I'm putting the finishing touches on my new book Take a Risk or Get a Job. I am really proud of this book because I think that it will help entrepreneurs get past the fears to create a legacy – not just a temporary business.
This week's excerpt is about the 4 fears I see entrepreneurs suffer from the most:
You cannot live in fear and be successful
You have to learn to take a risk. Listen we are all afraid of something but we can’t let it control us if we want to accomplish our goals. I don’t know about you but I am afraid of spiders but I don’t move out of my house every time I see one. We all experience fear. It is our response to that fear that makes us stand out.
When we look at fear for the small business owner we pretty much hear the same ones all the time.
1. The fear of SUCCESS! Give me a break. This one I’m not going to let you get away with. If you didn’t want success why did you start this business? Of course, you want success. Most people start businesses because they want more money, more control over their life, to spend more time with their family or they think their boss is an idiot and they can do it better than him. Achieving those would be success right? I don’t think it is the fear of success. I think it is the fear of what the success will bring you. The fear of what it might take to grow your business.
2. The fear of HIRING A TEAM! Ask a successful entrepreneur what he did right and he will tell you that he surrounded himself with the best people he could find. I was in a meeting once with the president of a large organization and she said “When I sit in my board room with my team I want to feel like the dumbest person in the room. I want to know I have hired the smartest people I could.” That takes courage. To not have to be the one who knows everything and does everything. What I have seen with my clients is that the fear around hiring a team is usually the concern of finding the right people, knowing how to train and manage them and what to pay them. What is worse than not attacking this fear head on is the reality of trying to build a business alone. It’s not a business if you are the only employee. You have simply created a job for yourself. In my first book “Makeover Your Business in 6 Weeks or Less” I told the story of my father explaining that “you are only a business owner if you can leave your business, go on vacation and still make money while you are gone.” I was very young when he taught me that but I got it. I have felt the pain of hiring the wrong people, not training people properly and having to re-do things but getting through the pain was worth it.
3. The fear of SPENDING MORE MONEY! It’s true; you have to spend money to make money so it is understandable that you might be concerned that as your business grows you might have to spend more money. You might have to rent office space for all these employees. You would no longer be able to work in your third bedroom. And then there’s furniture and computers and paper and ink. You might be expected to travel more and that’s more money.
4. The fear of SPENDING LESS TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY! This is actually a fear I hear often. I know your family means everything to you. But have you stopped to really think about it? If you really had this business thing handled you could do some super cool things with your family. You could take them anywhere, you could show them anything, you could provide them with experiences you can’t even imagine right now. Would there be times when you might not make it to dinner? Yes! Would there be times when things don’t work out exactly as planned and you miss the baseball game? Yes! But as a third generation entrepreneur with two amazing children what I can tell you is that my way of life provided me the flexibility to do more with my children than most parents. You see you are worried that your business might keep you away but you have much more control over your time than those with a full time+ job. You can make the field trip because you have the flexibility.
5. The fear of TAKING A RISK! We finally made it to the big one. The one that is truly causing you the most pain. You’re afraid of taking any action that will change your current situation. You’re afraid to make it different than the way it is. Yet all of you say “I want it different than it is.” It’s the grand contradiction. The irony of it all is that you want it different but you don’t want to do anything that makes it different. Because with that action comes the risk that both it might work and you would have to spend some money or more time or it might not work and you would be embarrassed.