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Overcome Your Fear of Starting Your Own Business With These 13 Tips

how to overcome fear around starting a new business

Photo Credit: Michael Burrows/Pexels

You have the idea, the vision, and the dream. Starting your own business can be a powerful move, but it can also feel extremely intimidating. But where would entrepreneurs like fashion designer Tory Burch or media mogul Oprah Winfrey be if they let fear stand in their way? 

CircleAround asked female business owners from around the world to submit their best tips on how aspiring business owners can overcome their fear and take the leap. If even thinking about starting your own business makes you want to shake with fear, keep these words of wisdom in mind.

1. Write Down Your Reasons for Starting a Business

“Whenever fear comes in your mind, you can just take a look at the reasons and get motivated. You will realize that your dreams of being an entrepreneur are worth fighting for.” —Erin Mastopietro, co-founder, Dope Dog

2. Think of the Best-Case Scenario First

"We as humans tend to think of the worst-case scenario when trying something new as a way to protect ourselves. I like to encourage the opposite mindset. Paint a vivid picture of what the best-case scenario of starting your own business looks like, believe it wholeheartedly, and let that motivate you. The more you focus on the positive possibilities, the faster you can move forward from the fear of starting out." —Raele Altano, certified confidence coach, Well With Raele

3. Skip the Perfectionism

"Don't wait for your website, your Instagram feed, your reels, etc. to be perfect. You've just gotta jump in with the confidence that your product/service can make a difference. Start with your imperfections, and that will create your story." —Mehreen Akhter, creative lead, Kiwi Marketing

4. Prioritize Short-Term Goals

“Instead of focusing on selling a company before it’s started, focus on the daily and weekly tasks that will ultimately create the foundation for a successful business. You can set small goals like sending out weekly emails, designating a few hours to meet with potential clients, sell one product, or simply post a photo on social media. While this all seems mundane and inconsequential, it’s the key to building success from the ground up. It will also help to manage expectations and create goals that are obtainable.” —Kerry M. Botensten, head of trips and content, Tripsha

5. Connect With Industry Trailblazers

“Speak to someone who is a few steps ahead of you in a similar business you’d like to get into. You’d be surprised how friendly and helpful people are.” —Anna Geary, founder, Get Savvy Club

6. Stop Waiting for the ‘Perfect Time’ 

“Getting caught up waiting for the perfect answer, perfect pitch, perfect website, or perfect timing to present itself before starting causes indecision and procrastination — the fruits of fear — and leads to inaction. I suggest you ‘start by starting.’ Even if you pivot and have to revise or correct something, at least you got things started.” —Jessica Dennehy, author of Pivot & Slay

7. Create a Timeline

“I found it useful to create a concrete timeline that goes side by side with your business plan. Things start to pile up and you need to be organized so that you’re able to tackle each challenge one by one. When you’re not bogged down with individual hardships, you can take each day as it comes and progressively work towards your dream.” —Laura Fuentes, operator of Infinity Dish

8. Start Your Business as a Side Hustle

“By not putting the pressure of creating instant income on your venture, you can test your product or service, refine your offer, and get lots of customer feedback that will help you make a great website and build your brand. Once you’ve laid the foundation and start seeing positive results, you’ll be able to keep building until the time is right to make your business your full-time work.” —Amy De Wolfe, freelance presentation designer, Presentation Design Pro

9. Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

“In the corporate world, employees are met with certain expectations, which they might not be comfortable doing. They are rewarded to draw inside the lines, get along with co-workers, and so on. But when you are your own boss, life can get unpredictable. So be prepared for the discomfort. Get comfortable with your discomforts.” —Hilda Wong, CEO, Content Dog

10. Act on Specific Fears Early

“Write down your two biggest fears, then set goals — with reasonable time frames — that are very specific to counteracting those fears. That way, when the fears start to crop up in your business, you already know you’re working to tackle them.” —Jeannie Irwin, founder, Crafting Jeannie

11. Align Your Goals With Your Resources

Make sure your goals have proper resources. If your resources are limited, choose a business with lower risks. Do not start with a business that requires millions in marketing and production; it is only going to bankrupt you. So start small so that you can take your business to higher success.” —Erin LaCkore, founder, LaCkore Couture

12. Stop Lying to Yourself

“A lot of the fears we have are based on others: ‘What will people say if I fail?’ ‘What if no one takes me seriously?’ ‘What if I’m not enough to handle this?’ The truth is we usually overestimate how much others think about us. So what if the thoughts you’re filling your mind with are all lies? If you see it in your mind's eye, you will believe it. Replace those lies with little actions each day. With each little milestone it will give you a little more confidence to achieve the next milestone and then the next.” —Elorm Sika Amankwa, lead consultant, Ace Avenue Agency

13. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

“Soon after deciding to become an entrepreneur, I started picking who I wanted to be around and who I wanted to lean on. I closed my circle, kept things to myself, and became much more protective of my thoughts. I partnered with another female co-founder who worked well with me and created a protective blanket around us. If you can surround yourself with positive, motivating, encouraging people, your fear will slowly subside and you’ll begin to see the potential of what you might do! This was crucial for me.” —Lindsey Allard, CEO and co-founder,  PlaybookUX

CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.


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