Overcoming Fear

Starting your own business is a dream for many, but fear often holds us back. We worry about the potential for failure, lack of resources, and our own ability to lead. Unfortunately, this fear can prevent us from taking risks and pursuing our goals.


Fear is a natural emotion that arises when we encounter unfamiliar or potentially threatening situations. While it is perfectly normal to feel scared from time to time, persistent and unchecked fear can have a damaging effect on our lives.


For example, fear of failure can cause us to miss out on opportunities that we want to be a part of. Someone who is afraid of job interviews may avoid applying for new jobs altogether, while another person who is afraid of flying may miss out on family vacations, job opportunities, or important conferences.


Unfortunately, our society often discourages open discussion about fear, making it difficult for us to overcome it. Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed of their fears, and worry that others will view them as trivial or weak.


However, failing to confront and combat our fears can severely limit our opportunities and overall quality of life. The first step in overcoming fear is to acknowledge and address it. This can involve seeking help from others, practicing exposure therapy to gradually become more comfortable with the source of our fear, or cultivating mindfulness to better manage anxious thoughts.


Holding onto our fears is not worth what we stand to lose, and confronting them can lead to a more fulfilling life. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” By actively working to overcome our fears, we can achieve personal growth, increase our confidence, and open ourselves up to a world of new opportunities.


Confronting Your Fears and Making a List of Worst-Case Scenarios

Overcoming fear can be a challenging and scary task. However, the first step towards conquering fear is to identify it. Fear can seem like a deadly threat, but it’s important to remember that most of the time, our fears are relatively minor and easy to overcome. For example, someone who is afraid of dogs can confront this fear by petting a friend’s dog and realizing that most dogs are not a threat at all.


To prepare for facing fears, it can be helpful to make a list of all the reasons you are scared. When Blake Mycoskie was about to start his shoe business, TOMS, in Argentina, he was terrified and tempted to give up on the plan altogether. However, he decided to make a list of all the things he was scared of and come up with the worst thing that could happen if his fears came true. For instance, one of his biggest fears was that nobody would buy his company’s shoes, which would cause him to lose his entire investment and all the time he had put into it.


After writing it down, the author realized that even if his fears came true, he would still come out of the situation with new skills, experiences, and friends he had made during the process. This realization made the worst-case scenario seem less terrifying. By facing our fears and realizing that the worst-case scenario is often not as bad as we imagine, we can overcome our fears and pursue the things we want in life.


Starting a new business can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you’re new to the game. The possibility of taking the wrong approach, failing, and losing all of your money can be overwhelming and prevent many people from taking the leap.


However, the assumption that we need to have a wealth of experience and knowledge to embark on something new can be misguided. It is impossible to predict the future with certainty, and so the idea of planning a risk-free strategy is flawed. Waiting for the perfect timing can also lead to inaction, causing missed opportunities.


To overcome fear and take action towards business pursuits, one strategy is to seek guidance from successful entrepreneurs by reading biographies and blogs. This can help identify common fears and coping mechanisms that successful entrepreneurs have used to achieve their goals.


Another way to overcome fear is to create a visible reminder of your goals and motivators, such as writing them down and hanging them up in your workspace. This creates a constant reminder of what you are working towards and why.


Surrounding yourself with supportive people, such as enthusiastic interns or friends who share your goals, can also help you stay motivated and committed to your pursuits. These people can provide support when times are tough and help you stay focused on your goals.


Ultimately, the fear of uncertainty should not hold you back from pursuing your dreams. By acknowledging and confronting your fears and taking action towards your goals, you can move towards success despite the unknowns of the future.


Why Simplicity is Key to Success in Design, Strategy, and Daily Life

The belief that complexity equals sophistication is misguided. The most successful creations are often the simplest ones. A complicated subway system in a big city with multiple delays and cancellations proves this point. Simplicity is especially important in design, as the most popular designs tend to be incredibly simple. For instance, Apple products are widely popular due to their clean, unfussy lines and ease of use, regardless of tech savviness.


This principle of simplicity is also valuable in broader strategy and business models. In-N-Out Burger, for instance, is extremely popular due to its focus on making the best burgers for customers, without wasting resources on fancy décor or long, complicated menus.

If you want simplicity to be a guiding principle in your life, concentrate on the few things that really matter and ignore everything else. It is essential to let irrelevant “small bad things” just happen and concentrate on achieving the big important goals. This way, paying a small late fee on a DVD rental is better than missing an important appointment by stopping by the rental store. The principle is all about priorities.


