Fears to Overcome When Starting a Business

Overcoming these fears will put you on the right track to success.

Most of the people I know have thought of starting up their own business venture at some point or another. The thought of being able to move out of the rat race and be the creator of your own destiny is a very empowering one!

Since my news of redundancy was confirmed and I knew I was living on borrowed time, I started thinking – ‘What if I take this leap of faith?’ and ‘How nice would it be if I could start building up my practice in my own time AND it takes off positively!’

Goals are necessary drivers to greatness

It was great to have this vision, the idea of building up my own practice gave me goose bumps of excitement! With the excitement also came fear, doubts and the not-so-nice feeling of being judged.

I spoke to a few friends and acquaintances in my network who had either thought of, or successfully started their own businesses. This helped me identify the common emotions that cross paths while on this journey and for the first time during this process I did not feel alone. It was a good eye opener to see how things can progress with the correct mind-set and determination.

A positive outlook cuts the difficulty of a task in half

I noticed within myself and with people I spoke to that fear and worry can be such a negative influence that it can set you up to fail even before you begin.

So I’ve logged these negative influences, worked through them, pushed past them and thought I’d share with you so if you’re thinking what I was thinking then this will put you in the right frame of mind to start thinking, seeing and believing in yourself as a winner!

So far this is what I’ve learnt and how I’ve come to tackle them.

Lack of Confidence

Knowing you have a good idea is a great feeling. But when you start digging deeper and fleshing out that idea you start feeling a little doubtful. Questions come up…What if I don’t know enough to make this work? I’m not enough of an expert…There are older/wiser/more experienced/well known/publicly acclaimed people out there…I don’t know what I need to do to make this successful…What if I start and I can’t finish it because I don’t know what the right steps are?… I’ve never done this before and I don’t know anyone who does what I do.

First thing you need to do is STOP, BREATHE, SMILE and pat yourself on the back!

Yep! you need to congratulate yourself for getting this far and starting the process, because that’s exactly what a business is, it is a process that will enable you to achieve your goals in a way that gives you joy and satisfaction.

So how do you address and soothe these feelings of lack and doubt? Break down the thought process even further!

Every perceived challenge can be resolved with a task…. like this.

What if I don’t know enough to make this work? – Ask yourself, what do I think I need to know to make this work? if it’s some reading, get the book. If you find you need to do research and talk to people in the same business, start making calls, join networking events, go to lectures or enrol in a course – Knowledge is power and boosts your confidence.

Also breaking things down prevents you from seeing the task of gaining knowledge as massive and unattainable. Instead you’re ensuring you don’t feel overwhelmed by breaking it into little tasks that are easily achieved and boost confidence…it’s all about the little wins!

Keep a checklist and tick things off as you do them – I add smiley faces because they make me remember the joy of feeling I’ve just come one step closer.

Fear of Failure

These questions sound like this:

  • What if it doesn’t work and I have to beg my boss for my job back?
  • What if I lose everything and I have to start from scratch and the job market isn’t that great and I have to pack shelves at the supermarket to pay rent?
  • How will I ever look at myself in the mirror knowing I’m such a failure, maybe I’ll just keep at my job and hope for the best, maybe I’ll get a raise.
  • What if I fail and everyone I know looks at me as a failure?
  • What will I say if people say ‘I told you so!’?
  • How will I ever be able to face my family and friends if it goes all wrong?
  • What if I make my intentions known online and my boss and colleagues see and I fail?
  • What if I am the only one who thinks this is a good idea and I flop?

We all have fears, its natural. To have fears and conquer them is what makes us successful. To allow fear to dictate our life journey is what will keep us hoping and wishing and dreaming but NOT doing!

So how do we ease these fears? Have a plan!

Creating a detailed plan on what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and what you’ll be doing on a day to day basis in order to ensure you are sticking to your plan to make it work.

Sounds like a lot of planning and work? Trust me its worth it, successful people who win have a plan….if you think you’re just going to do what feels right….don’t quit your day job – You can’t wing success you plan and work for it!

Fear of What Other People Think of You

Of all three this is the one that normally tips the scales for people when thinking of starting a business. You may not agree with me yet but hear me out…

When people we love, care about and respect say something to us, it matters. Why? Because these are the people whose opinions collectively help to re validate and reaffirm what we think of ourselves. If a stranger tells us we’re crazy to start our own business its easier to shrug off than if a loved one tells us. If someone we care about thinks its a crazy idea we begin to question if perhaps they may have a point, after all they do know us better than other people do.

The trick is to remember that they are saying what they say because of the fears they have within themselves, not because they want you to fail. Now if you want cheerleaders the best way is to get them on board, show them you’ve thought things through, take them through your plan and show them how you plan on achieving what you’re talking about – get them cheering for you.

Most importantly remember to keep to your plan and celebrate your results with your cheerleaders – the best form of advertising is of course word of mouth!

It would be great to hear from you!

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Staying Happy Takes Work

Let’s start at the beginning…

What is happiness?

The dictionary defines it as the state of being happy.

definition of happiness

OK, that’s great, but what is happy? Happy is the feeling we get when feeling pleasure, joy, delight, satisfied, blessed….so in essence ‘good’ feelings!

Things that make us happy can vary, a cup of tea, a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day, a parking spot opening up just as you pull into a parking lot, a phone call from a friend out of the blue, a stranger smiling as you get on an elevator, someone getting up and leaving you a seat just as you get onto the tube, a surprise vacation or winning a competition. Whether big or little, happy moments do bring joy but that happy feeling doesn’t stay very long. Life happens, a heel gets scuffed, you miss a train, a deal you’re working really hard on falls through, your date doesn’t show up or you break a nail. Life happens and the joy falls away giving room to sadness, anger, frustration or maybe feelings of rejection and self-doubt.

Life happens to all of us all the time – I’ve yet to see, meet or speak to someone who has EVERYthing going their way but I do have the honour and pleasure of knowing some pretty amazing people who are the most upbeat and positive I have come across. In watching them, learning from them and the conversations we share, it has helped me to become a more positive and upbeat person and although I still have my moments of panic and anxiety or pure disappointment, I can now see that I am a lot happier now that I consciously choose to face each challenge with a smile.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity in July to spend a lot of time with some of my most amazing friends and over our dinners, barbeques, lunches, drinks and coffee chats I realised that staying happy, upbeat and positive is actually a full time job that allows everyone and everything in your life to just be better, feel better and look better.

In the spirit of giving back and paying it forward I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt about living life in a happy and positive way:

  • Happiness is a choice
  • Happiness can be learnt
  • Happiness requires effort
  • Happiness takes training and practice
  • Staying happy takes continuous work

In the next few posts we’ll dig deeper and look into these points a bit more in detail but in the meantime, here’s something you can use right now to bring you a little burst of happiness. Close your eyes and think of the last thing/person that made you smile and re live that moment – I bet you’re smiling again!

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