How To Become Fearless as an Entrepreneur?Jan 17, 2024
Today, I will share how to optimally respond to our fears to grow a successful business.
Justine Musk once said, “fear is a powerful beast, but we can learn to ride it.”
I know I titled this email as "how to become fearless as an entrepreneur?" but as I tried to be fearless to not give up and continue my business journey as an artist (calligrapher), I realized that it’s not possible, at least for me.
I grew up being a “good daughter,” aiming to follow rules and avoid things I shouldn't do, even if sometimes I didn’t agree.
Looking back, I don’t regret it, but there was one thing I consider as a side effect.
It did foster a tendency that became a challenge when pursuing entrepreneurship. This involved being afraid to tackle problems independently, facing fear, questioning problems that need attention, and embarking on resolving them—qualities I believe are crucial for dedicating my life to what I consider worthy as an entrepreneur.
However, fear is something you can learn to navigate instead of trying to get rid of it.
Here are some tips that I've found useful for me in continuing my entrepreneurial journey:
- Learn to differentiate between how you feel and how you respond.
Running a business is a bit like dealing with small fires every day. If you let your feelings or emotions, such as fear, dictate your actual work (which often involves constant problem-solving), you'll be very unproductive or may burn out sooner than you planned.
Emotion is not a leader. Finish what you have to do objectively. Emotion will follow, and fear will often transform into excitement.
- Specify Your Fear and Address Them.
In most cases, fear is rooted in past experiences, often the worst ones. However, you're not a child anymore. The fear you felt from an unexpected pinch of pain when you had to get a vaccination shot in the hospital as a kid may not be the pain you can't endure now. You might be afraid simply because you were afraid before.
Facing fear is essential, not blindly following the emotion. Engage in self-talk and ask questions like, "What do I fear if I start my business? Fear of criticism? Fear of being laughed at? Fear of losing money? Fear of failure? Is it really worth putting all my time and energy into?"
Try to answer these questions. Many fears are often manageable even in the worst-case scenario as you calmly have a moment to address them. You'll find ways to overcome them, or you can prepare, save money, and work on becoming more resilient to whatever you think is most frightening.
- Do It Anyway.
Here's a quote from Joyce Meyer that resonated with me a lot: "The Bible says to 'fear not,' but this doesn't mean you should never feel scared. It means when you do feel fear, keep going forward and do what you are supposed to do nevertheless. Or as I like to say, do it afraid."
Do it afraid.
It was empowering for me to realize that I can keep taking action even when I feel afraid. That's how I learned to navigate through fear.
In the beginning of my business journey, it was challenging to invest my time, energy, and money with such dedication, hoping that someday it would all be worthwhile. I had to fight against fear every day.
Now, I know it’s okay to be afraid. You can even use the feeling of fear for your own good.
If you're inspired to embark on your journey of the unknown as an artist and are called to do something meaningful, go for it. Even if fear seems to be blocking your way, do it anyway.
The truth about fear is that it can't stop you; it can only trick you into stopping.