The most difficult part of business life is starting. Not just because it would consume your time, force you to make sacrifices, drain your energy (and probably your bank account) — but also because it’s usually when the voice of self-doubt speaks louder.
For sure, you’ve already heard enough versions of “You can’t make it” or “This business idea is stupid,” to keep you from taking the plunge. But here’s the thing — everybody has had these moments. Even the most successful entrepreneurs.
The difference between you and them is the fact that they took the risk nonetheless. Close that gap and conquer your self-doubt with these tips:
1. Establish short-term goals.
The biggest source of self-doubt is the fact that going into business is such a huge task. When you turn to your dream of putting up a restaurant, there’s so much to do before actually making it a reality.
Now it’s good to look far ahead, but it’s also wise to think of the little steps you can take now, so you can be a step closer to that dream. The key is to set goals easily achievable for a period of time.
When you’re able to tick these goals off your list, you’ll have a sense of reassurance that you’re doing something even if it’s just small steps. Moreover, you get to refer to these accomplished goals as your mini victories, which would be your reminders when the voice of self-doubts grows louder.
So for instance, when you do have that long-term goal of establishing a restaurant, a short-term, achievable goal now might be to explore fast food franchises and scrutinize their proven business models.
2. Change your perspective about failure.
Another reason starting entrepreneurs doubt themselves is they tend to be fixated on failure. If you internalize that you’re not going to succeed, you’d really have no confidence whatsoever in what you’ll do. But look at it this way, even if you lose in failure, it won’t be a total loss.
Sure, you would have lost resources and precious time, but you would also gain that one important thing in business: the experience of hitting rock bottom and knowing a lot of things now than before.
Failure can strengthen your character and make you wiser if you choose it to be. So, have a total shift in perspective when it comes to failure. When you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, you would have the confidence of a seasoned entrepreneur.
3. Keep family, friends, and mentors close.
You need moral and emotional support now more than ever. So try to avoid those who constantly offer negative feedback on you and your endeavors. They’ll just feed your self-doubts all the more. Instead, find your ‘passion community’, the people who believe in you no matter what.
As much as you can, don’t skip family events. Strengthen your relationships with peers. But aside from your spouse, kids, and friends, improve your connections with the experts in your industry.
Attend conferences and seminars to meet them. Join business organizations. You want to be close to like-minded individuals who know exactly what it’s like to drown in lack of confidence but bounce back up anyway.
Having self-doubt as you start your business is normal. What’s not normal is being paralyzed by it and not pursuing a good, rewarding endeavor. Silence that voice of doubt and make your dream business a reality.