Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey that entails long hours and many sacrifices. Executive Business Coach for Change Partners, Iain Shippey, says for most people taking the leap and becoming an entrepreneur will push you to the absolute extremes of your ability, and test your skills, mental and emotional capacity.
If you believe that you have a solid business idea and the determination to succeed, you shouldn’t let the following fears hold you back:
Self-belief, can I do this?
One of the primary barriers of entry and success, is mastering the fear of self-doubt and conquering the fear of whether you can actually do this.
Solution: Draw up a list of small, achievable goals with deadlines, which will give you a clear indication of what needs to be completed. As you achieve each goal, acknowledge it as a victory as this will help to build your confidence.
Is it the right time for me to take the leap?
As a prospective entrepreneur, you are walking a tight rope and you need to ask yourself some honest and probing questions. What is my motive for taking this step? Are you inspired or responding to frustration in your current work environment?
Solution: Take the time to research and determine whether you have enough cash flow, support and skills to take this leap now.
Is the market ripe for my product/service?
To ensure that there is a market for your product or service, you need to do a thorough competitor analysis.
Solution: Research the market to determine all the similar products or businesses on offer, what their market share is, who their customer-base is and how they attract customers. Also try to reach your potential target market by hosting a survey on cost effective platforms such as Survey Monkey or social media.
Will I earn enough money?
Breaking even and making a profit can take a lot longer than you envision, and many entrepreneurs do not give themselves enough time because it typically takes two to three years to build a real financial foundation.
Solution: Whether it’s your own savings, a retrenchment payout or a loan, you need sufficient capital to start your company, sustain your company in the first two years and a nest egg to support yourself.
Do I have the smarts to do this?
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need an all-round skill set. You need to translate a concept into a tangible, value adding service or product. You need to be able to package it, market it, sell it and deliver it. You need to be able to raise money and manage money.
Solution: Strive to be a life-long learner. Surround yourself with mentors and people who have accomplished similar goals to the one you are working towards. Keep abreast with industry news and attend networking events. If you lack specific business skills such as finance or marketing, sign up to do a course.
Will I fail?
Even the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, such as Apple Founder Steve Jobs, failed. While there will always be a risk of failure, you need to question whether the risk of failure is worth not trying at all?
Solution: Try, try and try again. All entrepreneurs get burned from time to time. It goes with the territory, so it’s crucial to take the lessons learnt and give it another try.