You’re brainstorming a crazy idea, thinking of quitting your day job, and building a wildly successful business. You want to build your own company, recruit your own talent, and make the world a better place.
But… deep down, something strong is holding you back. Fear. You’re afraid of failure. You’re not sure of your crazy business idea. You don’t think that you can quit your day job, because your dream of building a million-dollar company might just be wishful thinking.
How do you beat your fear and succeed as an entrepreneur?
Here are five tips to help you:
1. Face your fears.
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” —Henry Ford
Entrepreneurship is full of challenges, uncertainties, and difficulties.
At some point, while you’re running your business, you’ll get confused, scared even. “You have this fear of failing and of doing something new, which is very natural,” Google co-founder Larry Page said as he discussed his company’s early days in a Fortune interview. “In order to do stuff that matters, you need to overcome that.”
In other words, you must face your fears. Facing your fears is about being true to yourself. Admit that you’re afraid, then work to understand your weaknesses and strengths. Outsource what you can’t do, leverage your strengths, then move on.
Remember, the secret to success is to move on as fast as you can and not get stuck in the yokes of procrastination.
2. Get started.
“If you have a dream, you can spend a lifetime studying, planning, and getting ready for it. What you should be doing is getting started.”—Drew Houston
We all have dreams, ideas and goals, but few of us make our dreams a reality. Why is that? Because we don’t get started.
The would-be athlete gets stuck in the bondage of doubt, wondering if their running shoes are too cheap to get them ahead of the competition. The would-be author gets stuck in the bondage of writer’s block, doubting every plot point and character. The aspiring entrepreneur also gets stuck in the bondage of their unwillingness to act, blaming investors for not giving them the chance to build their dream company.
The one thing that all of these fearful folks have in common? They don’t get started. They are stuck in the bondage of procrastination, which is another form of fear. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is all about having the guts to package your crazy ideas into a product, the hoping for the best.
“What I lack in talent, I compensate with my willingness to grind it out. That’s the secret of my life.” —Guy Kawasaki
Failure is a byproduct of fear, procrastination and inaction. Success is a byproduct of hard work. From Buffet to Gates, Jobs to Zuckerberg, we have learned that to be a successful entrepreneur, you must put your nose to the grindstone. Instead of showing up late, you wake up early. You plan tomorrow’s work today so you can spend extra hours to beat the competition. You work long and hard to build your business into a success.
4. Do quality work.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work…” —Steve Jobs
It’s easy to cower in mediocrity, succumbing to your weaker self and doing poor work that has less value. But that easiness will only pound your dreams into the dirt because fake work doesn’t last. What does last is quality work, which can only be possible with learning and expertise. Successful entrepreneur Sam Ovens advises that “As soon as you’re committed to building an online business of your own., immediately begin reading as much as humanly possible.”
Sure, it’s not easy to produce quality work, but taking the time, energy and resources to produce excellent work makes all the difference in your life. It proves your expertise, earns you respect and accelerates your career. Above all, only quality work adds value to your customer’s life, thus increasing your ROI.
5. Never, ever give up.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela
It really feels scary at first.
You quit your day job and go on to build a business that you’re not sure will work. As a founder, your startup is just an institution operating, as Eric Reis, the Lean Startup founder, puts it, “under a condition of extreme uncertainty.”
So you might start running your business venture today, and you won’t attract any prospect or close any sale for a month or two. It’s an uncertain world, and that’s why only a few patient entrepreneurs succeed. The majority give up and quit.
If you want to beat your fear, focus on the process of building the foundation of your entrepreneurship career, and make the whole thing enjoyable. That’s how successful entrepreneurs do it. “Whatever you’re doing in business, it should be fun,” advised Richard Branson, the business magnate and founder of Virgin. “That has always been a priority at Virgin, and it’s a vital component of our success.”