Fear, self doubt, uncertainty. These are all emotions every entrepreneur has felt at some point (if they’re being honest). But if you let them overtake you, you run the real risk of failure.
You may have a great idea for a small business, but if you’re not coming across as confident and self-assured of its potential, you’ve got yourself a serious problem.
Think of it this way: When an entrepreneur isn’t sure about their idea, they’re not going to convince anyone to invest, let alone be able to convert their target audience into buyers.
Don’t be an unsure entrepreneur – fight your fear of failure with our three tips below!
Validate Your Business Plan
Know any established, successful entrepreneurs? Why not get one to review your business plan? By doing this, you’ll be able to get feedback – and validation – that your small business idea has great potential. And if he or she feels you need to make revisions before going any further, it’ll give you a chance to make your idea even stronger before presenting it to investors and your target audience.
If you happen to know more than one entrepreneur or anyone else whose business opinion you value, be sure to show them your business plan, too. Hearing their feedback, and implementing any changes you feel will improve your business will help give you the confidence you’ve been lacking.
Don’t know any entrepreneurs? Becoming a part of your local business community will combat this problem. Think about joining an organization in your area like BALLE that “equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success.” Or opt to search for local small business groups to join on Meetup — either way you’ll have a great shot at meeting someone who can become your mentor and hone your networking skills while you’re at it.
Accept Your Fears – and Move On
You know that nagging voice in the back of your head that starts in with the ‘what ifs’ every time you begin to get excited about your business idea? “What if no one will invest in your company?” “What if no one likes your product and you lose all your money?” “What if you fail?”
These thoughts, although normal, can quickly get out of control and affect the way you not only present yourself but your small business idea. Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger, suggests: “Don’t fight failure. Take it in and redefine what motivates you. If you can get up over and over again after being knocked down and teach others to do the same, then you can become a person of character with strong moral values and a center that can’t be shaken. After all, the practice of failure is necessary and never giving up is really the mark of an entrepreneur.”
Ben also believes that it’s not only okay to make mistakes, it’s essential to the long-term growth and success of your company. Why? Because you learn from them – and get better! And don’t avoid talking about your mistakes or fear of failure, he says, because it’ll only make things harder on you, and shake your confidence.
Fight Fear with Knowledge
There’s a certain confidence that comes with knowing your industry inside and out. It only makes sense, then, that ongoing education, as well as keeping up with the changes and trends in your industry, would be an essential part of fighting your fear of failure.
Susanne Mulvehill of Entrepreneur.com, who started her own entrepreneurial advocacy business, states: “Knowledge is power. Take classes or attend seminars to learn practical skills to start, market, and grow your business. One client [of mine] who was starting his business attended a press-release writing workshop; the new skills he acquired resulted in his business being featured in a newspaper.”
Not sure where to start? Reading blogs is a great way to stay up to date on your industry and local community colleges offer many online and in-person courses on various business and computer topics. Determine the areas in which you feel you could use a little help and then fight your fear of failure by learning all you can about them. This will help turn you into the confident entrepreneur you were always meant to be!