Overcoming Fear While Starting a New Business

Starting your own business is a big step worthy of a second look. Whether you succeed or fail, every aspect of your life from bank accounts to friendships is affected. Although fear can be debilitating, avoidance is not the answer.

Here are superb tips to help you overcome fear and get started living the dream:
  • Build a support network. Talking to fellow entrepreneurs who have walked the same path you’re about to embark on can help assuage your fears. Attend conferences, join associations, and talk with others who started as you did but who have moved on to the next step.
  • Remember that you may have more assets than you realize. For example, you might have money in the bank, friends in the industry, a supportive family, a good attitude, a great idea, an awesome partner, or a good education.
  • Plan. Nothing beats preparation to quell the panicky feelings that can keep entrepreneurs awake at night. “A well thought out business plan can go a long way toward helping alleviate start up fears,” says Mark Sobel, director of Small Business Development at the Stanley Entrepreneurial Center.
  • Help is available. And much of this help is free. The Small Business Administration, your friends, Web sites, the local chamber of commerce, and business associates will be available to help you along the way.
  • Remember that you can start slowly. Quitting a 9 to 5 job one day and starting a business the next would give anyone nightmares. You don’t have to do it that way if you don’t want to. Making a gradual transition gives you time to think, plan, and work on potential problems, which should help lessen your anxiety.
  • Think why you want to start a business. If fear is starting to creep in, recall the reasons why you want to become a business owner in the first place. Knowing exactly why you want to be a business entrepreneur will help you gauge how prepared you are for the long hours and financial investment owning a business demand.
  • Expect the unexpected. Unless you are blessed with unlimited monetary resources, starting a business means taking a financial risk. Although you may not be able to keep all problems at bay, you can accept the reality that being in business brings risks along with the rewards. That’s the name of the game.
  • Put fear to work. Why view fear as a negative when it can be a powerful motivator? Fear of forfeiting a home to the bank has launched more than one laid off employee on the road to self-employment, and fear of failure pushes many entrepreneurs to work around the clock to get their businesses up and running. Remember that most successful entrepreneurs have been afraid at one time or another.

  • Believe in yourself and in your business. Fear comes when you are uncertain, which in turn makes you question yourself your capabilities and the value of your business. You start asking questions like, “Can I do it?” or “Will my business idea work?” Shake all those uncertainties, refocus your mind, and believe that your business addresses a need.


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