I’ve wanted to start a business of my own for years, and have done some freelance writing, speaking, and clothing design & construction. However, I get really intimidated to just jump in and start!
Do any of you have any advice for someone who is battling with self-doubt and fear of not being enough of an expert?
Kelli, your question touches the core of what I, and many entrepreneurs experience: Fear.
When I first started out:
I was afraid of not being enough of an expert.
I was afraid of doing something I’ve never done before.
I was afraid of not knowing where my next paycheck was coming from.
Here’s what I did:
I Start by Leaping through Fear.
Here’s the way it worked for me.
The paradox of dreaming is that in order to make dreams real, we have to “start” something.
This almost always involves physical action.
Nothing paralyzes a dream faster than “dreaming into the dream”, where we keep everything within our mental reality. If we put no energy into translating our mental reality into physical reality, our dream takes permanent residence in our minds.
Here are 3 ways to “start”:
- Write a business plan. This puts a real framework around your dream.
- Meet people with similar interests. I’m not talking about “networking” in the general sense, or meeting people who want to start a business “in general”. I’m talking about meeting up with people who are doing some aspect of what you want to do.
- Identify the most immediate tangible service or product you can provide. Create it.
There’s a reason why we’re asked to take “leaps” of faith and not “a leisurely stroll” of faith.
We have to let go of “what if” and leap.
Only after we have punted ourselves into the unknown can we then contemplate, “what next”.
Too often we get caught in the web of “what next” before we ever take that leap. The result? We become a prisoner of our own web of “what next”.
Here are 3 ways to “leap”:
- Take at least 1 “tactic” from your business plan or 1 action from your “to-do risks” (you read it right: not a “to-do list” but a “to-do risk“). Execute it without regard of outcome.
- Engage and immerse yourself into your niche. Schedule weekly telephone calls with a colleague and talk about emerging trends in your interest area. Make a habit of monitoring online new developments in your area. For my work in mentoring microbusiness owners, I have committed myself to visiting message boards relating to microbusinesses and home-based businesses and observing the types of questions, issues, and challenges that prospect clients (mentees) may experience.
- With the tangible service or product you have created. Share it (“give it away”). Your aim is to provide value. You cannot worry about making money at this stage.
Wow, where do I even start with this one? People have written entire books on fear and overcoming fear. Motivational speakers and Experts have created entire careers working with the topic of fear!
I’ve written a few articles on fear as well, because I experience fear on a regular basis. From personal experience with fear, here are 3 perspectives I can share:
- I’ve learned to tell the difference between types of fear, based on the “nature” of fear I experience. One relates to immediate physical survival, the other is wholly based on “shadow” fear that exists in our minds.
- I’ve learned that whenever I’m about to grow, I feel fear because I’m no longer in my comfort zone. Once I identify this, I can even welcome the fear as a signal that growth is about to begin.
- I’ve learned that the more often I leap through fear, the better I become at managing fear that comes with new unknowns. My ability to work with fear is like a mental muscle that needs training to get stronger and smarter.