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Last updated: 27 Sep, 2014  

Fear.9.Thmb.jpg Entrepreneurship: Fear is the foe

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Bikky Khosla | 12 Feb, 2013
"I would like to start a small business, but . . . ." On my Facebook page I often come across these words.

Many people want to start their own business, but fear holds them back. It's no wonder that we all experience fear at one time or another. It's a natural instinct, and also an invaluable one in the sense that it helps us avoid threatening situations. But for some of us, fear can become an overriding force in life, preventing us from trying something new and taking necessary risks. In entrepreneurship, this is not less than a curse.

Fear of failure is probably the strongest force that holds would-be-entrepreneurs back. When I get the chance to ask entrepreneurs what is the biggest mental block they have to overcome before starting their businesses, all too often the answer is: fear of failure. Could I survive on my own? Would enough people be interested in buying products from my business? What if I end up in debt? Fear cripples their minds.

Not only before starting, fear can also keep you away from taking the next big step in your business. Many small businesses, which are doing OK, know they can do better, but they're scared to go ahead. Fear clouds their reasoning. They question their own abilities and skill; they worry about adopting new technologies; they fear to risk what they already have for what they could have; they find themselves paralyzed by fear of rejection, and so on.

What can help us overcome these fears? I think we must realize that whatever we do, there is a chance that something will go wrong. No one can ever be 100 percent 'ready' to start a business or foresee every challenge before taking the next move. When we admit this fact, we are less likely to be get threatened by situations that we shouldn't fear at all. Being rational is the first step to overcome irrational fears.

While taking a decision, try to assess all possible important aspects, consider all potential outcomes, and decide the course of action accordingly. Such analysis will help you separate yourself from your fear. Fear is merely an emotion and the analysis will help you find out when you should not fear at all, where having a 'Plan B' in place is more than enough, or why sometimes it's perfectly rational to fear.

Failure is a matter of perception -- we can decide how to look at it: whether as "the end of the world", or as a learning experience. In our entrepreneurial journey, we all have to face it sometimes. We will meet setbacks and obstacles. In such moments, every entrepreneur should always take failures as a feedback calling for evaluation of the plan, learn from it, and bounce back.

Look fear in the eye. Don't let it be your boss.
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fear fector
Deepak Patel | Mon Mar 4 03:37:51 2013
Yes,very very good story for new enterpreneurs!

Very friendly notes on Fear
Samdup R. Phuntsok | Sat Feb 23 10:05:24 2013
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only fear that we fear is fear itself" And you have dealt on how to overcome fear if not banish it altogether. It was interesting read and I will be able to gauge its influence when I am struck with fear may a few seconds, minutes or an hour from now. At least, I will remind myself and say that I have some notion of what fear is, what can be done and how to minimise it not tackle it head on. Fear, when overcome, breeds happiness! How about quoting me??????

Good write up
Fabusuyi Gbolade | Thu Feb 14 14:04:08 2013
Good write up, especially for budding entrepreneurs in developing world.The article simply reinforces my beliefs as far setting own business is concerned.Keep up the good work.

Really a good message
Shrimandhar | Thu Feb 14 11:56:00 2013
Really a good message for a new entrepreneur. Definitely everyone has to think on these basic things . Good one . Thanks !

Good article
Dhananjay Botwe | Thu Feb 14 08:22:47 2013
Most encouraging article... I would like to thanks to this writer for making it so practical & impressive. Would like to receive some more articles on the same

Let fear be a friend
S P GUPTA | Thu Feb 14 06:55:44 2013
Fear is one thing nobody can get rid of. Of course, the degree, circumstances and mode may vary. Fear and confidence & over-confidence are the words that matter. We must fear what I cannot bear with. But at the same time, I ought to know what I can bear with and the extent . It's much of assessment liberal or conservative. Therefore I feel fear needs not be a foe. Let that be a friend that keeps you on your toes and cautions you on over indulgence.

Absolutely right
Shantanu Mukherjee (Director-GPT-India, New Delhi) | Thu Feb 14 06:16:09 2013
This is absolutely right. As per me, fear is imminent when a person undertakes a new & challenging job anytime in his life. But I would be very straight forward in saying to all of those who are in Yes or No mood about starting a business career that unless you have attained good experience in sales and execution of orders, good contacts, thorough knowledge about product, good & promising business plan for at least 6-12 months down the line, little back-up capital, good communication & interpersonal skills, honesty, sincerity, hard working, strong determination and last but not the least ''believing in own-self and to the Almighty'' can be the true entrepreneurs of the future.

Small industry in Kerala
R.Sundar | Wed Feb 13 17:57:26 2013
Is the advise suitable for Kerala people. In this state everything is against small entrepreneurs. It is really high risk starting small industry in Kerala.

Take the bull by its horns
Gurdeep Singh | Wed Feb 13 17:37:36 2013
As the bull fighter, proverbially holds the bull by its horns, and mostly wins; so should be all entrepreneurs. There cannot be any business which is always profitable; Profit and loss are woven into the fabric of every business. Entrepreneurs, since the beginning of civilization, have been the real creators of wealth. Fear can be an obstacle to growth, but we must remember that like success, failure too is relative. I don't think there can be an entrepreneur who is an ABSOLUTE failure. Regard.

