31 Tips for Conquering Startup Fears

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21. Start small. You don't need to start your business with a big bang. Be realistic and ask yourself, "What do I really need to start a business?" Then start. One client came to me thinking he needed a $25,000 loan to start. He left realizing he could start his business without any loan at all.

22. Say no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes. Next time you're asked to do something, say yes or no depending on what you really want to do. If you haven't decided yet, say, "I'll have to get back to you." One of my clients practiced this exercise, and it expanded her sense of self-worth, resulting in her raising her consulting fees.

23. Resist self-judgment. If you hear yourself saying things like "That's a stupid idea," gently remind yourself that you're choosing to accept yourself as you start and grow your business. My clients often find that as they become more accepting of themselves, new and creative ideas come to them to help grow their businesses.

24. Stay out of overwhelm. Next time you feel overwhelmed, write down what situation, thought or feeling prompted you to feel overwhelmed. Do this each time you are overwhelmed until you see patterns develop, and then decide what action you need to take to stay out of overwhelm. One client realized that paying bills was overwhelming, and he constantly paid bills late. The actions he took included meeting with an accountant, paying bills on a schedule and getting accounting software.

25. Expect resistance. You can expect to feel resistance within yourself as well as from those around you. Work through resistance by acknowledging it and doing what you need to do anyway. I remember feeling excited about facilitating a planning session, something I had never done before. The night before the session, the excitement turned to resistance and fear. I felt the resistance, got through it, and have been facilitating planning sessions for three years now.

26. Answer your "what ifs." What if it doesn't work out? What if I don't make any money? Use your journal to write down your what ifs, and answer them. For example, to answer "What if I don't make any money?" you may respond, "I can get a part-time job while building my business."

27. Practice patience. Next time you're in a traffic jam or waiting in a line, practice patience. One client discovered that by practicing patience, he became more patient with himself and the process of entrepreneurship.

28. Overcome the "not good enough" syndrome. I've seen clients miss opportunities when they turned down or did not pursue projects because they thought they didn't have the right selling skills, the right brochure or the right product. The next time you feel compelled to turn down an opportunity, figure out what would be necessary for you to accept it. Realize that you know enough to grab that opportunity today.

29. Ask for help. When you're most challenged and least likely to ask for help, reach out and ask. That's the time you need it most. My clients and I can attest to the power and clarity that comes from asking for help when we least want to ask for it.

30. Trust your instincts. Others may tell you that you're crazy for giving up a good job or for starting a business. But no one knows you as well as you. Trust what you know, and take action accordingly. The more you act on your instincts, the more instinctive you will become. Trusting my instincts led me to become the entrepreneur that I am today.

31. Treat yourself with tlc. Seek to meet your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs by finding balance in all you do. My clients have found that they have more creative energy and can accomplish tasks in less time when they take good care of themselves.

Enjoy the journey!

Recommended Reading

Books that can help you on your personal entrepreneurial journey include:


Suzanne Mulvehill is the author of Employee to Entrepreneur , available at Amazon.com and your local bookstore, and host of The Entrepreneur Hour Radio Show.
 

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This article was originally published in the April 2005 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Fear Factor.

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