Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by New York based journalist and blogger, Samantha Gilbert. Her opinions are her own.
You have dreams about being independent. You have a specific business idea and you want to make it happen in the next few years. You’re not alone.
According to the Global Report 2017/2018 published by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 43% of the global population see good opportunities for starting their own business within the next six months. In North America, the rate of perceived opportunities is highest (61.9%).
But if you’re like most people thinking about launching a startup, you’re not just excited. You’re also afraid. Those fears block you from making a step forward, so you may remain in your comfort zone for an indefinite period of time.
It’s time to change that. It’s time to face your fears and overcome them.
The first step is identifying the fears that prevent you from launching a startup. When you know exactly what you’re afraid of, you’ll be able to address those issues with proper solutions.
These are 7 of the most common fears about starting a business.
1. The economy is tough right now, so it’s not the right time for my startup
There are two types of people:
● Those who never think the economy is right for their project, and
● Those who always think that now is the best time to start a business.
Which ones do you think will succeed on the road to entrepreneurship? A true entrepreneur won’t wait for the economy to get better. Truth be told, that’s an unrealistic expectation. This is the kind of person who will take the current circumstances and turn them to their advantage.
You can do that, too! No matter how the economy looks like at this point, write your business plan. Make it realistic. If you do everything well, you’ll certainly succeed. So there’s only one thing you can do: plan and do everything well!
2. I don’t know enough about entrepreneurship
This is a serious fear. You have no idea how to maintain a business, so you’re afraid to start one. This is your intuition warning you of a huge risk. You should listen to it.
But does that mean you should give up on your dreams? Absolutely not!
Learning is the right thing to do. You can start by taking online courses. Coursera has free ones you can benefit from. You don’t need a certificate for this. You just need to learn.
But remember: you will never know everything. In fact, entrepreneurship is best learnt by doing. Let’s take a look at this survey with an interesting question: “What’s the best way to learn more about entrepreneurship?” 51% of the respondents said “start a company!”
3. I’m biting off more than I can chew
Entrepreneurship is challenging, to say the least. As you start learning more about it, you may start feeling that it’s overwhelming.
You shouldn’t feel that way. Remember: no one chooses to launch a startup because it’s the easy way out. Just look at a successful startup you know of. You think it was easy for the founders to launch it? No. They went through the same hardships, but they were brave enough to do it.
4. I know nothing about online marketing and it looks too complicated
Before you start a business, you’ll have to learn few marketing tricks. Search engine optimization is the most important aspect of marketing nowadays. It’s all about becoming visible on Google and other search engines. In addition, you’ll have to deal with content marketing, paid advertising, and social media marketing.
If you’ve never worked in marketing before, this aspect of the startup life will scare you. Will you have to invest a lot?
Yes; you’ll need to invest part of the budget for marketing purposes. The good news, however, is that this kind of investment will be profitable for your business. As for SEO and content writing, you can always count on professional writers. Cheap writing services can be really helpful in that matter.
5. The future is too uncertain
The fear of facing the unknown is pretty common.
People like security. At this point, you probably have a job that is bringing you a steady income. If you leave it to start a business, you have no idea of what might happen.
No one likes uncertainty. But a true entrepreneur will embrace it as a chance for success. They will get out of their comfort zone and do everything in their power to succeed. As the business progresses, they are able to produce predictable results in future.
6. What if I fail?
This fear is crippling. To start your own business, you’ll invest your savings or you’ll borrow money. Either way, a certain level of risk is involved.
There are plenty of failures you may face. The marketing campaign may fail. The hiring process may be ineffective. You may develop software and it will have plenty of bugs that you won’t notice till after the launch. But there are also huge failures, like the entire business failing.
But you know what? The opportunity for success is also there. If you don’t take the risk, you fail succeeding, for sure.
Remember: no failure is final. Even Steve Jobs was not immune to failure. But he learned a good lesson and carried on, more successful than he ever was.
7. Being a boss is harder than being an employee
Of course it is.
When you work for someone else, you just show up and do your part of the job. You get your salary and benefits, and that’s about it.
But when you start your own business, you’ll have to work for your own salary and benefits, and care about the wellbeing of all employees you have. The entrepreneur mindset, however, will embrace and love that challenge. They don’t feel comfortable in the safe role of an employee. They want more and they are ready to work for it.
Do you have what it takes?
Do you feel strong enough to launch your startup? Maybe you don’t have enough self-confidence, but you can work on it. Just identify the fears preventing you from taking this step. If you work on them, nothing will stop you from succeeding.