Fear, Failure and Entrepreneurship

What can you learn from failure as an entrepreneur?
Although some may expect to be successful entrepreneurs with effort alone, it doesn’t usually go to plan, at least at the outset. Successful entrepreneurs say that it takes trial and error to make everything come together, and that’s one reason to approach each endeavour with the utmost confidence and focus.

Interviews with entrepreneurs have revealed the most common fears that startup founders share, and, surprisingly, these fears proved helpful.

The advice below may help you whether you are :

  • a small business
  • scalable startup
  • a large company or intrapreneurship.
  • social entrepreneurship

The most common origins of an entrepreneur’s fear can be summarised in the following bullet points:
Financial security
Ability to fund the venture
Personal skills /self-esteem
The unknown potential of the idea
Opportunity costs
Fears can plant a tendency to minimise commitment to specific goals. In other words, to put off something that seems complicated and persuing the easier option. Once an approach has been chosen, procrastination becomes the thief of time, creating setbacks that only hinder future progress.

How can entrepreneurs respond to the anxiety of failure? Research reveals four strategies that allow entrepreneurs to ensure that fear of failure works positively:

Emotional self-monitoring and control.
Emotional perception involves both awareness of one’s feelings and being able to control their influence on thought and behaviour. Some entrepreneurs can handle this well. Some can distinguish early on what are their own negative feelings towards an idea, stemming from a low mood, in contrast to the idea being doomed itself. Not that the concept or strategy is flawed to work, just that tiredness or illness may have changed the desire of wanting to pursue an idea.

What can prevent being overcome by the fear of failure? Remember that what is often preconceived never usually happens the way we imagined.
And even if you have a setback or failure, learn from it and move forward!
Analysing failure can help you calculate what went wrong and divert struggles into growth.
Failure is a great way to learn and identify where you need to enhance your skills. Discover what’s been overlooked and propel forward with more knowledge and experience than before.
Failure makes you pause, respond head-on, and know how to adapt to challenges.
It builds more immunity toward anxiety, reinforcing priority on success and knowing how to tackle any fear.
You can often reclaim lost time for failures by becoming proactive and creatively pushing your limits.
After failure, you can embrace challenges much easier, which means you can become more efficient than before.
Failure can stimulate drive. Constructive feedback can be utilised using it as a benchmark for improvements.

At the same time, don’t overlook technical and organisational / time management knowledge. Being organised and knowing how to manage your own time well can prove essential in the long run, and it’s precisely the type of thing you will no doubt rely on as you make future decisions.
An entrepreneur is constantly learning and initially adapting to the niche market they aim to conquer. Learning new skills can narrow the gap between reaching the results you want in the long term. Ideally, business management, leadership and strategic thinking knowledge will get your goals off to a great start. These crucial elements will help ensure your business acumen is on target as you know how to achieve them.

Besides good organisational skills, a sound knowledge of sales and finance within your chosen niche will give you the upper hand when you market your services or product. Also, improve your problem-solving and customer service abilities and even practice strengthening your communication skills.

Remember that failure is just one step forward on a long journey to entrepreneurial success.