Daily I hear business owners speak about the fear of failure and rejection. And when they don’t talk about it, it comes up in our coaching sessions.
How are you, my friend? Today I’m talking about the topic people don’t like talking about, yet it’s what’s on our mind a lot: the fear of failure.
You could say that this might be the biggest when you just start. But I know it’s not true. Some entrepreneurs keep this fear for the entire time they’re in business. Others never seem to have had any fear. What’s their secret?
Here’s how to overcome the fear of failure (in business)
1. Develop your mindset.
Your mindset is everything and needs to be all-in. Confident and full of belief in yourself and what you’re selling. More than anything.
Whether you believe you’ll win or lose – you’re always right.
So believe that you’ll win. Be like Edison, who didn’t see his 3000 (!) attempts to make a light bulb, failures. He reframed this and said he found 3000 ways in which it didn’t work.
Be diligent, optimistic, and faithful in yourself.
What has shifted my perspective was when someone asked about my business. They said: “Are you all-in or half-in”? “Of course I am all in”, I said.
Then you’ll make it work no matter what.
Because that’s what you do when you’re all-in, you’ll make it work. And it made me realize it is true. So that shifted things for me knowing it works out.
2. Think like an entrepreneur.
Some will tell you their business is doing poorly due to the pandemic. Others can’t stop talking about all the opportunities it has brought.
Which team are you in?
I live at the beach, and there are 20 beach restaurants, all closed. There was one that opened up a stall outside. They had a bbq, hot chocolate (and thank heaven wine), the music was on, and there was a “party atmosphere”. The first night we bumped into this place, Nua was sold.
She got to roast marshmallows above the open fire. We then stayed for dinner, and she had the time of her life. Outside in the open air eating hot dogs. I’m sure she’ll always remember.
Needless to say, we went back countless times.
“What is possible?” is a great question to ask yourself. There will always be obstacles. Things that negatively impact your business, beyond your control. Anticipate obstacles and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
3. Learn more than other people, and develop a system for learning.
It’s said that most CEOs read at least one book a month. I’m not sure whether that’s true, but I do know that developing yourself as a business owner is critical.
In your area of expertise, in being an entrepreneur, in marketing and sales. you name it; there’s so much to learn.
Equally as important is to ensure that you evaluate what’s working and especially what’s not working in your business. And to take action accordingly.
As you may recall, I wrote a blog for a national Dutch newspaper. Then, until recently, I decided to stop. It was not aligned with my business anymore, took up time I’d rather spend elsewhere, and was in Dutch.
Keep evaluating what you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to let go.
4. Have a proper plan and strategy, include worst-case scenarios
When I started my business, I immediately launched a group program. It was a big launch, and one person signed up. no group. And a lot of disappointment. I gave up on launches immediately. Not my thing.
Looking back, it was silly of me not to anticipate this (very likely to happen) worst-case scenario. But, unfortunately, these things happen all the time, especially when you start. That’s why you keep going.
Draft a plan and strategy and then run with it.
When you need to, run with it multiple times until it works.
5. A certain amount of failure is healthy.
There is no such thing as always (immediately) getting it right immediately in life and business. Failure is part of life. You live and learn.
That’s why I love Nelson Mandela’s saying: “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
That’s how you need to start seeing failure, a moment to learn. Remember, failure doesn’t define you. Nor does it make you fail.
What you define as failure is more than anyone else does.
6. Vent about your fears and mitigate with patience.
When you don’t talk about your fears, they’ll multiply in your mind. Speaking openly about it with a coach or a business friend will diminish your fears.
You know what else will mitigate your fears?
Yeah, I know – I haven’t got a lot of it either.
However, ever since I had that conversation about being all in [point 1], my patience has increased. Because when you’re all-in, you’ll make it work no matter what. And no matter what doesn’t have a time limit. So when one thing doesn’t work, you’ll move on to the next. If you’ll not give up.
7. Don’t obsess over perfection and imagine what inaction gets you.
All of the above points, whether it’s developing a better mindset and believing in yourself, talking about your fears, drafting a strategy, or learning, all come down to one thing: do it.
Let go of the need to make it perfect and simply do it. Because imagine what inaction gets you.
Be the CEO of your life,
PS Looking for help and support by implementing the points above? Join my MasterMind for only $257 per month . We’re starting Monday, and you can still sign up.
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