Lately the innovative entrepreneurs I have been meeting and talking to at networking events are full of stories of roadblocks, challenges and excuses for why they are not living their dream and moving forward. I'm not alone hearing this. Author and The Unshackled Owner Mentor, Aaron Young has been hearing the same thing.
In a recent Livestream video on "What's Holding You Back?" Aaron asked, "You have a dream or an idea of something you want to do...get your product out to market. So, the question is what's the problem, what's the struggle?"
Innovators should have an advantage because vision and hard work can more easily come together to be the recipe for success. To try to get to the essence of the inventor-specific barriers and issues, I conducted a survey on What's Holding You Back from Invention Success? at a local Orange County, California Inventor's meeting.
Top 5 Inventor Success Barriers
- I don't have enough money to launch my idea.
- I don't have enough time to devote to launching my idea.
- I am afraid of failing.
- I am scared of ending up broke.
- The idea is not ready yet.
Every time I invent something or go to launch a product, there are always a lot of unknowns. It is typically the unknown that paralyzes progress, so to face fears and breakthrough the challenges, you need to follow these 3 steps that and others use to help you get out of blocking your own path to success.
Step 1: Be the Question
Doing some deep soul searching into why you feel stuck or fearful is the first step to removing your fear blocks. Allyn Reid, first Filipina to summit Mount Kilimanjaro and founder of the Sherpa Press, deals with artistic blocks all the time. Her method is to ask questions because "questions take you out of being the answer and opens the possibility and creative process that allows you to out-create any problems."
As an innovator, you don't accept design challenges as impossible, you tackle them head on and create a solution. Why not try to face your fears with the same analytical approach?
Step 2: Recognize Your Triggers
Each of us has specific and personal hot buttons that trigger an emotional response. For some it is coming from past failures or perfectionist, but for many like Kimberly Angelwood of Flow Soap Studio, where no soap is created in a lab, triggers were about family and money. Six months ago, she told me, "I am walking the line between terror and ecstasy and struggling with: Can I do this and be a good Mom, Wife, Daughter? Can I do this without going into crazy debt? Can I let go of control and do this on a big scale?"
By recognizing her doubts and asking questions, Kimberly was able to breakthrough those fears, keep them from paralyzing her progress and find innovative solutions. Recently she updated me that her new challenge was to lower her lead-time on an order for 12,000 bars.
Step 3: Starve the Fear & Feed the Vision
But finding the source of your blocks and recognizing the triggers isn't enough. You still have to find the power and strength to breakthrough. Tonya Dawn Recla, former counterintelligence officer and Executive Director of Super Power Experts, talks about fears and triggers regularly on her podcast Power Up!
The easiest way to push past a fear is to remind yourself of choice. All of us are here to contribute to the world in a unique way. In every moment we have a choice of showing up in that or not. You can feed the fear and perpetuate an existence that doesn't appeal to you. Or you can feed the vision and step into your uniqueness. Either way, it's a choice. Starve the fear. Feed the Vision.
It is easier to focus on the impossibility or why something can't be done than on overcoming fear and challenges, but inventors and entrepreneurs don't normally take the easy road. Why let it stop you this time?