Four Ways to Fight the Fear of Failure
Running a business can be scary. You put your heart and soul into your company and can’t imagine doing anything else. Then you realize that no matter how successful you are, you might be just a few bad decisions away from losing your dream and disappointing your team.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. As best-selling author Dave Ramsey teaches in EntreLeadership Master Series, fear paralyzed his decision-making ability until he came up with a system. In fact, one of the core values of his company today is that decisions are never made based on fear.
So how can you conquer your fear of failing?
- Face Your Fear
- What’s the easiest way to get over your fear of failure? Own up to it. Realize that you’re likely to stumble many times before you achieve success. You’re going to mess up at some point, and that’s okay. Henry Ford, Bill Gates and even Thomas Edison all screwed up numerous times before they hit it big. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
- Consider the Awful Truth
- When considering new projects or options for your company, always take into account a worst case scenario. Will you be able to survive if your new idea falls apart? When the answer is yes, the decision is no longer so frightening. “Once I know I’m not going to die from making this call — even if I’m wrong — it releases me to make the call,” Ramsey says.
- Talk It Up
- Remember when you faced something scary as a kid? It was always better to have a friend by your side. The same holds true for adults. Find a business mentor who has been through tough times, and discuss your biggest business fears with them. Once those concerns are out in the open, you’ll find they are much more manageable.
- Make a Contingency Plan
- Having several options is one of the easiest ways to rid yourself of fear. Use a number of vendors, for example, so you are not relying on just one. Then, if something goes wrong you already have a back-up plan. As Ramsey says, options give you power and remove fear.
Fear will always be part of owning your own business, whether it’s being scared of losing customers or revenue, or even being sued. They’re all legitimate concerns. But it’s how you handle them that makes the difference between success and failure. “It is wise to recognize that those fears may be well founded, and we should not ignore the potential consequences of our decision,” Ramsey says. “But we will not allow the spirit of fear to drive us.”
*Used with permission from entreleadership.com. EntreLeadership is the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper. For more information about leading and growing your business, visit www.entreleadership.com.