Entrepreneurs launch their dreams thinking they are boarding a cruise ship. Then we realize we actually boarded a battleship. The good news is that this is what makes entrepreneurs who they are. We thrive on the challenge.
There are two ways you can set out and face the battles ahead. You can jump then find out what struggles await you as you go. When they arise, you figure it out and fight your way through. Or you can brace yourself for the impact.
You can find out what battles lie ahead and get yourself ready. Put a plan in place. And decide beforehand how you’re going to handle the tension. To do it that way, you need to know what the battles are. That’s why we’re going to look at the 6 major fears entrepreneurs face and ultimately must overcome to be successful. Exploring them together today will help us prepare for what to do before they occur. So, let’s jump in.
1. Financial Pressures
If you’ve ever had to decide on whether to get your baby formula or diapers you know what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes, we have to make a decision. Do we buy inventory or do we use the money to advertise? Both are essential, but we don’t have the funds for both. This puts a lot of pressure on you to make wise financial decisions. To delegate resources strategically. And to convince everyone else around you why the one purchase is better than the other.
It’s tough to have VC reps tell you they see no benefit in investing in your startup. Cold emails get rejection replies if they even generate a reply at all. And you have to stay convinced that what you are doing is good for your market. That they need what you have even when they keep telling you that you have nothing.
This is both physical and mental. In some cases, you are alone. Literally. You are the creative team. The boss. The finance department. The sales rep. Everything. It is you, yourself, and nobody else. But even if you have some people to help, you will still fight this battle. It is lonely at the top. People won’t understand your goals or ideas. And no one else will care about your organization as much as you do. Regardless of how much buy-in you have, and even if they’re amazing employees, they still will not be as passionate as you are. And that can be a very lonely feeling.
You will hear any and every reason as to why you won’t succeed. Your boss will tell you you’re crazy for quitting your job to start a dream. And your family may tell you the same. Even your close friends will laugh and “encourage” you to stop and think about what you’re doing. You have to be sold on your idea before you tell anyone about it. Because once you let everyone know what you want to do, they will be sure to let you know why you can’t.
As an entrepreneur, you have to be confident. And this has to bleed out of you. You have to know what you’re doing and how to do it. And people around you need to sense that competency. You won’t be able to succeed otherwise. But at the end of the day, when it’s just you, you will sense that you aren’t as confident as you’d like. You will feel that you are not resourceful enough to come up with the solutions to all the problems that arise. But you have to push forward anyway. It’s not that you are inadequate. It’s that the road of entrepreneurship will try to convince you that you are. And it will do so with such persuasiveness that it will make you feel like you are. And you will have to push forward in spite of how you feel. When you do, your feelings will follow. Eventually, you will see that you do have what it takes. But that certainty comes after the battle, not before it. The basic road is something like this. First: I think I can do this. Second: There is no way I can do this. Third: Ok, I see I can do this. Although that breakdown looks simple on screen, it’s an accurate representation of the battle you will face. And the transition from the second phase to the third face is much easier to read than to live. But the entrepreneurs who live it are the ones you hear about. The ones who don’t are the ones you never know of. It’s up to you to decide which type of entrepreneur you are going to be.
The reason discouragement is last on the list is because it’s not a battle in and of itself. It is the result of the other 6 battles combined. When you have to decide between paying employees or buying inventory while constantly being rejected, feeling alone, hearing the criticism, and sensing your own inadequacy, the result is an overwhelming sense of discouragement. As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to battle through this. You have to keep the dream alive and push through your pain. You cannot allow the other 6 battles to overwhelm you into this battle of discouragement. You will feel this, but you don’t have to get stuck here. The key is to learn how to encourage yourself and push beyond the setbacks. When you do, the feelings of discouragement will change. You will sense hope in spite of all the difficulty.
In most cases, all 6 of these battles will arise.
Knowing what to do beforehand will prepare you to plow through them and to push on towards your dream. Don’t be set back. Let each obstacle be a setup. A setup for you to innovate. A setup for you to grow. A setup for you to succeed. Just because you will face a battle doesn’t mean you have to shrink back. You can rise to the challenge and thrive to the ultimate accomplishment of your entrepreneurial goal.