Top fears when starting a business

Since I started as a freelancer I've met a lot of people starting out, planning or in the early years of their business adventures and in conversations with them I've discovered many of us share similar fears.

Here are some common themes; maybe some will resonate with you:

1. I'm an imposter

Nothing like diving straight in with a big one.

"I really want to do this, but I'm scared I'm no good at it, and people will find out."

I think the first thing with this fear is actually to know that Imposter Syndrome is a thing. Lots of people have it, from top-level CEOs to famous actors. Fearing you're actually no good at the thing you say you're good at, and everyone's going to find you out, is a human problem.

The brilliant coach Jess Heading explained this really well for me: 'It's the mind's f***ed up way of dealing with the uncertainty of being out of our comfort zone.' We're exploring new territory and going beyond the boundaries of what we've done before; our mind is trying to keep us safe. But we don't have to pay attention to it. Maybe just give it a wave hello and go back to what we were doing. It'll keep coming up each time we bravely take ourselves to a new place in our business, like a slightly annoying friend. It's okay, carry on anyway, and the voice will quieten.

2. If I'm myself, I'll fail

Some of us *might* still be working through this one...

When starting a new venture, especially one that's as personal as our own business, there's a tendency to look around at what everyone else is doing and think we have to try to emulate it to achieve success. However, I'm starting to see how many of the people and businesses I admire are confidently doing their own thing, and the reason people love them is precisely the thing that makes them weird / unique / different. It's that essence of me-ness, the ingredients of our unique business and what we bring to it, that attracts the customers that we're completely right for. As Lissa Rankin advocates, 'Let your freak flag fly.'

And of course, this is also what will make your brand fly.

What other fears hold you back from creating the business you want?

Nancy Poller4 Comments