Starting a business (and even worse, running a business) can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In the spirit of Halloween and all that is frightening, let’s talk about 3 common fears entrepreneurs may face and how to overcome them successfully.
FEAR OF CRITICISM
Nobody likes rejection. One of the main reasons people hold back from pursuing something is because they fear they will be vulnerable to criticism. We fear what others may think of us and how that judgment will affect us. But what you have to remember is that what people think is just an opinion. In a business, you will have to work with people at one point or another. Whether it’s your colleagues, employees, or customers, they will all have opinions. Hopefully you’re targeting the right customers, working with positive like-minded people that build you up versus tearing you down, in which case, their opinion will have more weight and consideration. There is a difference between constructive criticism and just plain personal opinion. Constructive criticism aims to help you develop areas that need improvement and suggestions for progress whereas personal opinion is just someone trying to get their point of view heard with no regards to your growth. If someone offers you nothing but negative feedback with no suggestions of how to improve, don’t take it to heart. Many times, it’s just someone venting or a reflection of themselves. Don’t let that stop you from being vulnerable. Getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to grow. Great criticism can challenge you to tackle a problem in a different way or think outside of the box. You can listen to what people say but still make the decision whether it’s worth considering or moving on. If it’s coming from a person who cares about you or someone you look up to (like a mentor), you may want to consider their advice. If it’s coming from someone who genuinely means well, but doesn’t have experience or the expertise in the area they are offering critique, then you could take their comment with a grain of salt. Either way, it’s your call to make.
FEAR OF NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH
Many people think that they are not educated enough or have the proper track record to start a business, a blog, or be an authority on a subject if it’s something they’ve never done before. As if we are waiting to reach some level of perfection or not try at all. I’m all for planning and being ready before you jump in head first, but at some point you have to take the first step. We often compare ourselves to others and think that so and so is more qualified than us. We think we don’t have what it takes or that we don’t have the proper credentials to back it up. Especially for artists like myself, some people think that it takes a special kind of talent to be successful versus a skill that can be learned. Although some people are naturally gifted in some areas than others, I honestly think that success has nothing to do with just raw talent or pure luck for that matter. I think dedication, perseverance, and the ability to learn and adapt matter much more. With adapting, you are constantly evolving and improving. We are all work in progress. Nobody is perfect. Which means, nobody has all the answers. And if you do know it all, well, you wouldn’t be reading this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into a know-it-all that claimed to be an expert in something and actually had no clue what they were talking about. Yet, that didn’t hold them back! I’ve known people who lie on their resume, pretend to work for a company they don’t, and knew a person who somehow managed to get hired as full-time graphic designer position and tried to hire me to do their work (in secret) because they knew nothing about design! As long as you aren’t one of those people, you shouldn’t question yourself. On the flip side, I’ve also known people that have had no formal education, held no degrees, completely self-taught and eventually became very successful.