Three years ago, I decided to take the leap and kiss my full-time job behind, now I can confidently share with you how I conquered my fears and started my business.
Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur is scary. Putting yourself out there is scary. Being self-employed is scary. There are so many different fears and doubts that jump out when you decide to embark on the journey of being a small business owner. Not only are there multiple hats that you have to wear, but most of us have no clue where to start once we finally decide to take the leap! It’s an overwhelming world and it is very easy to fall into the black hole of fear and doubt.
You are not alone, I promise you. If you are reading this right now there’s a big chance you are feeling all kinds of things and are looking for some clarity. Well, fellow Dreamer, I see you, I hear you! I went through a rollercoaster of emotions when I first decided to be a solopreneur, and I cannot tell you how many times I let fear take control of my life. So much in fact, that I “wasted” the first three years of my life living in it. There is no shame, if anything it’s part of the process. The good thing is that you are here and want to do something about it, that in itself is already a win in my book.
How I Finally Conquered My Fears and Started My Business
Let me just start you off by saying that every path is unique. It took me 3+ years to get out of the rut, but for you it could be just one month or even a few hours! So I want you to give yourself a break, not judge yourself too harshly and remember that its all part of your unique journey ok? There is no right or wrong here, if you set your mind and your heart on your Dream, it will happen, no matter how long it takes.
So how did I do it? How the hell did I manage to come out of the dark forest and into the light?! Perseverance. Not giving up. Even in my darkest days where I would spend all day weeping into a Ben & Jerry’s and binge-watch Netflix, I still had that itch in my soul that I needed to keep going.
Yes, I did spend a lot of time wallowing in self loathing, but I never lost that tiny tiny spark. It just wouldn’t go away. The idea that I could build a business and help people kept bugging me. I was stubborn and let fear basically lock me into the couch every single day because why bother?! It wasn’t going to happen for me anyway right? But the spark, AKA my Dream wouldn’t go away… What if?! What if it DOES work?
Once I realized that my Jiminy Cricket wasn’t going away anytime soon, I started to come up with a plan to make a change. I put in the work on myself and eventually conquered my fears and started my business. Here are the steps/things I did to conquer my fears:
1. I Identified Each Fear and Analyzed Them
I knew that fear was stopping me, but what was I afraid of exactly? For a while, I meditated and wrote down all of my fears. Fear of being judged, that I’m not good enough, fear that I don’t have the talent required, so much competition, my mom won’t understand, I need money right now, taxes, failure… the list went on… I think I wrote around 20+ fears. Crazy right?
Once I had my list of fears and they were out there in the open on the physical world they didn’t seem as threatening as when they lived in my head. Having them written out on a piece of paper felt a bit of a relief, like I knew now what I had to work with, it was there in front of my own eyes, and that made it easier to conquer. I had put a “face” on what was holding me back.
Make a list of all your fears and take your time doing it. Really feel them, why are you afraid? I made a list with two columns, on the left were my fears, and on the right I jotted down why I shouldn’t be afraid of it. Take time to think through each one and come up with reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid.
2. I Started Working On Mastering My Mindset
I decided I needed to master my mindset if I was going to conquer my fears. Basically it means that you take control of your thoughts. It stops you from spiraling down self-doubt, makes you more aware and helps you be more intentional with your thoughts and actions.
Every time I have a doubtful thought, let’s say “no one is going to read this”, I will change that to, “wait, yes they will, I can provide empowering information because I am awesome and this is what I’m meant to do!“. Basically it’s a mini pep-talk from you, to you! It may sound silly, but it does wonders. By training yourself to think positive you stop fear in its tracks and become more intentional with your day to day thoughts.
3. I Found My Purpose
One of the wonderful things about finding your true purpose is that it will help motivate you to keep going no matter what. Having a clear reason WHY you want your business to succeed and WHY you are doing it gives you clarity and focus. It is very different to say “I don’t want to waste my life in a cubicle and I want to make money on my own” to “My purpose in life is to teach others how to create their Dream businesses with joy and help them design the life they want to live”.
When you have a deeper sense of purpose other than “I wanna make a million bucks”, your perspective changes, your goals change and those are way more powerful against any fear that comes up. Here are some helpful Ted Talks that can help you hone in on your purpose.
4. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!
It works, it’s easy and it takes less than 5 minutes of your time. Visualization is the easiest most powerful tool at your disposal. I do this DAILY without fail. It sets the tone for my day, motivates me and kicks all my fears in the butt. Here are two ways you can do it:
The first is to do a quick 1-5min meditation. Seriously you can start with just one minute if that’s all you can do. Set a timer on your phone, close your eyes and visualize. See yourself LIVING your Dream, imagine that you made it, you are there. Smell it, feel it, touch it. Create all the details of your Dream, where are you, what are you doing, who’s with you, what are you wearing, how are you feeling?! Sink into that feeling of pure joy. Do this whenever you feel the unwelcome fear knocking on your door.
The second one is to create a ~vision board~ basically a physical board with all your Dreams and goals that you can see everyday. Cut and paste all the things you want to achieve and what you are going to do once your business is thriving. It can be your Dream car, house, happy family, anything and everything you want to accomplish with your business. Keep the vision board at your workspace and look at it anytime you need a little boost.
There ya have it! That’s how I finally conquered my fears and started my business. Remember that conquering fear is all about willpower and perseverance. Its ok if it takes you 3+ years like me or if you do it all in one day! The important thing is that you keep moving forward towards your dream! I’m with ya pal, all the way.
What is the biggest fear you are trying to conquer right now? Share it below!