The freedom entrepreneurship can provide is priceless. Being able to set your schedule and earn an income based off of the value you provide is appealing. There are many enjoyable parts of an entrepreneur’s life, but life isn’t a movie, and there are challenges and struggles every entrepreneur will face. These challenges are especially strong when you’re starting a business.
Fear kept me stuck in a business I hated because the money was good and pretty much guaranteed. I had a full plate of customers, but the work felt like it was draining my soul. My dream was to create a lifestyle business that allowed me to write, speak and consult. I had to beat these five fears to make that dream a reality.
Fear isn’t a negative thing if you understand it. Starting or growing a business is a hard enough task on its own. When you add in fear, it can feel impossible. Here are five fears you may need to overcome to build your business.
1. Losing my steady paycheck.
Knowing how much money you have coming in, and having it come steadily, makes you feel secure. The income from a business is sporadic at times if you don’t have systems in place. I was terrified of leaving that consistent check from the same customers I had dealt with for years. This idea of making money online didn’t feel safe at first.
I conquered this fear by realizing that there is no such thing as a steady paycheck. Job security is a thing of the past. We see that played out every day. You can create more reliable income in your business with a plan. You should have a plan for promotions and how you will make money each month. You then schedule your content around what you’re promoting.
Related: 7 Risks Every Entrepreneur Must Take
2. What will I do with more free time?
When I chased this dream on the side, I used every minute wisely. I would get home from my business and work for three uninterrupted hours every day. This helped me build my online business to profitability in a year. No time was wasted, and the side business grew as a result.
This idea of having all this free time brought on fear. I worried I would watch more Netflix than work. For the first two months in my lifestyle business, that was the case. Don’t fear having free time, fear not having a plan for that free time. If you set a realistic schedule for yourself, you can be even more productive than when you were in a day job.
3. What will family and friends think?
Our society has been trained to believe in this idea of the “American Dream.” This dream is that you graduate high school, go to college and get a degree. You can then get a “good job” and buy a house with a white picket fence. While the idea of the American Dream has changed, the overall premise remains strong.
A lot of your family and friends won’t understand your desire to be an entrepreneur. The narrative is still in their mind. There’s always a fear of what they will say and how they’ll react. Realize this is your life and you have to live it how you best see fit. Accept that some people won’t get it and that’s okay.
4. Past failures.
Failure doesn’t have to be something that holds you back, and it’s not a fear that should keep you from becoming an entrepreneur. Use any failure as a life lesson to help you avoid the same mistakes. If you have failed at starting or growing a business in the past, dust yourself off and go back to the drawing board.
5. Self-limiting beliefs.
Doubt, fear and listening to people who don’t get entrepreneurship will feed into your self-limiting beliefs. These beliefs can amplify your fear and convince you to settle for a life you don’t want to live.
After overcoming my fear, I sold the business I hated. I now write, speak, and consult. I wake up every day knowing I’ll be spending my time on the things I love. I still have fear, but it isn’t about the same things and I understand what it means.
I don’t know what fears will hold you back from achieving success in your business. I only know you can beat them when you get honest about them, and address the reason fear manifested itself. Don’t let fear keep you from all the great things you can accomplish in your business.