What scares you about potential failure? A simple question with some common answers. People being worried about failure is one of the top 5 most common excuses of wannabe entrepreneurs. This fear of failure is disabling and leads to the inaction of potential entrepreneurs so this elephant in the room needs to be addressed if you are to ever become successfully self-employed.

If you come across any successful entrepreneur and dig into their history, you will find that they have failed at some point in their past. Being easily discouraged by failures is not a trait of entrepreneurs. 

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
— Winston Churchill

In my experience, one of the things that helps to overcome the fear of failure is building confidence. In order to build confidence, you need to do research on your unique idea. You should be able to answer "yes" to these questions with confidence:

  • Is there a market for your idea?
  • Have you tested your idea with your target audience?
  • Were the responses from your target audience positive?

If you can not answer these questions with a confident "yes", then you need to re-evaluate your idea and/or the problem that you are trying to solve. 

Remember this, if you have truly dug deep into an area to find a good problem, then the answer becomes obvious to you. The more obvious the answer feels, the more confidence you will be in your creative solution. 

Another potential way to get over the fear of failure is to step out of your comfort zone and just launch your idea. If it is something like a website platform, eBook, software, or phone app, then you should be able to update the contents after launch. Just be sure that the first version has value adding content for your target audience, even if it isn't completely refined. This method should motivate you to constantly be wanting to update your content in order to maximize its value to your audience. 

If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
— Reid Hoffman, Founder LinkedIn

I'll give you a personal example. I wrote my guide for organic chemistry students three years before I decided to self-publish online. Of course, it was not perfect and in many way can still use continuous improvement as I get more and more feedback about what information is helpful and what is not, but the important part was that I moved beyond being a perfectionist to launch something that I believed can help others. To this day, I still look to make the product better and better, but there was a mental block that held me back for three years. That was essentially three years where I doubted myself subconsciously even if I did not see things that way on a daily basis. Cycles like that must be broken if you are to ever reach your full potential and live the life you deserve. 

Overall, to move beyond your fear of failure, research your idea thoroughly and then take some advice from Nike and "just do it". 

Leave a comment on this post about what scares you the most about going into business for yourself or marketing your own ideas. Also, feel free to comment on this post if you know any other good ways to overcome the fear of failure.

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