How should an entrepreneur deal with fear

Mani Dhanasekar
9th May 2018
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Never fear. You might have come across this phrase often, but is it actually possible to have no fear? How does it work for entrepreneurs who face a great number of uncertainties on a daily basis?


Fear is a part of every aspect of our lives. More often than not, we do not discuss the fear factor that is at play in the business.

As long as it is taken positively, fear is the best thing for an entrepreneur. If it is channeled in the right direction, fear can help one thrive in their business.

Foundation to success

An entrepreneur often has great aspirations while building a company. It was such aspirations that made me shift from a small town like Madurai to Bengaluru. Along with these aspirations came the fear of not succeeding, and letting go of a reliable and steady income. At the same time, the passion was stronger than the doubt of failure, or of making my own identity as an entrepreneur in a new city.

It is good to have aspirations, but a wise entrepreneur should always be grounded and have a go-getter attitude. Entrepreneurs often neglect the very foundation of their business. The product or service they provide needs to be rock solid, and they should have the will to fight for it.

It is also imperative to invest time, as well as resources, in nurturing yourself as a leader, the company culture and the employees of the company. These are the most important elements and cannot go unnoticed until and after the company grows.

The extent to which you are invested in your company will result in how much you can build it. If your company’s foundation is disaster-proof, chances are you will be in business longer than most.

Keep the vision in mind

Keeping the vision in mind is an important aspect while running a business. No one knows you better than yourself, and no one is more in-tune with the vision you have for your company. For instance, I came with the vision to serve India-based customers with a better hosting system and to help the startups get visibility online. The market was filled with competitors who had more muscle and funding than me. But I looked at the brighter side. I felt a foreign company will not understand the needs of an Indian customer as much as an India-based company would.

Keep track of where you are headed as you are accountable to your team, investors and the board. Firstly, you need to enter the destination that you plan to reach. Then you need to map out the key points to know if you are moving in the right direction, and lastly, be aware of the fact that you have reached your destination.

If you don’t have a long-term perspective and plan for the company, you might get lost along the way. Worse, you may not even realise when you have arrived.

Once you have the vision clear in your mind, add to it a level of flexibility. There might be instances of a storm at sea, which means you may have to divert or halt for some time. But that should not impact in reaching your goal.

Power, responsibilities, and fear

After starting my journey as an entrepreneur, I realised that I was responsible not only for myself but for my team as well. It was scary that so many people were dependent on me. This fear helped me realise that the team is the core foundation and root of the company.

When should I not fear?

A good entrepreneur is the one who knows when not to fear. But the question is - what are the circumstances or conditions when one should not fear? The possibility of rejection and change lies in all types of businesses, but this should not stop you from exploring new options. If you get stuck, and keep pondering on circumstances that necessitated the changes, you will never be able to taste success.

The best way to tackle this situation is not by trying to eliminate the fear or by avoiding it, but by thinking this is not a situation to fear at all.

When should I fear as an entrepreneur?

Knowing when the fear is reasonable and logical is as important as knowing when not to fear. You should also be able to understand the valuable safety mechanism. If your business is slow and you are in a condition to just pay your bills, it is natural to go into a survival mode.

The best thing you can do for yourself is by working for reduced rates for a short period of time. You can continue this until your business revives. It is better to accept clients for reduced rates rather than send them back. There should be only one focus - my business must survive, and the hard time shall pass.

Deal with fear

You might have seen rock climbers climbing huge mountains. Reaching the summit from the base always looks like a daunting task. But once they start, the mountain starts showing the way.

Fear has its positive aspects, and it gives you the time to pause, think and plan your strategy. This way, you will be able to face situations when a storm hits, and you will be able to grow a company, which has a long-lasting impact.

Being courageous

It is not an easy deal at all - to go against the wind, start your business, and pursue your dreams. Entrepreneurs need to set their own path, walk on it and then continue the long journey. Fear will strike us, but we need to be able to separate true fear from an imagined or perceived one through this journey. This can be of great help for personal as well as business development.


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