Entrepreneurialism is inherently scary. When you're spearheading a business, you're taking several risks— risks with your money, your time, your relationships, and your career. And, of course, the worst fear of all is the thought that all entrepreneurs try to push to the back of their minds: "What if I fail?"
Of course, entrepreneurialism is not for the risk-adverse. Those who embark on that path know that it's not going to be without challenges and setbacks. But even with that knowledge, fear can be a limiting factor in the journey. How can entrepreneurs learn to run their businesses from a place of fearlessness?
Before answering that question, we must first distinguish fearlessness from foolishness. Fearlessness is the ability to move forward with a calculated risk, despite anxiety about the outcome. Fearlessness means conquering fear of failure, fear of what others will think, and fear of progress. Foolishness is moving forward with an uncalculated risk, regardless of immediate or long-term consequences. Foolishness may involve disregarding the advice of trusted partners, making an unethical or illegal decision, or taking a gamble you're not prepared to lose. While foolishness is bound for disaster, fearless entrepreneurialism will make you a bold and impassioned leader.
To practice fearless entrepreneurialism, consider these starting points:
Take action. Fear often leads to paralysis because any choice feels dangerous. Yet, freezing risks stagnation. Resolve to choose a direction and take the next immediate step in that direction, no matter how small. Committing to moving forward will create momentum, allow you to better understand the situation, and give you more confidence.
Embrace failure. Changing your mindset around failure can revolutionize the way you experience it. Failures are moments for reflection. They give you information about strategies that work and those that don't; they create valuable opportunities to learn and adapt. Know that, to some extent, failure is inevitable— welcome it, fearlessly.
Become an optimist. As humans, we are naturally biased toward negativity; research has shown that negative information embeds in our brains more easily than positive information. We can combat this bias, however, by being mindful about our thought processes. When your fears start to infiltrate your thoughts and become foundations for your decisions, acknowledge those fears and replace them with positive feedback. You might do this by having a conversation with a trusted friend or colleague, journaling to process the situation, or encouraging yourself to find three positives associated with each negative thought.
Fearless entrepreneurialism will allow you to grow as a business owner and a person. You will build your own confidence as well as inspire confidence in your services. You'll realize your ability to take thoughtful risks and reap the rewards. The best time to start a positive habit is right now— if you would like to take your next step toward kicking fear, download our free guide today.