Those who venture into business on their own do so wishing and hoping they succeed on their first attempt. They open lines of credit, sacrifice family gatherings and devote all their time and effort to make their business succeed. Unfortunately, in some cases, hard work is not enough and ventures fail.
But the prospect of failure is not even in the picture for many of those who decide to invest themselves in a startup. There’s just too much riding on its success and, of course, that imposes a great deal of pressure and anxiety on the entrepreneur. Some even suspect that even thinking about the prospect of failure could jinx the startup.
However, could this refusal to even think about failure hurt you as an entrepreneur? Could it hurt your business? While failure itself can be a great teacher, showing us the way things could have been done differently, we are socially conditioned to fear it and that could be an entrepreneur greatest weakness: fear, not failure.
Fear is part of the human nature. It’s needed for us to move forward. How so? Whenever we step outside of our comfort zone we are frightened by those things that are new to us. And that’s natural; it’s not a sign of weakness or lack of resilience: it is a sign of humanity. There could be no drive pushing us to overcome our fears if it wasn’t for fear itself.
At first, fear freezes us. We stand shocked. Paralyzed. Should I go into business on my own? In this economy? Is it worth it? But what if it doesn’t work out? How much debt will I have if it fails? These questions are all too familiar to anyone who’s ever been interested in launching their own startups. However, those who have done it successfully were able to overcome that inner voice. How did they do that?
Believe it or not, when we use it to our own advantage, fear of failure can be a very powerful driving force. It forces us to be flexible with our goals, to be open to reframe them in case that’s what it takes in order to move forward. It also forces us to stay on our toes and visualize all possible obstacles that could stand in our way. It helps us, in conclusion, to stay sharp, to move fast, and to be responsive.