Back in 2005, I left a good job at the nation’s largest business advocacy organization to go out on my own and start my own business. My wife was pregnant with our first child, and we were in the process of selling a home and moving halfway across the country.
There certainly were risks. Yes, there was a fear of failure. But, perhaps because of youthful ignorance, I didn’t let that fear stop me. Today, 9 years and three successful startup companies later, is know the rewards certainly outweighed the risks.
Fear of failure, however, can be a powerful impediment to entrepreneurs. In fact, it can sometimes be the biggest obstacle.
This fear of failure can be crippling for anyone, particularly an entrepreneur. Becoming your own boss and starting your own business is a huge decision, both personally and professionally. Not only does it take a large financial investment but also a very significant time investment, as well.
Here are four reasons you should overcome this fear and move forward:
1) You Never Know Unless You Try
Do you want to be playing the ‘what if’ game for the rest your life? What if you did that or this? You’ll never know if you’ll succeed or fail at something until you try. Life is about taking chances. Regret is worst than fear. You don’t get many chances in life so don’t throw one away because you’re scared of what the outcome may be.
2) Time Is Money
Depending on what industry you want to break into, the longer you wait, the higher the chances are of your idea going stale or being taken by someone else. Time is money and if you have a big idea, you want to act on it as soon as possible.
3) The Value of Risk And Reward Is Different For Everyone
As an entrepreneur, you may try to get advice from those around you – business partners, colleagues, friends or family. While it’s always good to hear a different perspective than you own, it’s your decision at the end of the day. The amount of risk someone is willing to take for a particular reward is different for everyone. What may sound like a good idea to you may sound terrible to someone else. Everyone’s situation is different and only you can truly understand your own. Think it through. Just because someone is telling you it’s too risky doesn’t mean it’s actually true.
4) Don’t Be Reckless; Take Calculated Risks
With all this said, there’s also one caveat: don’t be reckless. There’s a difference between taking a calculated risk and a spontaneous risk. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Explore all your options and read all the fine print. Try to predict all the possible curveballs that can be thrown your way and prepare for them. And in the event that you do fail, have a backup plan in case.