How To Overcome Fear and Start Your Business
Starting a business will completely change your life.
That sounds scary right? Does it not also sound amazing? For many of us, when we hear the word change, we automatically associate it with negativity and maybe even fear. Change is bad, it is out of our comfort zone.
But just think of all the amazing things that have come with change in your life. All the amazing experiences you would never of had and people you wouldn’t have met if you just kept doing what you were doing.
And let’s be honest. Let’s remember all the things that didn’t work out. You still learned from that right? You became a new person, the person you are today. It was hard but it wasn’t worthless.
When I walked out of my legal career and announced I was going into design most of my family smiled indulgently and waited for the madness to subside. I’m happy to say it never did.
And I’m a planner. I am a Rory Gilmore disciple of the pro/con list, so believe me when I tell you that making that decision was terrifying. Even now I have occasional days where I think someone should have shaken me really hard and sent me back to the office.
But on the whole, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
I wanted to write this post today because I see so many amazing women in Facebook groups and across social media who are on the edge. They just want to stick a toe in the water. They are just curious about what the best way to do X is because they are thinking about starting their own blog.
And there is nothing wrong with research and preparation friends. But at some point it’s got to stop. At some point you’ve just got to dive in with both feet and commit.
But I see that a lot of you aren’t. That you are wondering, dreaming, planning, taking webinar notes and never taking a big, real, step. This makes me sad.
So, let me address some of the excuses I told myself and why you should kick your doubt to the curb.
If you want to work through your fears in a practical and purposeful way then you can download the workbook to follow along with us as we go through, made in collaboration with Yen Taylor of shelovestomake.
Help, I don’t know what I’m doing (Fear of the Unknown)
One of the amazing things about online businesses is that there are business owners of all shapes, sizes and ages. However, many of us are coming from backgrounds that are totally unrelated, or very tenuously linked, to our new business venture.
Even if you are starting something in the niche you have come up with, the online space offers a lot of new challenges, new technology and new ways of working.
Starting a new job is always nerve wracking. When I started my first legal job I had four years of legal education under my belt. I was nervous but fairly confident I knew, roughly, what I was doing.
Fast forward to when I started my design business. I had no formal training when I first started; I later went on to complete several different courses, including finally being to dominate Creative Cloud as well as gaining my marketing diplomas. However, I learnt as I went.
I didn’t do all the courses and training and then start up my biz. I learnt enough to get me started and then I learnt on the go.
And let me tell you now, there is no better and faster way to learn then when you have to learn. Learn on the job. If you wait until you feel totally comfortable then you will never start.
And here’s a secret guys. Uncomfortable is good. It drives you; it motivates you to do better and learn more. Being comfortable in business means that you are going to be left behind real quick. So don’t fear the panic, use the panic to make sure your business is the absolute best you can make it.
Help, I don’t know what I want to do (Fear of Yourself)
This is where you know you have to get away from the crazy office environment. You know you want to work for yourself but you don’t quite know what to do.
I have some good and bad news on this front.
The good news is that many, many entrepreneurs have been there. I know I have and I know many people, friends, mentors and idols that have all been down the same path.
The bad news is that, the only sure fire way of finding out whether something is for you, is to just do it. I know that sounds kind of difficult and very daunting but let me say, even if you find out that biz isn’t for you, your time won’t be wasted. I went through quite a few blogs before I realized what my calling was. But when I did find my niche, I had already learnt what works through trial and error, from page layout design, to the technical aspect of managing an email list.
Help, I’m broke as @#!* (Fear of Finances)
As someone who used to work for a charity, dealing with debt and benefits, I am so aware of how important every penny is, especially when you don’t have any. In some ways I think having a strict budget can be really beneficial for your business. There is always the temptation when you’ve got a reasonable amount of cash behind you that, when you run into a problem, you just throw cash at it to get it fixed. Not having that money means you’ve got to work it out for yourself.
And that knowledge is priceless.
Can’t afford a programmer? Teach yourself to make it from scratch. Can’t afford a program to schedule social media? Get in close and personal and figure out how it all works and meet the people behind it.
It also means that when you do need to buy something. You absolutely know that you are getting the best possible deal out there.
So, that’s why it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a fear of finances.
Money is a practical consideration, so the answer here is some practical advice.
Make three lists.
Write down all the expenses that you need to get your blog up and running right now. So for example, your website hosting is probably going to be included. When I calculated my start up expenses I calculated them for the year. Because in my mind, if I could afford all of them for the year right now and pay it all up front, then I was secure for 12 months.
Now, if you want to go further, write down all the expenses that your blog doesn’t vitally need but will absolutely help it grow. For example, a monthly subscription to BoardBoost for your Pinterest marketing. Or a budget for Facebook advertising. I put all these things down for review at the three month mark. If I could generate enough traffic and interest in three months, then I would get a good idea that people were interested enough that it would make a good investment.
Finally, write down the income that you need to generate from your blog. How much do you need to generate before you can leave your job? How much do you need to cover all your living expenses? Of course, you are not going to start making that kind of money straight away but I always find it useful to have a goal to work towards. And when you meet that goal? Move the goal posts!
If you have downloaded the workbook, then you can go through and complete the sections that we’ve already drawn up for you.
Also, it feels kind of needless to say because you are all wonderful, smart business ladies but…budget. The new dress, the little sale purchases, the bottle of wine, they can all wait. Hoard your money for your business.
Remember:Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” — AnonymousClick To Tweet
Help, I am not good enough and people will think I’m a fraud (Fear of Failure)
Ever tried? Ever Failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. –Samuel Beckett
Let me tell you now, I don’t have any statistics, but I know that there is no one in this world that hasn’t failed at something. Those massive, intimating bloggers and companies? They have all failed.
The only difference between them and you is that fear of failure didn’t stop them trying. Failure itself didn’t stop them from trying again.
One of my biggest ever girl crushes, Mariah Coz, of Femtreprenuer says it best over on her blog.
That there may be many people who know more than you about a topic, but you only need to know more about something than the person you are teaching. And that there is possibly one of the most inspiring bits of advice I’ve heard about online business in a long while.
For example, I know much less about computing than Bill Gates. I know much less about being a programmer than a computer science major. But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t teach my friend how to code an image into the sidebar of her blog. She didn’t accuse me of being a fraud; she just thanked me for showing her how to do it and brought me a glass wine.
The very purpose of Creative and Coffee is to help and inspire wonderful business women. And I very much hope that after reading this today that you will feel inspired to go out and create your own brand of awesomeness that we can all benefit from.
If you need some help getting there here are a few posts you might find useful at the start of your business journey:
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard for overcoming your fear? Share it below!