A few years ago, I was at a friend’s gathering and somehow, discussions shifted to what we did for a living and where we worked. “I’m a lawyer,” I answered, “And I run my own business.”
One of the ladies looked at me wistfully and said, “Wow! I wish I could start a business, too, but I’m afraid.” I reassured her that her fears were normal and that I had faced all those fears and survived. And now, as a Life and Business Coach, I’ll give you a few ways to tackle those fears.
Let’s start with a big one. No, it’s not the fear of failure. The fear of failure is a rational one and many people would understand if you held your business dreams back because of it.
No, we’ll first discuss the ‘irrational’ fear that most people would not admit they have: The fear of “what people will think of me and my business?”.
Now, imagine this: you have a job that pays you a decent salary, you’re friendly with your colleagues, your boss only shouts at you once in a while and you manage to get home at a decent time. It’s not a bad deal, right? So, when you tell people that you want to start your own business, they look at you like you have grown horns where your ears should be. And for many people who don’t have a job, you’ll find more people encouraging you to get a job than those encouraging you to start a business.
Let’s face it; most of us don’t want people to think we’re stupid. And whether we admit it or not, we do care what people think of us or say about us. It gets a little harder when you know that your spouse or family may not support your decision.
Here are three ways to tackle this fear:
- Do the brave thing: The decisions of your life don’t matter to 99% of people. Explain your desire to the 1% that matter. Be prepared to stand your ground where necessary. As for the remaining 99%? Ignore them.
- Do the cowardly thing: Start experimenting with the business on the low key. You can work from the outside in by getting customers/clients who are not in your immediate circle. This could be difficult, though, because your family and friends are usually your first customers and promoters.
- Do the wise thing: Fears are real and strong and they have the capacity to hold you down. Talk to a professional who is trained and experienced in helping you get over your fears. Working with a Coach can help you to get over your fears and make your business goals come alive.
Are you struggling with the fears of starting your own business? I’d love to help you get over them. Send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you started on the path of your dreams.