As a small-business owner, your success depends on your ability to handle ongoing challenges including finding the right market-fit and acquiring new business, to name a few. But oftentimes the biggest obstacles you’ll face come not from the outside, but from within. Successful entrepreneurs and small-business owners alike routinely note that overcoming self-doubt, fear and procrastination are three of the greatest challenges they face. They have very real effects on your business, including crushing your drive and compromising your ability to play it big, or even at all, for that matter.
Here are some tips to help you push through:
• Feel the fear, act anyway. Almost all business owners experience fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear of rejection and fear of failure – the list goes on. What separates those who are successful from those who allow fear to hold them back is willingness to feel the fear and to act in spite of it. The best way to get over fear is to face it head-on – it’s never as bad as you think.
• Break through your comfort zones. Most people tend to avoid uncomfortable situations. If you want to succeed, learn to be comfortable even when you’re outside your comfort zone. It can be scary, but it won’t kill you. Really, it won’t.
• Remember the feel of success. One of the best ways to overcome fear of failure is to remember past successes. If you’re fixated on failing, put that energy into revisiting past successes and accomplishments. How did it feel? If you can tap into your past successes and relive how you felt in that moment, you’ll feel more confident facing new challenges.
• Find what motivates you. It’s important to remember your “why.” Passion trumps fear and when you focus on your dream (and not your fears), you’ll shift your momentum and eliminate procrastination.
• Belief and self-confidence. Having self-confidence and belief in yourself and your business is hands down the most important aspect of achieving success. Boost your self-confidence and belief by having a solid foundation, including researching the opportunity (or new project) thoroughly, and drafting a solid business plan.
• Focus on relationships you have. Fear shrinks your perspective. Participating in small business groups or meet-ups gives you access to ideas and experiences beyond your own and can help you focus on the big picture. Also, surrounding yourself with like-minded business professionals will remind you that you’re not alone, which in itself can go a long way toward conquering your fears.
April Neill is a brand strategist, lifelong entrepreneur and founder/CEO of April Neill Public Relations, a boutique public relations firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. You can find April online at www.AprilNeillPR.com or at www.Facebook.com/AprilNeillPR.