Are you afraid of your new business idea?

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Fear - Graffiti
Fear – Graffiti (Photo credit: Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha)

I was listening to an entrepreneur talking the other day about start-up owners and other entrepreneurs sometimes being too afraid to implement their idea because of the risk that it involves. Starting anything new involves trepidation and fear that if you let it get out of hand, can block or paralyse you.

Have you had this experience before? Is there something that you may have started or come up with and then decided not to do it because you had too much fear about what would happen if you really got serious about your idea?

When you come up with a new business idea – and I’m not talking here of something original that you may only come up with once in a decade or lifetime – the very fact that it is new puts pressure on you. You have to make a decision whether you want to move forward with your idea because it requires a commitment. Then there’s also risk to your personal self where if you have not learned to fail in the past a new do, it can which you into a lot of pain.

Lord Sugar, one of the UK’s best-known entrepreneurs, says he has never allowed fear to prevent him taking a course of action. “There is a fear in business that you’re going to gamble and risk and something’s going to go wrong. You’ve got to weigh up in your mind whether you’ve got the confidence to do what you going to do.”

Even highly successful entrepreneurs such as Lord Sugar are fully aware of the role that fear plays in business decisions. Yet they have been able to somehow get a grip on their fears and go ahead with whatever they have decided to do.

What can you do about the fear of starting something from scratch when all you have is an idea and the hope that it is going to work for you?

I think the first thing is that you need to know yourself and understand your limitations and your past history. If you have not done anything before such as starting a new business even if it is not an entirely new idea but is based on something existing in the market you may still have anxiety about having the audacity to try out something new. We are often a product of our past and the sum of our experiences which can hold us back.

Another way of approaching this being afraid of implementing your new business idea is to find ways to build your confidence. For example, you may not want to view your new project as something massive that you have to undertake. You may want to break your idea of starting something from scratch into smaller steps so that each step reduces the fear for you. In this way you would also be testing the viability of your idea as you move forward with it.

You may also want to conquer the fear that comes with starting something new by getting help. This may take the form of a mentor for or business mentor, business coach or business adviser who can guide you and do a bit of handholding. For some people this may be an excellent way to start because the business adviser could also be your “sounding board” and make you feel more comfortable about dealing with the risk involved in starting something new. Just a cautionary note here: the wrong business advice can be costly so you need to look at one or two business advisers and do a check on their background before you pursue this route.

People are naturally sceptical when starting something new and perhaps risky. We all are aware of the risk in small business start-ups and small business ventures. You need to ask yourself what you are risking and assess the risk. It’s also important to know how you will deal with things if they don’t work out. If you are in a position to lose time, your effort and energy involved and small seed capital, then the risk may be worth it, depending on your circumstances.

By approaching the risk involved in starting something new in a logical and systematic way with a fresh perspective you may be able to overcome the fear of the unknown or failure in starting a business based on your idea even though it is not original but something that is better, faster and cheaper than what is available on the market.

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