What is a fear or a "blocker" you've had to overcome as a first-time entrepreneur? How did you overcome it?
To help aspiring entrepreneurs understand the types of blockers they may face, we asked business owners and experienced entrepreneurs this question for their best insights. From overcoming the fear of success to the fear of rejection, there are several business blockers you may face and how to overcome them as a first-time entrepreneur.
1. Embrace Change to Overcome the Fear of Success
As silly as it sounds, sometimes the biggest fear of an entrepreneur can be achieving success. The underlying reason behind this fear is "change." People sometimes fear change, and if success is achieved, then change inevitably comes with it. That's why it's important that "good" change will come with it when success is achieved. If there's fear around achieving success, make sure that there will be plenty of good change that comes along with the achievement.
Brett Farmiloe, Terkel
2. Believe In Your Vision to Overcome Doubt
A significant doubt that I had was, “Will people take me seriously?” It’s easy to fall into doubting yourself more than those around you or with whom you do business. I had a vision that I believed in, which ended up being more powerful than my doubts. That made a big difference, and it has allowed me to thrive.
Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
3. Understand Your Value to Overcome Market Concerns
Early on, I feared that I was getting into an oversaturated market. There were already tons of beauty products and suppliers out there, so how would I make my mark?
I had my doubts, but I overcame them by believing that the competition couldn’t match the products and services I could provide. I simply believed in the value of what I was offering and that others would see it, too.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
4. Kickstart Your Idea Even Without the Funding
First-time entrepreneurs usually get an idea but don't like to start working on it immediately. They always come up with excuses like, "I won't get any money" or "I don't know how to market my product." Guess what? I also did the same. I wouldn't start working on my idea unless I had all the money in hand. This fear made me feel limited until I met a mentor who said, "I started my first business when I was broke too. But you know what, if you are passionate about your idea, you will find a way to kickstart it."
Chris Panteli, LifeUpswing
5. Believe in Your Team to Avoid Overwork
Quite often, new entrepreneurs are afraid to "let go." This means that they are constantly in a position where they are stretched too thin and are not focusing on more managerial tasks.
To get past this roadblock, it's important to remember that you hired smart, capable team members who also deserve to shine in their roles. So, instead of micromanaging, begin delegating in a clear, effective manner to avoid burnout and even engage your team in a more satisfying way.
Lauren Kleinman, The Quality Edit
6. Practice Generosity to Overcome the Scarcity Mindset
I had to work through my scarcity mindset to take the leap to entrepreneur. Growing up poor and later working my way up the corporate ladder, I clung to the security that a steady paycheck and benefits provided. Letting go of that weekly deposit into my bank account has allowed me to invest in my own business, where I enjoy the fruits of my labor.
The future is up to me, and while that can still be scary, I have learned that if you practice generosity, it will come back to you (just like all things in life).
Dawn Myers, Guided Leadership Solutions
7. Gain Confidence Over Time Despite Doubters
When I first started my company, I was terrified of talking about it - I was nervous about what my friends would say, scared someone would copy me, or even that my family would doubt me. Time was my ally, and while I never really made an effort to talk about my company more, the longer we stayed in business, the more confident I got overall.
Sylvia Kang, Mira
8. Share Your Creation, and the Right Audience Will Find You
Of course, at first, we doubted if people would like our bohemian jewelry designs as much as we did. But then again, since ours is a labor of love, we didn’t let those doubts stop us from designing and sharing our creations with the world. We were going to do it anyway! Remember that whatever you create or sell will find an audience as long as it is something of value.
Lior Abady, Boho Magic
9. Try Despite the Fear of Failure
I’d never taken on anything so big on my own before, and I was petrified. If you fail, you’re the only one to blame. There are no partners, no parents, no spouses - it’s just you and the things you did wrong. I think most entrepreneurs are afraid of failing alone. If you’re not, you’re delusional.
I’d gotten to a point where fear was paralyzing me, so I had a realization: I can fail for sure because I’m too afraid to take risks on my own, or I can have the possibility to fail if something goes wrong and my plans don’t pan out the way I wanted them. But if you don’t try, you’re going to fail, so why not try?
Sam Spratt, Spotloan
10. Get Feedback to Overcome the Fear of Rejection
I felt a lot of fear when I first started my business. My knees were shaking when I made my first cold call. I’ve had to overcome a fear of rejection, losing a customer, and a fear of failure. But I overcame all of these fears with time and patience. I’ve run a lot of my own experiments, and if one approach doesn’t work, I try another one. I used to be scared of public speaking, but not anymore. When I feel fear, I tell myself that it is just a feeling and that I shouldn’t be afraid of my own feelings. I also rely on my friends and family for support and encouragement. Sometimes talking with them and getting their feedback helps me overcome my fear.
Ben Miller, Focus On Digital