As an entrepreneur, very few parts of your journey are as fear-inducing as starting and launching your own startup business. From the initial dreaming up of the next industry-breaking idea to the gathering of trusted allies and investors, the journey from paper to brick and mortar is filled with anxiety-inducing stress and fear. As a startup entrepreneur, you may find yourself haunted by these all-too-familiar questions.
What if nobody cares about this idea?
What if the investors never come through?
What if I can’t sell this product or service to the world?
What if I lose my investments – and my reputation – in this venture?
However, true leadership isn’t simply given. A real, battle-hardened entrepreneur is tested in the refining crucible of the startup process. It is when you come face to face with the reality that your next big idea may flop that you overcome your fears and begin to put in place the steps needed to launch what could be the next big thing in your industry. However, in the wise words of hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
If you are ready to leave your fears and anxious anticipations behind and own your future, here are some practical steps to overcoming common startup fears.
Put Your Dream on Print
In order to overcome startup fears, you must truly believe in your product, service, or business venture. What was it that led you to dream up this concept, and what makes it so vital to the betterment of the industry and the world?
Once you define the reason you are starting this new venture, write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it often. When the fears and anxieties begin to creep up, return to this original piece of paper or print and read it – and then push forward into the unknown with the confidence that comes from an inspirational idea.
Believe in Yourself
This idea may sound cliche, but the power of positive thinking and self-actualization continues to show that those who believe in themselves are more likely to succeed in their startup process.
As you continue to return to the drawing board time and time again, you will need to lean on your own inspiration and the innate ability within yourself to make your dream a reality. Not only does confidence in yourself inspire your own action, but potential team members, investors, and customers will feed on your confidence and begin to believe in your product!
Recognize the Reality of Failure
You may have been inspired to chase your startup dreams by following in the famous footsteps of your favorite entrepreneur, but history usually only tells the story of the successes. Consider that many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurial minds failed miserably before finding the idea that sparked their rocket-powered rise to fame.
Did you know that Sony founder Akio Morita’s first product was a rice cooker that burned rice beyond recognition? Or that Microsoft creator Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard when his first business – Traf-O-Data – failed to impress? When it comes to success, recognize that you will likely fail a few times before you make it. Prepare for this likelihood, and then imagine how you will pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and prepare for the next idea to become reality!
Be Ready to Adapt and Pivot
As you work hard to bring your entrepreneurial pursuits to life, it is highly likely that the market will change and adapt under your feet. To overcome the fear of missing out on your one-shot, be ready to adapt and pivot your idea to meet consumers where they are today. When you build in resiliency and adaptability to your business, you’ll be to find that your startup is ready to find new clients and customers in engaging new ways!
The Only Startup Fear to Fear is Startup Fear Itself
More often than not, your greatest enemy and obstacle in the entrepreneurial journey is your own ego. The fear that lies dormant just under the surface will often emerge at the worst possible moments, forcing you to reckon with the reality of your situation.
How will you respond to fear? The great startup leaders of the past have shown us that with a strong sense of calling, inspiration, confidence, and adaptability are the key to overcoming your startup fears and building a venture that truly changes the world. Will you answer the call to overcome your fears?