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How to Overcome the Fear of Failure as an Entrepreneur

by Chidinma Nwosu

You have a brilliant idea or a terrific product, but the question of “would people appreciate my idea or product?” prevents you from acting. Why? because you’re paralyzed by the fear of failing. You’re afraid to take that step. 

Starting something new or meeting someone new, might be frightening. Fear, as some might put it, is “false evidence appearing real.”

The good news is that all business owners are afraid of failing. So, how can you overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur?

10 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Failure as an Entrepreneur

  1. Have an elaborate plan

To overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur, you must have a plan or something close. Your plans do not need to be thorough, but you should have a basic plan in place, such as how you intend to advertise your services. Be conscious of the laws in place to ensure the smooth operation of your business.

This plan helps to kill the voice of doubts and fears. As your subconscious raises objections, you’ll have something to fall back to for assurance.

  1. Ask questions

Fear of the unknown might paralyze your ability to act. Asking questions helps you deal with this fear. You overcome entrepreneurial failure in business by asking yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” 

The more questions you ask, the better you’ll be able to visualize. If you can answer the questions above, you can offer solutions when you find yourself in a similar circumstance. Mastering this technique can help you overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur and place you one step closer to your goal.

  1. Retrain your mentality about failure

As an entrepreneur, you will fail at some things before figuring things out. It is similar to a toddler learning to walk. She will fall a few times before finally learning to stand upright and walk. 

Thomas Edison says, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. “

This is the mindset you should adopt. Did you do any better today than you did yesterday? That is another important question you should ask. You can overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur if you retrain your mentality and adjust your approach to certain things.

  1. Do not stake your entire existence on the success of a project

Don’t rely on the success of a project for your entire dream. To overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur, keep in mind that failing at your project does not reflect on you or your abilities. I understand that we grew up thinking that failing at somethings such as a school exam meant being stupid. Fortunately, you can tweak this mentality, create a couple of milestones and measure your success based on efforts, rather than tangible outcomes.

It’s true that outcomes are important. But as a beginner – an entrepreneur – understand that you’re human and mistakes are part of what makes you grow.

  1. Stop looking at failure as a final point

Just because you tried to sell your goods to a few people with no luck, doesn’t mean you should give up completely. Determine what is preventing people from patronizing you. Consider what would have happened if Dangote would have given up entirely  due to one or more challenges. 

As an entrepreneur, when you meet a challenge or barrier, your task is to figure out how to solve it. For example, when bikes, also known as ‘okadas,’ were banned as a mode of transportation in some locations, many of them had to rethink their plans and enter the logistics industry. Life can throw curve balls at you even if you have the best of plans.You must be tenacious and adaptive to overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur.

  1. Take consistent action rather than procrastinating

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – J. P morgan

Sometimes, fear manifests in the form of procrastination. Taking action allows you to determine what works and what doesn’t. Break down your goals into smaller steps to minimize procrastinating. This will save you from feeling overwhelmed by your objectives. There is a time for thinking and a time for doing. If you’ve thought of something and devised a strategy, get to work as soon as possible. 

Many would-be entrepreneurs are still contemplating their options and ideas. As a result, we have more ideas than companies. Don’t overthink things so you can make actual progress. This is the most effective method to overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur.

Read also: How to handle procrastination as an entrepreneur

  1. Have someone to mentor you

Make solid, long-lasting connections with people in the business world. These individuals can serve as mentors and advisors to you because they have travelled the route you are on. Having the best mentor or mentorship program can open doors to several places. It is one of the effective and long-term ways to overcome failure as an entrepreneur.

Read also: How to choose the best career mentor

  1. Keep your imagination in check

You must be in control. Imagination is a strong tool that you can use to your advantage. Our beliefs are influenced by our imagination, just as they were when we were children and afraid of the dark because we believed there was a monster there. That’s how fear operates. You must face your fears if you want to overcome the fear of failure as an entrepreneur .

Here’s a fun activity for you to try. Make a list of your goals. Make a list of your excuses (fears) that are keeping you from achieving your goals. Look for a solution to your excuse. When you’re in a rough spot, this might also help you recall your why. Weigh what you stand to lose if you don’t pursue your idea, as well as what you stand to gain if you do.

  1. Write down your affirmation 

Affirmation also keeps you in control of your thoughts. It helps you recall your ‘why’  and destination. Set aside time to affirm to yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of failure.

Read also: How to stay motivated as a Nigerian freelancer

  1. Be patient

It takes time to build something worthwhile. However, we live in the Instant Gratification Era. Even social media promotes this, without revealing how many times they have failed. We expect to run before we can walk, but that isn’t the case. Slow and steady is the way to go. Patience keeps you from becoming overwhelmed and allows you to trust the process. 

Consider starting a business as a marathon rather than a sprint. Even large corporations fall short of their objectives on a daily basis, but they do not give up. Rather, they go back and rethink their strategy.

Conclusion

To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be willing to fail. Test the concept, adjust, change, and try again. The key is to fail quickly and small. This means that the sooner you act, the closer you will be to reaching your goals. A smart entrepreneur would make sure that his or her failures don’t hurt them financially. For example, a smart entrepreneur would not take on debt without a clear plan for repaying it if the enterprise fails.

In the comments section, please tell how you dealt with your fear of failure as an entrepreneur.

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About Author

Avatar of Chidinma Nwosu
Chidinma Nwosu
Chidinma Nwosu is a freelance copywriter and content writer. She writes compelling articles about entrepreneurship, personal development, and lifestyle. She enjoys reading as much as writing. You can find her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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