Simplicity also improves the work routine, which ultimately leads to better final products. Therefore, keeping things simple is essential to create a successful product.


Simplicity not only benefits individuals in their personal and professional life but also allows businesses to thrive even with limited resources. TOMS, a successful shoe company and philanthropic organization, is a prime example of how simplicity can lead to success even with a lack of resources. The company’s founder approached the challenge of limited resources with a creative mindset and used unique solutions to overcome obstacles.


When the founder was just starting out, he had minimal financial resources. However, he turned his constraints into an opportunity to showcase his creative thinking. He could not afford business cards, so he handwrote his contact information on other people’s cards after erasing the previous content. This solution not only saved him money but also impressed potential investors and partners by demonstrating his commitment to economical and creative solutions.


Furthermore, in today’s digital age, there are numerous free and low-cost tools available to promote and grow a business. Social media and blogging have become powerful and cost-effective marketing tools that are just as effective as traditional advertising. Free services such as Google Drive and Doodle can also help businesses save time and money by streamlining organization and communication.


Limited resources do not have to be a hindrance to business success. Instead, a simple and creative approach can help businesses build healthy models based on efficiency and effectiveness. By embracing simplicity and utilizing available resources, businesses can thrive and achieve success even with limited financial resources.



Building a Motivated and Enthusiastic Team for Your New Business

To build a motivated and enthusiastic team for your new business, it is essential to expand your personal network and connect with like-minded people. Successful businesses are not built by hermits, but by individuals who surround themselves with a supportive and knowledgeable team.


One way to attract people to your business is to start by mapping out your personal network. This includes friends, family members, and colleagues who have unique abilities and knowledge that could add value to your business model. Like the contributors of Wikipedia, each person can donate a small portion of their time and knowledge to build a valuable resource for your business.


Moreover, it is crucial to find passionate individuals who share your goals and beliefs. These people will believe in your project and be excited to be part of something new. Working together, you can create a powerful working atmosphere that will enhance your own abilities and knowledge.


To promote an atmosphere of togetherness and shared adversity, you should try to cultivate a “garage mentality” within your business. Many successful companies like Apple were first started in garages on a shoestring budget. This means promoting an atmosphere of togetherness and shared adversity within your company. You don’t necessarily need a physical garage to achieve this, but you can create a “metaphorical garage” by working closely with your team.


Running a “good” company involves giving and a sense of humor about mistakes. It is a better option for most people because there are several benefits. Successful companies often have some philanthropy and giving at their core. For instance, Saks Fifth Avenue collaborated with charity: water to provide clean drinking water to people in the developing world, which helped improve the company’s public image and created good feelings within the company.


Creating a working environment centered on trust is also crucial to ensure that employees think highly of their employer. Employees are bound to make mistakes, but an understanding employer who sees them as useful learning experiences can foster a supportive environment. Advertising company Brogan & Partners gives out an award called Mistake of the Month to encourage a lighthearted company culture. Mistakes are seen as normal, and there isn’t much individual and collective pressure regarding failure. This enables employees to take risks and be innovative without feeling embarrassed or inadequate.


The Power of Storytelling in Marketing Products

When marketing a product, telling a good story is more effective than simply presenting facts and statistics. While it can be tempting to inundate customers with numbers and figures, studies have shown that emotional stories are more memorable and persuasive. In fact, people are willing to pay more for a product after hearing an emotional story about it compared to hearing plain facts and figures.


The power of a good story lies in its ability to define the values of a company and establish an emotional connection with customers. This connection is crucial to the success of a product and a company. An example of this is the story behind TOMS shoes, where the company’s founder wanted to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold through retail. This story resonated with customers and helped to propel the company to success.


Creating a personal story that suits a business may seem daunting, but the effort is worth it. A good story can create an identity for a company and a connection with customers that goes beyond a mere product. Therefore, businesses should focus on developing stories that evoke emotion and establish connections with their customers to increase the success of their products.


Do not let a lack of business experience or limited financial resources deter you from starting a business. It is possible to create a successful company by keeping things simple, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and finding innovative ways to save money.


To overcome any fears that may be holding you back, write them down and consider the worst-case scenario if they were to come true. Identifying your fears in this way can reduce their hold over you and help you to realize that even the worst possible outcome is unlikely to be catastrophic.

Inspired by a book “Start Something That Matters”; Blake Mycoskie


7 minutes read

Overcoming Fear to Start Your Own Business

Learn how to overcome fear and start your own business by following the path of a successful entrepreneur