Entrepreneurs, especially those in the early stages of business, know that fear is a factor that must be dealt with on an almost daily basis.
What if people don't buy into my service?
What if the bank doesn't come through?
What if this big sale doesn't come together?
I am sure you have some personal fears you can complete those sentences with.
Fear is a natural reaction to uncertain circumstances and an unknown future. It is a survival tool after all. Fear is in us to warn us of things that could harm us. We fear falling off of things because the landing could kill us. We fear disease because it can ruin our lives. We fear our business failing because it means we could go broke.The trick is taking that fear and working through it. It can be a great tool if used properly.
I find this one question very helpful. When faced with something scary I ask myself, "What would I do if I wasn't afraid?" This question takes the emotion of fear out of the equation and lets me focus on what the logical approach to a situation should be.
A common example is public speaking. You have a presentation to make in 3 days and you are nervous because it is a very advanced audience you will be speaking to. They know their stuff and expect the same of you. You can sit and worry about making a fool of yourself, or you can ask, "What would I do if I wasn't afraid."
Your answer would likely be, "I would..."
...research the topic thoroughly.
...focus on writing accurate and interesting content.
...rehearse the speech several times.
...walk out onto the stage confidently on that day.
...present my thoughts in a fluid and engaging way.
You already know what you need to do in order to be successful. If you can side step the fear for a moment and concentrate on what needs to be done, you can alleviate that fear. As you go through the actions you prescribed for yourself, your confidence in success will return as you are consciously taking steps toward it.
Afraid that the bank won't say yes to your business loan? What would you do if you weren't afraid?
Afraid that your first customers won't like your product? What would you do if you were't afraid?
Afraid that your new employee won't perform well? What would you do if you weren't afraid?
Afraid to quit your day job and build your business full time? What would you do if you weren't afraid?
Fear will be present in your life as an entrepreneur. Acknowledge that there is a reason you are afraid, then ask what you would do if you were't. The answer to the problem causing the fear is usually right around the corner.