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Sunday, October 11, 2015

4 Fears that may motivate entrepreneurs

You must overcome fear if you want to climb to the top!

Discussions with entrepreneurs taking the role of a CEO often highlight emotions many may experience.  It is rather common that an entrepreneur may choose to leave a job to start a new business.  In some cases, new businesses appear to have the ability to obtain immediate contracts and be financially viable within the first few years.  New business always seems to have great potential before the reality of running the business sets in.  It is important to remember that things rarely go as expected and that great flexibility (i.e. Think Agile) is a true asset.

In a recent discussion, a CEO wanted to pull several essential employees from a failing business to start a new more improved business.  However, he felt the employees would not leave to join the new business.  Rather than start the business and hire a different team, this CEO decided not to start the new venture because of the fear of being alone in the startup business. Being alone in a startup on day one is common and not new!  It is important that one learns to set realistic expectations and consider steps to resolve the issues causing the fear in order to move forward. 

Many entrepreneurs quickly learn that startups are not for everyone and that the need for a salary and benefits can trump the desire to be part of a startup.  The fears experienced in a startup can cause entrepreneurs to believe the startup process is overly complicated.  It is often the fear of failure that leads to entrepreneurs failing to try to realize their dream.  Many different emotions experienced by entrepreneurs inhibit the desire to start a business.  Entrepreneurs that do engage in business startups have found a way to overcome these fears and move on, possibly turning the fear into a motivation. 

Concerns are natural and will always exist, but try turning the fear into a success driver or you will never start anything.  The list below contains a few areas requiring an ability to master the emotion and turn it into a driver to succeed.

1.      Social acceptance – The sense that others will not accept you or your business ideas generates a type of fear that some find difficult to live with.  Everyone wants to be loved, but entrepreneurs learn to put this in perspective.  They realize that the social acceptance is not as important in their lives as is their need to succeed in a business endeavor.  The drive to succeed in an exciting business you start can help tame the fear of being alone.

2.      Loss of income – Income is important to everyone’s day-to-day living.  A stable job is important to many people because they fear a loss of income and the consequences of limited cash resources.  Entrepreneurs fear the loss as well, but they see an upside following the periods of no or low income.  They are willing to take the risk because the drive to succeed overcomes their fear of short-term financial issues.  They still worry, but they work even harder to create a success.  The more difficult part is managing the concerns the family may have during the low earning periods.  Income reductions can have an impact on the entrepreneur and the family. Managing through the low earning periods is essential since there is no money in many startup companies for the first few years. 

3.      Business success   The degree of success a business experiences is dependent on many factors.  People often worry that they will not see the success they desire and may fail to start a business.  Fear of limited business activity and concerns of never reaching a booming success story is a great demotivator.  Entrepreneurs learn that it is impossible to have a wildly successful business if they do not start the business and give it their full energy and attention.   Success comes in many different forms and learning to enjoy the minor successes along the way to the big win is an important part of the process.

4.      Complete Failure – One of the most difficult issues to resolve is the fear of complete failure.  Failure is a process that most entrepreneurs will experience in their lifetime.  Failures do generate many learning aspects.  It is important to remember the following:  a) failure happens, b) fear increases your risk, c) you learn from failure, d) you will survive it, e) multiple shots on goal may improve your chances of success, and f) success is up to you.  Failure happens and it is important to recognize it is not the end of the world.  Many learn from failure and move on to great successes in their next ventures.  You can too!

Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon