A false narrative is a story that you perceive as being true but has little basis in reality. If these stories are about ourselves or others, they can be challenging to let go of and are often a detriment of our relationships and careers.
False narratives usually stem from your fears. When you worry that something terrible will happen, it can lead to a conviction that the worst has already taken place. New entrepreneurs, who feel vulnerable and isolated, are especially susceptible to this cycle.
Don't let fear deceive you. Learn to recognize three of the most common concerns of budding business owners, and take steps to squash them:
1. You don't have enough money.
You want to become an entrepreneur, but you don't have much in the way of capital. That's the bad news. The good news is you're not alone. History shows brave men and women pursue their business dreams in spite of not having a dime to their names.
Unfortunately, you don't get to skip the line; you have to earn your degree from the school of hard knocks like everyone else. You'll experiment, iterate, come up short; you'll return to the drawing board older and wiser. Accept this reality now, and you'll have a tremendous psychological advantage when the going gets tough.
That said, be smart with your money. Learn to scrimp, save, and budget. Pencil out your finances before quitting your day job; don't just proceed blindly. Learn all that you can about personal and business credit because strong credit scores mean you'll have better access to affordable financing.
Leave no stone unturned in your quest for cash. Explore creative options like crowdfunding and grants. When I started my first business, a timely loan from my dad allowed me to buy an expensive piece of equipment that kept me competitive. You never know where you'll find your next investor, so look everywhere.
2. You'd be nuts to give up the stability of your current job.
You're standing at the crossroads. You long to be the boss, set your hours, and pursue your dreams, wherever they may lead. But to walk away from a steady paycheck can be terrifying.
It's perfectly natural to want to hold fast to what's safe and predictable. But do you love your current job, or just the security that it provides? To build and run a business will require much of your time and energy. And if you never leave the nest, you'll never fly on your own.
You don't have to walk out into thin air like a Looney Tunes character, however. For example, I once had an employee who asked to speak to me privately. He explained that he had an idea for a startup and that he wanted my blessing to work on it in his off-hours.
He assured me that his performance at work wouldn't suffer for it, and I said to go for it. He had a family to provide for, and it was smart of him to test the strength of his idea before he committed fully.
It's okay to cover your bases, but eventually, you'll have to take a chance and run like hell for home plate.
3. People are going to judge you.
You don't want your loved ones to think you're reckless. You want to make your friends and family proud. You also don't want to scare them, but in many cases, they're frightened when we leave safety for the road less traveled.
Brace yourself for criticism. As a young man, I thought I was pretty much immune to the opinions of others, but when I dropped out of school to become an entrepreneur, I quickly learned otherwise.
Some of the folks that I was closest to freaked out. They said I was irresponsible to take that kind of risk; that I owed it to my wife and future children to shoot for a more traditional career.
I didn't listen, but I didn't close myself off to advice, either. I went to an uncle whom I particularly admired because of his success in the NFL and asked for his opinion. He told me to seize the day while I was still in my twenties, with plenty of runway ahead of me.
My uncle's words were exactly what I needed to hear. It helped me to ignore the negative voices and focus on the next step. Only when I took that step, and the next, and the next, did the negative voices began to change their tune.
Talk to those who've been in your shoes--who laid everything on the line and prevailed. If your decision to chart your course doesn't meet with universal praise, don't stress about it. Bold, straightforward action will eventually silence even your sternest critics.