Overcoming Fear in Starting A Business (Again)

by Kelvin Davis

Starting a business is exciting but it also has risks. The possibility of failure is still there even with the best-laid plans and this is why many startups collapse before it even starts to operate. This feeling of vulnerability can easily turn into fear and fear can lead to paralysis. The stigma of failing in business will always be with entrepreneurs and this is often why they will choose not to engage in another business venture. But fear should be the last thing you entertain in your thoughts when you want to try again. Just do it – together with these pointers.

Know your “why”

Purpose can make you resilient through hardships. Remember that hard times are considered an inevitable part of building a business from scratch. You will encounter multiple setbacks and some will be so huge it would push you to the brink of quitting. Knowing and understanding your deepest personal motivation in going ahead with your business idea is the secret to survival. Sure the journey can be hard but when you are sold out 100% to your business you can surely overcome your doubts.

Personal plans first, business second

So you now have your “why” – it could be as simple as leaving a thriving business for your kids to inherit, or it could be just about you wanting to secure your retirement without being too dependent on retirement funds.

When you have settled your “why”, you need to draft up a plan. But I suggest you start with your personal plans first. Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to own a piece of property, perhaps a farm with an awesome view? When you have this laid out, you can then proceed with your business goals.

How big do you want your business to be? What are your growth prospects? Are you aiming for global expansion? What are your goals for the 1st year of operation? The 2nd year? And the 3rd? Having a plan will help you get on track with your entrepreneurial aspirations.

The fun part is checking the milestones you just achieved in your plan. I associate this with the concept of target success, of enjoying the journey than painfully waiting for that big, happy finale that is still a long time coming. Enjoying the small victories along the way matters!

Start right the first time

Fear is easy to overcome when you do it with the help of sound advice from people who failed themselves multiple times before. This is where learning and education come in. Your fear to push through with your plans gets challenged with real-life experiences of “experts” who are already successful.

My education was from the books I read from great financial thinkers of my generation like Robert Kiyosaki. The more I learn, the more I was able to set aside my fears and focus on my goals. I gained a better perspective of my business too, I was able to refine my ideas and come up with better ones. This for me is starting right. Arm yourself with knowledge!

Start small and grow by learning

When I started I really did not test the waters. I just bought a house without researching about property development or knowing how I can invest best into real estate. The most common mistake for many is being reckless with their initial investment, with some overinvesting in an industry they barely know. From my own failure, I learned to give this advice – start small!

Hunt down affordable deals and invest just enough for learning. As you learn more, you also increase your exposure to risks, but that’s okay because this time you are armed with better information, you can read the market better, you can anticipate the problems. As your skills grow you can afford to buy into bigger deals. You will still fail but you improve your odds for success. Understand the intimate details of the industry you are in and then expand.

Get back to your plan

As your business grows and your success becomes more tangible, do not forget to revisit your plan when you started out your venture. Check your progress! Have a look how far you’ve gone and then set some new goals, loftier this time. Setting your sights on bigger goals ensures growth. Do not forget to upgrade both your personal and business plan.

Fear is best addressed with clarity of purpose. Fear is kept at bay with bigger goals. Fear is extinguished with learning from other people who made it big in the end. So when you feel you are paralysed by fear (again), go back to your “why” and calm your apprehensions with more learning and more ambitious goals.