Four Ways to Conquer Fear When Starting a Business

You want to start a business, but fear raises its ugly head and stops you.  How do you even begin?  What if no one buys your product or service? What if people laugh at your idea? What if you fail?  What in the world do you know about marketing (or finances or management or networking or whatever)? 

Breathe. Just breathe.  First, you are not the first person who wants to start a business but is afraid. You won’t be the last.  Don’t let fear stop you from investigating your idea.  Make your decision of whether to move forward based on facts, not fears.   Follow these four fear busters as you start your business.

Commit it to paper.

Whatever your fear is, write it out, including a few sentences or paragraphs about what you are afraid of and why.  Put it away for a few days, then revisit what you wrote.  Is it accurate or were you having a melodramatic moment?  If it is real, can you dig deeper, expand upon it?  Keep repeating this process until you have a clear idea of exactly what your fear is.

Educate yourself. 

Whatever your fear is, start digging in and finding out some basic facts about it.  Is your product a knit sweater for your four-legged friend and you don’t think you can come up with an original design?  Well, what else is out there on the market?  How can you make yours different?  Do you have a design background so you can make your stylish? Or, will yours be sturdy and serviceable, which is exactly what YOU would buy?  Either way, keep digging and get an overview of the market you would like to enter.  Facts, not fear.

Create a plan of action.

Action cures fear.  After you have done your initial review and decided that yes, your product just might work, it is time to get into motion and face that fear.  Create an Action Plan of your 5 next steps you will take to check out the feasibility of your idea.  Is there a local shop you can visit?  Can you purchase a sweater from a competitor to examine its quality/style/price?  How about asking ten friends who have those delightful little four-legged furballs what they think of your idea?  Cautionary note:  Don’t give away any proprietary information at this point. You are still looking at this from a high level!  Ask them questions like:  Do they buy doggie sweaters? How much do they pay? Where is their favorite place to purchase them (hahahaha…until you open your shop, that is!)?    

Take a class or read a book. 

It is time to get to the next level by taking a class or reading a book about starting a business.  There are many great choices on the market today.  Spending some time digging into this now can save you a ton of time and pain down the road. It is also the best way to truly harness that fear, once and for all!    

Do you have questions or comments? Please send them to me at I’d love to hear from you. Nonspammers only, obviously.

By Robin Suomi, Owner, Startup to Growth, LLC. Small business coach, educator, and fan. We offer workshops to help you start a business, business plan classes, mastermind groups, and 1-1 coaching.