(NNPA)—Fear is a primary obstacle that prevents people from becoming entrepreneurs. Many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. Fear is a disease. It cripples effective decision-making and most of the time accounts for the illogical actions that ensue. Our country is now deep into a historic financial crisis that has most people in fear of losing their jobs, healthcare, and life savings. Learning to manage your fears can help you weather negative situations during hard times.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs have the dream of finding security by starting their own home-based business, but maybe 2-5 percent of these people will actually apply their knowledge and unique talents. We should begin to discuss some of the techniques for entrepreneurs to learn how to manage and conquer their fears. Think about what you want. When you doubt yourself by spinning the wheels in your mind on a worst case scenario, turn it around and focus on what you DO want. Visualize yourself building the new business. Create a new truth. Your mind will play powerful tricks, if you let it. So, stop being your own roadblock and get back on track. See yourself talking to the interested person as they become a part of your business. You get what you focus on.
Change the voice. When you hear yourself telling you that you’re not good enough—you’re going to fail. Just change the voice from yours to that of Mickey Mouse or something silly that would hold little weight with you anyway! Who cares if Mickey Mouse thinks you’re not good enough? Is Mickey Mouse an entrepreneur?
Voice fears to a trusted friend or associate. Hopefully you have been able to find some level of support from at least one other entrepreneur. Ideally, you have a significant other that supports you. If not, then you should have some kind of support network from your team or community association groups that you can get advice. However, don’t go looking for support to all those people who doubted you and told you it was crazy to go out on your own. They will rarely understand the entrepreneur.
Build a personal development library. I draw tremendous support from my library. It is not just filled with how to resources, but also stories of others who conquered their fears. You should begin to email your friends that might recommend sources of personal development something based on your own description of your circumstances.
Take baby steps to build confidence. Sometimes just making the smallest step will help get you back on the right track enough that the fear of not doing something can go away. Just starting the process can create enough momentum to see it through. Visualize the result, but make the action the goal. There is a subtle difference here for the entrepreneur. Of course, you want the result, but maybe that’s not in your direct control. Visualize the result in your mind, but make your goal the consistent and persistent action of the entrepreneur. The action will eventually produce the result and you can certainly achieve that goal.
Entrepreneurship and the dream of owning your own business is a powerful concept. As a business owner, you are in charge of the decision making process, the direction of the company’s products and services, and realizing the benefits of your own hard work. At the same time, the factors that drive entrepreneurship can be equally frightening for many potential self-employed people. To get your own business going and growing, it’s necessary to overcome your fears.
Many fear a personal lack of knowledge. While not everyone is an expert in public relations, sales and marketing, accounting, law, production, and distribution, these seemingly lofty skills can be learned or contracted. Books and Internet research resources are FREE at the public library and courses are readily available that teach hands on practical skills. Lack of knowledge and information is only limited by your imagination. You may even discover that you know more about business than you had previously thought possible.
Never, ever quit. I hate to even use that “q” word. Keep seeking new ways to solve challenges. Listen and learn from others experiences. If you do quit in fear, you cease to be an entrepreneur—otherwise you’re not beaten, you are moving ahead living your dreams of building your own successful business.
(Dr. Farrah Gray is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or his web site at http://www.drfarrahgray.com.)