. They stay up at night thinking about it. And their entire lives start to become consumed by the thoughts of not having enough money.
The first thing to point out here is that most people compare themselves to others financially. And money is really all about perspective. In some countries, people live on a dollar a day or nothing. That is not having enough money.
The best way to get over this fear is to take yourself out of the scarcity mindset. For example, a lot of early entrepreneurs would rather spend 8 hours to save $5. That is the scarcity mindset.
However, the more seasoned entrepreneur would likely invest that time to figure out how to make more money. If you keep investing your time into just saving rather than figuring out how to make more, of course, you are more likely to run out. And those fears will keep getting triggered when you get low on money. Get out of the scarcity mindset to help resolve this fear.
3.Fear of Being Seen
A lot of entrepreneurs are now realizing the importance of being seen in the world. You need to do interviews, podcasts, YouTube videos, Instagram videos, take photos and put your name and face out there to the world. But this is scary and strange at first for a lot of people.
I solved this one for myself by doing acting classes. It helped me get comfortable with myself, more than anything. Once you are more and more comfortable with yourself and you really know who you are, it gets easier.
The fear eventually goes away with practice and repetition. But believe me, it always feels weird taking Instagram story videos in public, but, you do get more used to it as you go.
4.Fear of Public Speaking
This is an extension of the fear of being seen. But so many people pointed this out as a fear that I thought I would make a separate section for it.
If you had asked me 10 or 15 years ago if I would be speaking publicly to 100s and 1000s of people, I would have had said "no way!"
Just like the fear of being seen, this gets easier with practice. I have two techniques that have helped me tremendously with public speaking.
The first one is visualization. Visualize yourself speaking in the exact room or wherever you are speaking. Visualize it going really well, people clapping and cheering you on. I also take it a step further and visualize the worst case scenario so that I have already experienced the worst that could happen in my visualization. This helps me feel more confident about it. The way I see it if I've visualized the worst than anything better would make me feel good. You can try the positive or negative approach and see what works best for you. Or you can do both like I do.
The second way to get better at public speaking is to be really clear on what you are talking about. Avoid topics that you aren't an expert in. If someone asks you something in a panel that you aren't sure on, just skip it rather than try to make up some wild answer. It could trigger your fears. Just stick to what you know really well.
5. Fear of Judgment
Another big one was fear of judgment from friends, family, husband, wife, and others.
Let me pose this as a question back to you. Is someone really your friend if they don't support you in your passions?
The way I got over this one myself was to realize that if someone doesn't support me in my most important passions, dreams, and goals, then I find it really hard to consider them a friend. A true friend supports you no matter what. Unless you've gone completely crazy, then they should tell you too.
It gets trickier with family. But I have found that the best way to handle that is just to tell them how truly passionate and important this entrepreneurial journey is for you. If you really mean it, a good family member would see that and support you. If they absolutely refuse to support you, then it's OK to agree to disagree.
At the end of the day, we all have fears. I have found that the best overall way to deal with fear, is to find something to be grateful for, to balance out those fears. When you are truly grateful for something it's really hard for fear to take over.