Starting a business is probably one of the most rewarding and fun things I have ever done in my life next to getting married and becoming a mother. It has allowed me to spread my wings and flex my creative muscle. For the first time in my life I was truly the boss, no one to report to. I was creating goals for me to achieve based on my strategic plans, not the strategic plans of another person’s company.
However, even with all this amazing reward, I still have fears and self-doubt creep in. And this week was no different. With a little self-doubt came some self examination. So I went down to the beach with my boys and while watching them play I thought about all the different ways fear and self-doubt can creep in when becoming an entrepreneur.
I came up with a list of 7 fears and self-doubts that might sneak in from time to time, but I also know they are beatable. You can overcome them and come out the other side with a little practice and self-reflection. I want you to remember that fear and self-doubt isn’t a bad thing as long as you don’t allow it to take over your life.
1. Not Knowing Where to Start
Getting started can be the hardest part. I find that many clients just get so overwhelmed with precisely where to start. To be truly honest, it doesn’t matter where you start as long as you start. There is no magic rule. For me, I decided I wanted my website up and running, that was my silver bullet. But I could have launched my business without a website, there are multiple ways of doing it.
Take one action and start moving forward. Don’t create a huge to-do list otherwise you will get overwhelmed. Break down what needs to get done and start making progress and moving forward.
The universe likes action. Take the first step and move forward. The universe will support you. (Tweet this!)
2. Not Feeling Ready to Start
The funny thing is you are never going to be “ready.” For those of us who are parents, were you ready to have kids? Most of us had no clue what we were getting ourselves into, but we did it and are much better off for having done it. It still scares me from time to time to do certain things in my business that don’t come easily to me. But I keep on pushing and you know what, it gets easier and easier every time I do.
I know many people who wait to have the perfect video camera and lighting before they will start creating videos. Well guess what, I ended up strapping my iPhone onto a ironing board and using natural light. Who cares how it looks to me, as long as what I am saying is going to help others succeed in reaching their goals, that’s what matters. Yes, could it be more professional? Absolutely. But does it need to be? Not at all. The key, be ok with not feeling ready.
3. Fear of Being Seen
Yes, I know this sounds odd, but there are so many entrepreneurs out there (myself included) that love working on their business but they don’t necessarily like to be seen out there promoting their business. It’s challenging to allow yourself to be seen and heard and by doing so you are opening yourself up to what people may think which can be very vulnerable.
What if you put all your energy into building this amazing business and no one shows up? Of course that is scary, but trust me, if you are consistent and believe in who you’re helping the right customers will show up. It might not be in the first month, or even second month, but it will happen. However, you have to get out there and promote yourself.
You have to believe, you have to be consistent and you have to put yourself out there. When you write a blog post but only share it on your website, ask yourself how many people will see it? Don’t be afraid to share it on your social media platforms, in your FB communities etc. This is key. Stay consistent and be seen.
4. Fear of Failing
I know I have used this quote before. “Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.” This is so important to remember. Yes, I might create a social media post or even a blog post that doesn’t get read initially, but who cares. Someone might stumble upon it later and get value from it.
Is it scary to put yourself out there day in and day out? Absolutely. But it is so worth it when you connect with someone who needs your help. Someone who has been wanting to start their own business, or lose weight or build their first website but hasn’t done it. But once they connected with you, it all made sense.
5. Fear of Not Knowing it All
You aren’t going to know it all. You just won’t. You can gleam a lot of information out there on Google that will help, but it can be too much information and can ultimately confuse you. I’m a firm believer in mentorship. I hired a coach myself when I first started out and she helped me tremendously.
The other thing you want to remember is that you can hire out somethings that you can’t seem to do yourself. Yes it will cost some money, but in the end it might just be worth it. For instance, I know there are some women (and some men) who have no idea how to really create beautiful graphics for use on their website and on social media. Well this is something you can easily hire out and for not too much money. Trust me, in the end your time is money. Why waste it out of your zone of genius?
6. Fear of Negative Thoughts
This can be a big one. I want to tell you right now, it’s ok to have some negative thoughts from time to time. And you shouldn’t be afraid of having them. But, when they sneak up, you do need to take a step back, breathe and maybe go for a walk and get some air. Try and think about all the reasons WHY you’ve decided to start your own business. And keep coming back to that WHY.
Are you in it only for the money and fame? Or are you truly here to help others succeed in whatever way possible. When we are clear on the why, the how seems to sort itself out. I always find when I have some self doubts creep in, which I had this week. I head down to the beach and have some quiet time. I think about why I’m doing what I am doing and remember all the amazing women I have helped and want to help. Getting clear on my ‘Why’ usually sorts me out straight away.
7. Fear of Not Being Good Enough
At some point or other we’ve all thought we weren’t good enough at something in our lives. But, we have to remember that we know more than we give ourselves credit for. And we have loads of experiences that others have never had that makes what we offer unique. And we need to start trusting in ourselves and believing in ourselves.
We can get caught up in comparing ourselves with others. And think, will I ever be as good or as successful as Jane? Will I ever be good enough? Well, here is another quote “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle,” by Jon Acuff. This is so incredibly important. It’s not fair to you to compare where you are on in your journey, and what your site looks like, or how you are working with clients, or what your product offerings are with someone who has been in business for multiple years. So stop doing it.
You have so much to offer. Your photography, your words, your product could be what someone needs. (Tweet this!)
The insights you will gain by knowing and understanding that these key fears and self-doubts will creep up no matter what industry you choose to work in. If you are aware of them and know that taking time to regroup, supporting yourself, and getting present is key – you are halfway there. Life as an entrepreneur has many rewards. Go out there and enjoy. In the comments below share how you go about dealing with self-doubt and fear. Do you have tips/tools that help you to work through self-doubt?
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PS If the time’s right to start creating that business you so desire, then I invite you to explore a FREE Business Breakthrough call and find out more about my 90 days to Unleash your Dream Business. I can assist you with your social media marketing plan, your money blocks, figuring out who your target market is, what your packages should include.
Thank you for this post, I needed this myself because I compare someone else’s middle to my start..and also think I won’t be able to handle the success of it all. But I need to let go and take one day at a time and just do it. 🙂
Oh Lauren, I so agree. It can be challenging to not compare, but it is so unhealthy for each of us when we do it. We are all on our own path and we are going to get there in the end. Consistency is KEY. And being ok with where you are. You are going to get there.