Krishna Tumkur | Wed Feb 13 15:57:46 2013
I fully endorse this article.Well articulated,obviously well-organized thinking process.

All will be well . . .
Jai Prakash | Wed Feb 13 15:32:08 2013
It is a negative thought process but some times what happens is the environmental issues that surrounds you pull down very badly.THAT IS THE TIME THIS DAMN FEAR TAKES ON YOU. I have say one thing we have to hear our inner conscience ALL WILL BE WELL AND END IN A HAPPY NOTE.

Think like adult, act like a kid
Benson Thinji | Wed Feb 13 12:45:19 2013
A kid fears nothing. As it grows it becomes more aware of its responsibilities and environment.These external factors creates in it.To succeed in business think like adult and act like a kid.

  Re: Think like adult, act like a kid
Shrimandhar | Thu Feb 14 11:58:44 2013
Yes. Perfect one.

Be firm, you shall go through
Samuel Luyimbaazi | Wed Feb 13 09:50:24 2013
It is really true because that thing happened to me. But because I got so many mentors and councilors I managed to overcome it. So I ask my fellow business orients to stick on their own inner positive sound and follow it.

Through this situation
Ravikumar Bhatia | Wed Feb 13 09:12:34 2013
I have been through this situation very recently. I have lost my entire life savings, including, my family life has been ruined, marriage on rocks, and don't know what to do and how to go about in future. I would like to communicate in person with the author of this article if possible. 

Simple and very useful advice
D D | Wed Feb 13 07:07:23 2013
It is really helpful to the people like me, who are not able to decide whether to start own enterprise or to work for someone.

Own business
M.B.PRAKASH | Wed Feb 13 05:22:37 2013
Sir, I, wish to start a business at 60 , where do I get financial support. Many orders are there to execute. Kindly help. With regards, Prakash

Umesh Brahmankar ( | Wed Feb 13 05:19:34 2013
Excellent matter, most encouraging......... I would like to thanks to this writer for making it so practical & impressive......... If possible would like to receive some more articles on the same.

Thanks for the insight
Joel Garcia | Wed Feb 13 03:21:15 2013
Thank you for the insight . I have recently come face to face with this situation , and If I remained there it most likely would have affected the rest of my life . If not financially , most certainly emotionally because I would gone the rest of this journey called life with the thought and feeling of 'what if!' . No guarantee that all will be well, but now I know. I found a hope and peace that does not exists in the realm of fear . I received the understanding that in order to have the courage of David , I first had to confront the lion and the bear . It's just the way things are . Thank you

Courage is your friend
John Eyubeh | Tue Feb 12 23:42:53 2013
Thanks for this amazing article. I was just thinking about this subject, and happen to open my email and saw this topic. You are 100% right. It's fear that lets 97% of people on planet earth to live a life of mediocrity. Imagine, as we speak--there are many people who have ideas, talents and abilities--that can either change the world or make a positive impact on mankind. But, they allow fear of the unknown...fear of what their family and friends would say...and fear of failure to--STOP them from even trying. So, they get comfortable and contented and accept life's crumbs...and just go through life...working, eating, drinking, having children and nothing else. Even worse, they then settle for...the deadly traps of life, such as... 1) Their jobs--which they believe is secure. 2) Retirement 2) 401(k) and social security benefits (if you live in the USA) 3) Pensions 4) A little savings in the bank. What most don't understand is, EVERY BODY ON THIS PLANET--has so much potential and has much to offer mankind. But sadly, 97% would prefer to be "walking corpses" because of fear, and comfort. Instead of being truly alive, bold and daring. The whole of mankind suffers for it...since we cannot benefit from the incredible ideas (from businesses or otherwise) that many people may have floating in their brains. So I say to anyone who is reading this...go for it and stop being afraid. FEAR IS YOUR FOE. COURAGE IS YOUR FRIEND. Good luck!

Absolutely right
Rajesh Jain | Tue Feb 12 17:25:11 2013
Bikky, you are absolutely right. The fear of failure is the biggest problem for a new start up. However, I tried thing on my own. I quit my well paid job and started my dream handicraft business few months ago. I tried to manage some business. But couldn't finance for new order. Tried everywhere for fund, but couldn't work it out. I tried to manage those customers without the supplies. I was strong and passionate for my vision. Anyway, right now I am trying to cater to only those customers who pay advance and also searching for new export customers. Meanwhile, I have taken a job to support my day-to-day life expenses also some corpus for business support.I would like to summarize all this in just two words. "Good Luck"

Want funds to start new small business
Rahul Dhama | Tue Feb 12 16:44:53 2013
I want to start a food bakery factory, but don't have information on funding, every bank require fixed asset (home, land etc) as security, and I wonder everybody not have collateral. So I need help friend and how I can get the loan to start my small business. My business need 15lakhs and I have 6-7lakhs in hand, and I require 6-7lakh more. Kindly help. Regards Rahul, Location: Meerut, business location also Meerut. 

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