Fear of starting

Have you pondered becoming self-employed and found that it looked utterly terrifying with a huge risk of failure?

Two important people in my life are currently going through this process and in conversations with them I noticed something that I recognised from my own experience. In looking forward into a self-employed future it seems as if there is a fixed term to try and make it work, at the end of which there will be a clear judgement of your success or failure.

When I started out I remember giving myself a year to see if I could make it work. Of course, at the end of that year there was no big judge in the sky looming over me to pronounce on whether I was a success or not. In reality, some things had worked well and some things had not. I had made changes, learned shed loads and revised and revised how much money I thought I needed to live on and what I thought success even looked like.

So I offer this thought out there, in case it may be helpful for anyone else facing the fear of failure in a new enterprise. In reality there is probably never going to be a moment when you stand on the line and either pass or fail. It's an ongoing process with a mix of successes and failures and it's totally possible for you to see all aspects of your enterprise and keep altering the course, developing the tactics and doing a little better each time.

Five years in it still gives me the fear, but I think I'm getting better at living with that and carrying on anyway! We'll definately all need to find ways to improve our skills at the content of our businesses - and our business skills, but perhaps it's not as terrifying as it looks!

By coincidence I came accross this blog post from Leo Babauta this morning outlining 3 practices for the overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. If you're into meditation etc you may find them helpful. If you're not you can at least take some comfort from knowing that everyone gets the fear sometimes and yet the sky generally does not fall in. Good luck!