As a new founder, you may be worried about even making the tiniest of mistakes while your business is still in its early stages. It’s how you combat and conquer these fears, however, that will determine your success in the long run.
I’ve found that the No. 1 fear for first-time entrepreneurs is moving away from a comfortable paycheck to the unknown. Unless you’ve secured funding and your investors have allowed you to pay yourself, you are going to have to change your lifestyle. My advice: cut your costs to a minimum, find enough money to finance three-to-six months of living expenses, and hustle as if your life depended on it. – Tim Grassin, Candy Banners
Being scared of failing is common and natural, but is also something that can hold you back if you allow it to. You have to be open to trying new things, taking risks that may be scary and pushing the limits with your business. Having a fear of failure could cause you to not grow your company the way you need to in order for you to hit that level of success you are dreaming of. – Michael Rheaume, SnapKnot Inc.
In the startup world, we glorify the idea of the “self-starter.” We see examples of these success stories without realizing the contributions coming from external sources. It is eerily reminiscent of people oversimplifying what it takes to be a famous basketball player, singer and successful entrepreneur. Receiving help does not take away from the success of your business. – Brian Chiou, Enigma Systems LLC
One of the biggest fears that new business owners and entrepreneurs have is trying to make sure everything is perfect before going live. In most cases, this causes launch delays and wasted funding. Instead, go live in beta mode as soon as possible and let your audience and customers provide support on what they want, like and dislike. Implement these changes as your business continues to grow. – Zac Johnson, Start a Blog
Going out on your own and doing something untested, putting yourself and career path on the line, is quite scary at times. You just have to learn to distinguish irrational fear from constructive fear. Constructive fear allows you to make improvements and learn from mistakes. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
Anyone can tell you fear of failure is the biggest concern. But lack of confidence, which isn’t quite the same thing, is even more fundamental. This isn’t a fear of failure; it’s a fear of being wrong. It’s a fear that the skills you need are unlearnable. They aren’t. Be bold, strong and confident, or you won’t have a startup career. – Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
People get trapped into assuming that they must fit this standard model of what a startup is. You don’t need branded t-shirts, novel business cards or even beanbag chairs. What you need to find what works best for you. This could mean everyone working in suits and ties, or that your business is very traditional. The projected image of the Silicon Valley tech project is not for everyone. – Ben Gamble, Quincus
These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.