Has the thought of starting your own business crossed your mind?
If so, you wouldn’t be the first. But for many, the reality of starting a business still seems like a risky endeavour and the thought remains just that – a thought.
Pam Slim from Escape Cubicle Nation says people’s greatest fears about starting a business is that they’ll end up living in a van down the river, lose their home, their partner and all access to credit to name a few.
Basically the fear of losing everything they worked hard for.
What if I told you that starting a business does not have to be as risky as you probably imagine? The truth is most of our fears are unfounded because fear is really only a figment of our imagination. So there is no need to feel as worried as I look above in the photo ;-)
When I started my own business, I was afraid to spend all of my savings. My fear was that I would spend all of my money and then I would have to go back to the corporate world with my tail between my legs.
Not only that, I was afraid of looking like an idiot. Worse, I would not be able to find a job or get my old job back. My background is IT so things change rapidly and my greatest fear was that I would make myself unemployable.
Fear Is Normal But Don’t Let It Stop You
Fear is a part of your survival instinct as a way to protect you. You would never allow most of the crazy scenarios you are envisioning to happen. While fear can protect us, in most cases it’s debilitating us and doesn’t serve us well.
Are your lizard fears getting in the way of you realising your dreams?
Pamela Slim outlines some examples of lizard fears:
“I’ll never find love”
“Something may have gone right, but you know that other shoe is going to drop”
“You can’t trust anyone in this rotten world.”
“I have to keep secrets; people will use information to hurt me.”
“Successful people have all the luck – I just get bad breaks.”
“When it comes down to it, I am afraid of living on the street and eating garbage out of a dumpster.”
Do any of these speak to you?
If you were to seriously consider starting your own business, you wouldn’t just quit your job one day and start your business the next. You would prepare and put together an action plan.
Yes you need to put away some savings. You need to validate your business idea and you can start your business on the side. You don’t have to leave the workforce completely. Only then should you consider if these fears are real.
What are your assumptions behind those fears?
My assumption was that after being out of a regular IT job for over 6 months, I couldn’t get another one. So as the deadline was getting close I tested it, listing my business experience as my current job and I applied.
I was asked for an interview and the recruiter didn’t ask a single question about my current ‘position’. I then realised that my fear was unfounded and I could keep going.
All that worry and angst for nothing. It was just my imagination.
What is YOUR greatest fear about starting a business? What is the assumption behind it? Think about whether the fear is real or not and seek further information to prove or discredit the fear.
If you did start a business and it didn’t work out, what would you do?
What’s the worse that would happen to you?
Do you really believe you could lose your friends and family or that you couldn’t get a job again or are you just using those fears as excuses?
Food for thought right?