Dear SuN friends,
Entrepreneurship requires that we go out of our comfort zones and go beyond our limits every time it's necessary. Being an entrepreneur involves lots of RISK and thus may cause FEAR and UNCERTAINTY. But life is too short to let fear make big decisions for you and fear is only as deep as the mind allows. That's why today we'd like to share with you an inspiring an insightful article by Matthew Stanton, an entrepreneur and Chief Development Officer for WellBiz Brands, Inc., who describes three of the main fears of entrepreneurship and the ways we could deal with them. Enjoy!
It’s easy to see the appeal of going into business for yourself. You’re tired of answering to a boss, having your financial future in someone else’s hands, working hard to build someone else’s dreams, not having total control over your day to day – the list goes on. So why do we continue to see so many aspiring entrepreneurs sitting on the sidelines and playing it safe in their corporate comfort zone?
Big rewards come with big risks, and society teaches us to believe there is nothing riskier than becoming an entrepreneur.
The single biggest obstacle facing every entrepreneur is the same: FEAR.
This emotion is the root of many of the actions and decisions that shape our lives, but it isn’t a bad thing. We need fear – it is a basic human instinct, and its sole purpose is to keep us safe.
However, when it comes to business decisions, fear can often prevent us from taking the action we need to take to be successful. So how do we manage our emotions when it comes to making important business decisions? Here are the top three fears entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them.
1. Fear Of Taking Risks
Whether you are starting something from scratch or joining a franchise brand, there are varying degrees of contingencies involved, and if you can’t manage your emotions and look at risk assessment from a logical place, you may not make the best decision for your future. The first step to managing emotions around new opportunities is to reframe your perspective on the risk. Many people run into problems because they don’t evaluate both sides of the cost-benefit analysis. Oftentimes people think about the decision at hand and all of the reasons it may not work out. Then fear takes over, paralysis sets in and the analysis stops. They don’t take that second step of thinking about all the reasons something will work, or all the benefits that could be associated with taking that action. Exploring possibilities is part of being entrepreneurial, and it is something to be celebrated. Don’t sell yourself short by only evaluating half of the equation. Start thinking in terms of why something will work, not why it may not.
2. Fear Of The Unknown
For many people, becoming an entrepreneur means taking a giant leap out of your comfort zone. When you are an employee, you know the job you are hired to do. You know the money you are going to make and when you are going to make it. When you own a business, you must get comfortable with the unknown and trust in yourself – and you do this by shifting your perspective. Yes, as an employee you may have all the answers and know exactly what’s to come, but you also don’t have control of your destiny. You could be laid off or not get that bonus you were expecting. As an entrepreneur, you control your future, and while at times that can be scary, it may also be incredibly rewarding and exciting. There are no limits.
Another thing you can do to minimize your fear of the unknown and feeling as though things are out of your control is to really understand what drives success in your business model. If you’re in a franchise model, follow the systems in place, and reach out to successful franchisees to see what you can do to replicate that approach. If you’re starting a business on your own, try to find a mentor who has been successful in a similar industry. Once you understand what drives success in your business model, you will feel more in control and ready to face the unknown.
3. Fear Of Finances
The idea of failing and losing money is undoubtedly the biggest fear for all entrepreneurs, but there are some things you can do to make sure your finances are in order that may minimize the potential of financial loss. As you’re getting into the investment, there’s that first big "step over the ledge" moment. You either invest in a franchise or purchase an independent space, and that’s the first hurdle to clear. Understanding your business model and what drives the economics in that business is step one. You need to be clear on your cash outlay and have the right financing option lined up to help provide a buffer for after the outlay occurs. Understanding the operating model will help you know what to expect in terms of how much you need in working capital and reserves, as there may a period of negative cash flow while your business builds.
The Bottom Line
In the end, aspiring entrepreneurs must understand that it takes a balance of the right mindset and the right strategies in order to be successful in your business long-term. You could have all the strategies in the world, but if you can’t logically understand your emotions, fear will get in the way of your success.
Stay tuned for more exciting SuN TOP lists every week!
the SuN team