7 fears of being an entrepreneur (and how to face them)Mathew J Maniyamkott
For any man or a woman who has decided to get into a business, the fears that cripple them even before Day 1 are multifold. It doesn’t matter how many co-working spaces, mentors, funding or profits you are able to produce, there are challenges in every single way you can imagine. These are some of the crippling fears that entrepreneurs face every single day:
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The fear of not having people believe in your idea
People are finicky. There is no doubt about that. It is natural to be upset when people in your inner circle are not too happy about you quitting your six-figure paying job. You’ve got a great business idea which you share with your closest friends who begin a tirade of how most startups don’t last after more than a year and why it is risky to quit when the markets are against you. It doesn’t matter if their observations are based on sound logic or not. It is never a right time to start a business. So you might as well start it now.
The fear that you might not be an expert in the field
You may not be an expert in the field your startup is in, but it doesn't matter as long as you have people who know what to do. As long as you can answer most questions without finding the need to dodge many and you are good with the leadership aspect of your business, you’ll do fine. Things that are beyond your immediate grasp can always be learnt on the go. You should never stop learning. Remember, there is always time to learn.
The fear of mediocrity
At least one person would have told us about our invincibility and why we are destined to riches and fame. That is when we start fearing mediocrity. The same fear is on the mind of an entrepreneur who is afraid of falling short in the eyes of all the stakeholders involved including their own. Question yourself every day to check if you are walking astray. Keep checks to make sure that you don’t overindulge in things that don’t matter. Both personally and professionally, strive to be the best version of yourself.
The fear of not being funded
The cornerstone of any business is money in its account. Money is a concern no matter which stage of the business you are in. Most businesses fail because of financial ignorance. Your chances to reduce the failure of your startup reduce when you have sound financial help available from professionals. For most entrepreneurs who do it out of sheer passion and madness, money might not be the end goal, but remember, this is what keeps your idea afloat. This simple realisation helps you in understanding the importance of money.
The fear of losing your reputation
You might have been the darling of your parents and neighbours, and have the quintessential IIT and IIM tag with a consulting job that paid you oodles in dollars. All of that stops when you decide to marry into a startup because the risk of losing face is too high for people close to you. Why? Failures are not taken lightly in our country while in a place like America, people tend to assume that there is a lot of learning in an unsuccessful venture. Despite honesty and hard work, if you have to face people questioning your decision-making ability, it is not an exciting place to be. There are fewer entrepreneurs in this country than there should be because we are forced to play safe.
The fear that your startup will consume your whole life
Although it is true in many cases that startup founders are hard pressed for time, it is not a given that you will never have time for family, friends and your hobbies. Try finding things that can be delegated to people who are experts in a said field. Use this time to spend on other necessary pursuits. When you want to be an entrepreneur, it imperatively requires your full attention, but there is a balance in your life that you need to maintain to have a life that is wholesome and satisfying. If you can prioritise your responsibilities smartly, the journey to success will be a smooth affair.
The fear of success
As silly as this fear might seem like, there is a pragmatic reason behind listing it as one of those things entrepreneurs are afraid of. The fear hinges on the fact that things could go completely wrong after becoming successful. ‘What if I cannot handle success?’ ‘What if I lose it all?’ These are some of the questions that might taunt a few people – even the strongest of the lot sometimes have insecurities.
If you are an entrepreneur plagued by any of these fears, do not worry, it is normal. Rise above the fear by giving yourself a pep talk or talk to someone who motivates you. But remember this – it is not normal to harbour these thoughts without trying to discern where it came from. Talk to people who care about you and want the best for you.