Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Putting fears aside

In yesterday's post, Gary Novosel of The Food Medic gave the advice that all entrepreneurs should write down all the fears about starting their own business, and then put them aside. I really took his advice to heart as I have a lot of fears about starting my own business. As I reviewed my list I realized that it's longer than I thought it was and that there are probably a lot of people who share the same fears.

To overcome fears we have to look our fears in the face and not blink. I really want to start my own venture, and the best way to answer these fears is to write them out and then write a remedy for each of them. Since these thoughts may be helpful to readers who are also interested in starting their own businesses, I wanted to write them as a series on this blog with the hope that I can replace fear with hope:

Fear #1: "I won't make enough money."

Start small and grow slowly. Whenever we begin something, we naturally wish for success in a big way. What seems more sustainable to me, and will likely generate more happiness, is a steady flame rather than a flash in the pan.

If we can keep a steady job while starting our own business on the side with our free time, that releases some financial fears. The trick is to be present at a job when we're there, and present working on our business in our own time. I hear from a lot of entrepreneurs that they are frustrated that they can't spend all their time on their business because they have to keep a day job. Finding a few nuggets of our job that inform our own business idea eases that frustration.

My friend, Dave, is interested in a portfolio approach to his career - a lot of different ventures that each earn a small amount of money and keep him interested and engaged. Entrepreneurs place a lot of pressure on themselves to earn all their income from a single business idea. That might work, or we might find that we're happy earning a portion of our total income from a business venture, at least in the beginning.

Concern about earning enough money from my business laid to rest. Fear #2 for tomorrow: "No one will want the product or service my business produces."


Laura Cococcia said...

Christa - such a good perspective. It's helpful to break each one of the fears down like you have ... and then address them with reality or examples. We all have those fears and glad we can conquer them together!

Christa said...

Hi Laura,
Thanks so much for your comment. Writing about fears is scary stuff and the support of people like you makes it easier!