While entrepreneurship may seem glamorous to the outside world with the idea of working at your own pace or picking your schedule, but more importantly, reaping the rewards of your hard work; there is another side to entrepreneurship that keeps many from ever even starting. That side is FEAR. Many take the leap of faith forward, but they still retain a great level of fear that they must learn to let go on their journey in order to move their business, brand, or innovation forward.
While these fears are very real, true entrepreneurs must learn to overcome them by themselves rather than allow external forces to intervene, as it is after all, a part of our journey. Here are the four fears that most never talk about but yet almost all have to overcome.
No guarantee despite putting your resources and hard work in: The unfortunate truth of being an entrepreneur is that you quickly learn that there are no guarantees in anything you do. The marketing strategy that took you a year to perfect could have been for nothing, the long hours in your latest update to your app could be for nothing if people don’t care for it, and all your long years of hard work on your project could be without any recognition or payout.
Resources are scarce and great sacrifices may cause you harm: Most entrepreneurs on their first journey are bootstrapped meaning that for every penny they spend on their business, they are taking one penny away from their personal lives. While this may not be a big deal if you are single and without debt, many entrepreneurs love their jobs and put their families at risk by cutting their incomes or using their life savings to get started. The question always remains…what if?
There is a possibility that you end up at the top alone: Taking your project to the next level requires a level of dedication above what a normal individual is capable of. While it’s a sacrifice you might be willing to make, those around you may not have signed up for that originally and may not understand your changed persona. Many entrepreneurs believe in their vision to the end, but at what cost?
Instability and the promise that there may not be a tomorrow financially: The majority of entrepreneurs realize that it takes time to build your brand, and sometimes you’ll need 6-12 months of reserves to survive but that could ultimately become 12-16 months or more. Believe us when we say that the thought of instability won’t escape you from day one of your journey.
We also decided that it would be cool if we asked our social network of entrepreneurs on our FaceBook page, their thoughts on their one secret fear. Here were some of the best answers.
The biggest fear has to be the ‘what ifs’. It’s the irrational fears that you have in your mind that try to keep you from taking action. Most entrepreneurs don’t take action nearly as often as they should…there’s always a voice in the back of their head going “What if I fail?” “What if this product tanks catastrophically?” “What if someone steals my idea?” It’s all completely mental – the only way to get rid of those thoughts is by taking action. That used to be my biggest fear. As of now my biggest fear is that I’ll be a poor entrepreneur forever…that my ideas won’t work out, or other people won’t buy into my vision. I fight it the same way…working my ass off and having faith in my abilities.
– Kingshuk Mukherjee – Adonis Media
Not failure, but failure to continue to innovate as a person. Your first business won’t be your million dollar winner (in most cases). Entrepreneurship is about knowing how to listen, innovate, think outside the box, adapt yourself, and most importantly know when to accept idea failures! Take the mistakes, and use them to your advantage so you can improve. Its a mindset you need in order to continue the discovery of new ventures and ideas. Losing this character becomes your failure.
– Pawel Puchalski – Course Groups
The thing that scares me most of all is the fact that you may end up putting your heart, soul, and hard earned money into a project, and have it fall apart and fail. However, while knowing this, you know that you must repeat this project multiple times to get an end result.
– Ben Muldoon – Keletro Industries
Wow, definitely. I am so afraid that even though I have only good intentions, people might not see it.
– Ian Mason – SE Habitat
While these fears may keep you from moving ahead at times, keep in mind why you decided to defy the status quo and choose the less traditional path of success. The one less traveled but more importantly where very few reach their destination. Ultimately it is those that do redefine our way of thinking and our way of doing business. You chose this path so you can one day say “I am an entrepreneur.”