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Fear of Success – Overcoming the Unknowns As a Solo Business Owner

As is the case with most of us, we go into business for ourselves because we feel we can offer a better product or service and be more successful. A vision of success and personal drive brings us into the world of owning our own business and now that we are here most of us suffer from that paradoxical fear of being successful. It sounds odd that we would go into business for ourselves and then be afraid to succeed, doesn’t it? This is because our desire to succeed in business has nothing to do with our fear of being successful.

Success is scary. It requires that as a business owner we do things we may never have imagined or thought ourselves capable of.

The fear of success in business hits us squarely between the eyes and without warning; often within the first few months of starting our business. Fear comes with the recognition that we are now responsible for much more than simply making widgets or providing a service. The fear envelops us as we realize we don’t know a third of what we should to make our business sustainable. How many times have you said, “I didn’t sign up for this.” or “All I want to do is make and sell my product.” Business taxes, Client Relationships, and Sales are all contributors to the fear of success that builds within us right after we turn on the “Were Open” sign.

Know what you are getting into and what it takes to succeed in the business. Just because you believe you can make a better widget does not mean you understand the process of managing and marketing the business that makes them. Do your homework about the business. 90% of all small businesses fail after the first year because the business owner failed to do the necessary research about their business. So before you turn on the “We’re Open” sign spend some valuable time researching whether or not your business even has a chance in the market and that you have what it takes to meet all the challenges necessary to succeed. Find out how many businesses like yours already exist, how successful they are, and how many have failed. You will get valuable information from those that went before you in both their successes and failures. You may surprise yourself and find you have a gold mine or you may find what you thought was a great money maker turns out to be an unsustainable venture

Unless you have the capital to hire outside agencies to manage all your business needs you will be doing it yourself. Spend time reading up on necessary business aspects such as marketing, licensing, developing a business plan, financing, loans, grants, and website development. You don’t have to be an expert in these fields but you should make yourself familiar with them and analyze how your business may be impacted by these factors. The sale and success of your product or service is dependent upon all these things and when you realize you don’t know anything about “Selling the Sizzle” “Product Liability Insurance Premiums” or “Price Points”, you realize that becoming successful is a very scary thing.

Be confident. Be educated. This is what is going to make the difference in whether or not you succeed in your business. You may doubt your knowledge and qualifications. You may call into question your abilities and ask yourself “why am I doing this?” When this happens and the fear seems overwhelming remember what brought you to start your own business in the first place. It was a vision of success and personal drive. Use your fear as a motivator and don’t let it paralyze you. Prepare yourself for the unknowns in the business world by doing the research first because the unknowns will eventually find you. Familiarize yourself with the jargon and concepts of managing a business but most of all remember – If you believe in yourself and that you can succeed… then you will.