The 7 Deadly Fears of an Entrepreneur

In fact, most of us have several.

I’m talking about fear; about all those little self-doubts and worries that block our progress and suck the success right out of our wallets.

Some of them are so strong they practically shout at us. Others are so quiet, you don’t even know they’re there. But they are. And they are often disguised as a perfectly fine, oh-so-logical “reason” for not moving forward in your business.

You could be the exception, of course.

You could be that rare person who sails through the day with nothing but confidence in your skills, with total clarity about your direction, and with peace of mind about your profits.

But you would definitely be the exception. :)

The truth is, no matter who you are, how long you’ve been in business or how many zeroes are at the end of your income, odds are that you, too, have favorite fears that sometimes slow you down.

But there’s good news.

Knowledge is power, and self-knowledge is the greatest power of all.

Once you know what trips you up, you can get to work mastering that fear. On the other hand, if you don’t, then you can’t do much about it, can you?

Based on my work over the years, it seems to me that most of this falls into seven categories. I call them the 7 Deadly Fears, because any one of them, if ignored, can stop you in your tracks.

Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Fear of Success

Sometimes, feeling good about your business will actually freak you out. You get a new client, a huge contract, launch a product that gets a great response, and somehow, the better you do, the more anxious you feel.

Instead of celebrating your success, you worry about how long it will last. And so, of course, it doesn’t.

2. Fear of Overwhelm

If you’re in start up, and working without a team, it may be all you can do to handle the business you’ve already got. If you’re taking care of kids and the house and your parents and your volunteer work too, suddenly, success feels more like exhaustion than anything else.

Who would want more of that?  

3. Fear of Being Seen

You may avoid going to networking meetings, or having your picture taken for your website. You may resist marketing or getting your message out to your peeps. You might worry that you’ve done such a good job that your clients will expect even more from you now.

Hiding under the covers never felt so good.:)

4. Fear of Failure

If you started a business to make a little pocket money or pay for the family vacation, that’s one thing. If this is how you make your house payment or buy groceries, that’s something else entirely.

Sometimes the fear is about financial security.

5. Fear of Criticism

Ali Brown, a coach who works with 7-figure businesses, often jokes that her mom still wonders when she’ll get a real job. When you decide to create something out of nothing, to take your income and your impact into your own hands, most people will admire you for doing something they’d never be able to do.

But that doesn’t stop you from worrying about what they’ll think.

6. Fear of Rejection

When you launch a business, you’re giving birth to an idea that you share with the world. And, you’re asking them to buy it! Even if it’s the best idea in 100 years, there will still be those who don’t need it, don’t want it, or just don’t get it. Not everyone will love what you do. Not everyone will buy it either.

You have to be okay with that.

7. Fear of Exposure

Some folks call this the “impostor syndrome”, that is, the fear that somehow the world will discover that you’re a fake, that you really don’t know what you’re doing. The more successful you are, the stronger this fear can be – and it’s a HUGE issue for many women.

Naming this it is the first step, but then I want you to move forward. Create a plan for mastering your fear, and moving past it. Hire a coach. Talk to a friend. Read a book. Brainstorm solutions.

And watch your mindset.

Because the power to change this is in your mind.

Because your fears are your best opportunities for growth. 

And because fear is a natural part of the path to success.


Photo Credit:  Moyan Brenn on Flickr

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