When it comes to business owners, our fears are a bit different than the rest of the world’s.
Forget the zombies, ghosts, and ghouls. Our demons come in the form of failure, mediocrity, PR nightmares, lawsuits, and more.
Gives me chills just thinking about them.
To, get over your fears you have to face them. So….
Here are 11 nightmares that all business owners must face, plus a few of my life lessons to help you overcome them.
Let’s get the big one over with, shall we?
Failure has to be the scariest thought for any Entrepreneur. The idea of putting yourself, your money, and your thoughts out there and to have all of that not be enough? To still… fail?
It’s a hard to pill to swallow.
But failure is the one fear we all have to face. Because the road to success is paved in failure.
All you have to remember is that every failure is the success.
Sounds crazy… I know. I’m no Oprah, but this works!
You know what, just let Oprah tell you:
See? I told couldn’t! Makes sense huh? You’re welcome.
The scary part about mediocrity, is that you may not even realize you are mediocre.
Most of the times you see someone else in your same industry kicking butt, trying new stuff, and just doing everything better than you, and then you realize you’re off your game.
A lot of times, we get into a place where the business is meh, the profit is meh, and you are in your comfort zone.
The scary part? That is NOT why you became an entrepreneur! Why would you put yourself through all of this craziness just to be mediocre?Yuck.
If your dreams stop scaring you, you are definitely on your way to mediocrity.
To shake things up, do a brain dump of all of your ideas, go out in nature, mix up your schedule, pick up a new book in different industries, and watch the creativity start flowing.
#3 Financial Downfall
This is my worst fear… Only because I pulled myself from $0 and built a business that my entire family depends on.
The thought of going backward?
*Que me in the shower, fully dressed, rocking back and forth.
But the truth is, the risk is a part of owning a business.
There is always that possibility of financial failure whispering in your ear.
But how do we take educated risks while still growing our business? By becoming lifelong learners, keeping up to date with trends (and implementing new products around them), and being flexible!
#4 Imposter Syndrome
I’m proud to say that this is the one fear I have overcome! The secret?
I found out that every single Entrepreneur has this same feeling.
I wasn’t alone!
Seriously y’all… there is not one business owner I have ever met that has not felt like they were a fraud at some point in their journey.
If you are feeling that, you’re not alone! Comfort in numbers right?
#5 Not Pleasing Everyone
We know it’s impossible to please everyone, but it still worries us.
The thought of not keeping every customer, commenter, reviewer, subscriber, employee, and client happy; freaks entrepreneurs out.
I remember in my early days I used to examine every person that unsubscribed from my newsletter.
Why did they leave! What did I do? How can I fix this? Maybe I shouldn’t send out any more emails?
Then I realized that I can’t please everyone! And that’s okay.
Your business, product, and service is not for everyone. But for those who are engaged and buying?
Give them the best damn customer service you can and watch your brand spread like wildfire.
And if you do get bad feedback, think of it as free constructive advice to fix what’s wrong, and actually fix it!
#6 The Unknown
When you first launch a new business, product, or service, the fear of the unknown is the stuff of nightmares.
What’s going bump in the night? What will happen in the future? Was this the right decision? Am I wasting my time and money?
To get over this fear try to live in the present. Plan, but don’t obsess. Most importantly, continuously work on building multiple streams of income.
When you do that, you’ll always have a backup plan.
#7 PR Nightmares
Doing business today and can go south with just one tweet taken the wrong way.
I’ve seen entire businesses spend millions on PR because someone tweeted the wrong the thing.
I have a few unwritten rules that to keep the bad press away.
First, I stay away from controversial topics. Politics and religion? Think carefully before you post, even if it’s your personal accounts.
Secondly, if you have someone writing for you, always read and review before it goes live.
That extra glance can save your business a lot of stress.
#8 No Clients or Customers
This is a big one and I’m going to be honest here.
This is only a fear if you don’t have the right plan in place.
When starting a business hopefully you’ve done market research, identified your ideal client, developed a business and marketing plan, put a proven and well-thought out strategy into place, and stayed consistent.
If you haven’t done those things, then yes, this fear is going to be a big hard to kick.
The solution, do it yourself or hire a consultant to help.
#9 Being Your Own Boss
This concern stems from taking control of your life. It can be a scary thing.
If you’ve come from corporate America, like me, then you know the comfort that lies in having a 9 to 5, getting a set salary, and cashing a check every two weeks.
That’s a secure feeling that’s hard to shake. When you take the plunge to become a business owner, you don’t have that security anymore.
You are responsible for every penny you make and every piece of success you achieve. No one is there to give you a raise or give you a promotion.
My husband and I were both fired from our jobs within 48 hours of each other over seven years ago.
We both decided to make my side hustle a full-time gig, for both of us.
For me, the fear of leaving my destiny in someone else’s hands was motivation enough for me to make it happen.
My situation is drastic, but for others out there I would suggest having a plan in place and put expenses aside to support that plan.
#10 A Bad Economy
I’ve worked in two industries where the economy affected my jobs.
As the former VP of IT Development at a non-profit community technology center, I’ve seen the how a bad economy could cut funding and stop services from reaching those who need it.
Also, as a former in-house marketing consultant to real estate professionals, I watched many get additional side hustles to make ends meet during the housing crisis.
The way to overcome economic uncertainty is not to live in fear of it. The truth is that it can lead to innovation and be a good thing in the long run.
That non-profit I mentioned above, still striving today!
Those real estate professionals? The majority of them are thriving now, even better than before the 2008 housing crash.
#11 Sales… of Any Kind
Wait… aren’t you a business owner? How can you be afraid of sales?
Ashamed to say that I am not a natural salesperson.
I really just love helping people and creating stuff. When I first started, I would give away my expertise and run screaming from negotiations.
But I like money too. A lot. It’s a necessity in today’s world.
Not surprisingly, a lot of times I would end up frustrated, broke, and not able to enjoy the benefits of my hard work.
I learned the hard way that it’s okay to keep emailing your list…
… that giving stuff away is great, but you also need to upsell your services.
…that tooting your own horn isn’t bragging, it’s selling your expertise.
My suggestions if you are struggling is to read everything you can get your hands on about sales and create a sales funnel that works for your business.
Now it’s your turn. What are some fears that you have as an entrepreneur? Share them in the comments below.