3 things you should know about fear of launching a startup
Halloween is a time to enjoy being scared. From scary movie marathons, to haunted houses, we seek the feeling of suspense and surprise. But what happens when fear isn’t just fantasy anymore? Since I launched SPURstartup, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and suspense are emotions I’ve come to accept as normal.
I used to think I was going through something that most entrepreneurs don’t. After all, startup teams are always portrayed as optimistic, fearless risk-takers. Before I launched SPUR, I felt like I was at a disadvantage because I had all of this self-doubt.
I couldn’t of been more wrong. I asked student entrepreneurs to anonymously share their startup fears (if they had them!) and was surprised how many responded. Being afraid to go down a risky path is 100% normal, it’s just not talked about very much because it doesn’t go with the gutsy & bold startup narratives of famous entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are humans, too. We have fear, hesitations, and self-doubt. But we overcome these weaknesses, and you can, too. Here are three things you should know to overcome your fear of launching your startup.
1. Don’t confuse perseverance with fearlessness. Our culture idolizes successful entrepreneurs. We expect them to be fearless risk-takers that radiate confidence 24/7. I think our culture has confused fearlessness with relentless perseverance. Entrepreneurs have to be more resilient, but that doesn’t mean fearless. It just means they face their fears head-on and overcome them.
Entrepreneurs use bad experiences to grow stronger each day. Perseverance through the scariest of times is what will ultimately be the difference between success and failure.
2. Know things will get less scary overtime. Think back to your first semester in college when figured out everything the hard way- by screwing up, getting lost, or making a mistake. After one semester, you got your bearings and were able to navigate everything on a slightly smoother path. The only reason it was so hard that first semester is because it was something new.
This is like working on your first startup. You know less than you think you do, and, most of the time, you find out you’re wrong the hard way. But as you get more experience, you get more confidence. You do start to figure things out and things take on a different perspective overtime. What seems terrifying and overwhelming to you right now will feel like a breeze a few months from now.
3. Avoiding your fears makes matters worse. We try to push fear in the back of our minds because we think that fear is related to weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth. How you deal with your fears will determine if you’re strong. If you hide from your fears and stay away from all of the things that make you uncomfortable, you’ll never reach your full potential. Fear will define you if you avoid it. The moment you admit to yourself, “I’m afraid of ‘xyz’ happening” the moment you can start liberating yourself from your fears.
I know launching a startup can be scary, but you don’t have to do it on your own! Join our community HERE and find support, guidance, and mentorship.