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Are you familiar with the story of Zeno of Cyprus? Here’s a quick synopsis: a merchant named Zeno lost his wealth when his boat shipwrecked. Shortly after this incident, he took an interest in philosophy, and he originated a new type of philosophy called stoicism.
Today, people recognize a stoic person as someone who remains calm in every situation. Even if they’re under immense scrutiny or stress, they keep their cool. More than this, though, a stoic person doesn’t spend time thinking about ideal situations or a perfect world. Instead, they accept a flawed world and try to better themselves.
To really thrive as an entrepreneur, you need to acknowledge the fact that starting your own company isn’t always glamorous. There will be wonderful moments, of course, but the truth is that there’s a lot of unpleasant things you need to deal with, too.
Entrepreneurship is a scary thing. It will make you doubt yourself like nothing else. For most, the pressures of starting a business are too overwhelming. These individuals either avoid entrepreneurship or half-heartedly try it and then curse their fate when they fail.
There is a group of small business owners that succeed, though. These people acknowledge entrepreneurship’s innate fears and combat them with a stoic disposition. Below, you’ll learn about eight fears you’ll face on your path to starting a business. Acknowledging these fears might be uncomfortable, but you must know and understand them deeply to overcome them.
Entrepreneurs may seem immune to fear, but this is far from the case. All normal humans experience fear to one degree or another. The difference between entrepreneurs and the people that fail to start companies is how they address fear.
Some feel that the little voice in their head that whispers they’re not enough is too great to ignore. Others hear the nagging little voice and choose to ignore it. Successful leaders realize there is a possibility that they’ll fail, but they proceed anyway.
Any way you cut it, finances are important. You might fear leaving the stable income of a 9 to 5, or you might be worried about securing funding for your new venture. At the end of the day, money is always going to be a challenge. This reality can paralyze you and keep you in a constant state of fear, or you can accept it and face it head-on.
When you start anything new (whether it’s a relationship, workout routine or company), you should begin with fervor and dedication. You don’t need to be perfect, but you should understand that mediocrity simply won’t do.
Successful small business owners are always striving toward growth. They constantly ask themselves what they can do to improve their companies, and then they take action. They fear mediocrity, but they don’t let it deter them from being productive. They work toward excellence every day, even in spite of adversity.
Letting people down
You can’t please everyone. In your personal life, you’ll find that some people are not supportive of your choice to be an entrepreneur. In your professional life, not everyone will want to buy your product or service.
The harsh reality is that you really can’t appease every person in your life. Move on from this fear and focus your efforts on the people that matter most.
On the surface, the fear of being wrong seems the same as the fear of failure. However, they are very different. The fear of failure will ultimately keep you from starting something new. The fear of being wrong can lead you down the incorrect path, which is often deadly for entrepreneurs.
When you start a new company, you’ll be wrong from time to time. You will pursue the wrong strategy, and then you’ll need to change your approach. This fear crushes many hopeful business owners because they let it hurt their confidence. Successful innovators stay the course and realize that being wrong is simply part of the process.
Gathering information and conducting research is important in any business. That said, there’s only so much strategizing and calculating an entrepreneur can do. If you want to create a booming business, you’ll need to forgo confidence and take risks from time to time.
In the face of an unknown future, you must act. You can spend all day analyzing and planning for what’s to come. If you do, you’ll inevitably waste time on false predictions and planning.
To overcome the fear of the unknown, start with action. Use your common sense and some simple research to make a strategic move. After you do, learn from your findings, and then act again.
At the core of every entrepreneur is passion. You have to be dedicated and passionate about something to start a business surrounding it. Without this drive, taking on the inherent risks of entrepreneurship isn’t worth it.
To keep your passion intact during trying times, constantly remind yourself why you started your venture. If you do, you’ll avoid the fear of losing heart and remain dedicated to your mission.
Conclusion: face your fears like Zeno
When Zeno lost his ship and his wealth, he didn’t give up. Most people would have drug their feet and cursed the skies, but he found a new reason for living.
As an entrepreneur, you can let the fear of failure stop you, but you don’t have to. Instead of worrying about what could happen or avoiding the situation as a whole, jump in. Embrace fear with a calm disposition, and you’ll ready yourself for a profitable future as a new business owner.