You knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but did you know it was going to be this hard? Probably not. We human beings have a surprising capacity to overestimate ourselves. That’s why despite there being a failure rate of 90% for new businesses, we all keep jumping in.
That’s probably a good thing, though, as otherwise we might not be able to bring up the energy to get out of bed in the morning. So to help you get out from under the covers, here is a list of the most common fears and doubts you’ll face as an entrepreneur and – most importantly – how to deal with them.
I’m out of my depth!
I’ll tell you a secret. Almost all of us feel that way sometimes. They call this imposter syndrome and it’s something that even the most successful people feel. The best thing you can do is just to wing it on these days. Besides, most people are so busy trying to convince you they’re not frauds, they probably won’t notice you doing the same thing.
Where do I even start?
It can be a bit overwhelming, can’t it? There is so much to do and the tasks are so big. Where do you even begin?
Truth be told, this fear paralyzes everybody, from the child standing in front of the school gates on their first day, to middle manager just promoted to upper management. The best thing you can do is just start. Don’t think, because the longer you do the more difficult it becomes.
Too late for that? Then break it down into smaller chunks. Take a piece of paper (or your phone if you weren’t born when dinosaurs still roamed the earth) and make a list of all the little things that need to get done to get your big task out of the way. These will be far more manageable and that will defeat this fear.
Am I crazy?
Probably. That doesn’t mean your idea is bad, though. Heck, both could be true.
And remember, the biggest ideas are a little nuts. If paradigm shifts were easy then we couldn’t count the number we’ve had without taking off our socks. Now it’s also possible that your idea is just nuts. It is, in fact, far more likely. That said, don’t you want to find out? So few of us get to leave a mark on the world, so even if you’ve only got a million to one shot, I say take it.
Be the next Galileo! But then without recanting your insights to the Inquisition.
I’m being overwhelmed!
It’s a common problem. A lot of entrepreneurs work a normal work week by the time it’s Wednesday and yet they still can’t get all the work done.
Newsflash, you’ll probably never think you’re on top. But rather than letting that completely stress you out take the time to breathe as running around like a headless chicken will do more harm than good. The best thing you can do is take some time before work to find some kind of balance within yourself, so that you end up working effectively, rather than just hard.
I’m failing my family!
Okay, you might be spending a bit too much time running around, but at the same time you’re also showing your spouse, your kids and your family what it means when somebody pursues their dreams, when they really go for it. In other words, you’re a role model. And right now the world can use a few more of those.
Besides, it’s not forever. When you reach success and everything is on its feet you’ll do right by them, right? You better, otherwise they can give me a call. What will I do? Probably write you a very snide letter. (Hey, we don’t have to immediately resort to violence).
I’m not making my money back!
They say it’s darkest before the dawn. Now though that’s not actually physically true, it often is in business. Sometimes it can seem like you’re running on fumes and then suddenly you have a lucky break and all the trouble, all the problems just fall off your shoulders and you’ll have a sensation that can’t be paralleled by anything in this world.
And maybe it won’t happen. The thing is, there’s only one way to find out and that is to keep going. So don’t be afraid. You took a gamble. The least you can do is play out the hand.
I made the wrong choice!
It’s possible. The thing is, you never know. Yes, it’s very easy to imagine how your life might have turned out if you’d not chosen to start a business, how if you stayed with that big company you’d now be playing golf three days a week.
The problem with counterfactual thinking (as it’s called) is that we have a tendency to think the other route would have been all rainbows and sunshine. We ignore what could have gone wrong, like how we could have had an accident, gotten fired, or ended up descending into unhappy alcoholism.
We just don’t know because we’re not living that life. We’re living this one. And we can’t go back, we can only go forward. So throw the sheet off your head and embrace the day! Or maybe first read another article?
Yes, that’s probably far less scary.