1Apr2015
Don't let fear of failure hold back your small business

Don't let fear of failure hold back your small business

Much is written and spoken about failure, in countless small business manuals and by motivational speakers, or cited by business leaders in their memoirs. Perhaps it led to something they regret, or something they conquered on the road to success. The key issue with the fear of failure in any aspect of business is to respect it, but not to let it dampen your enthusiasm, crush good ideas, derail projects or paralyse progress. 

Fear of failure, as with anything else in business, must be managed. Many enterprises do this by transforming the idea of failure, and calling it risk management or something similar. Quantify your irrational concepts of failure, highlight what barriers stand in your way to success and progress, and then work on mitigating them. Turning the unknowns into known quantities (budget, competition, lack of internal experience, testing new markets) is half the battle, and then working to navigate or overcome them, or turn them into opportunities increases any businesses' chance of success. 

At the personal level, doubts and fears over failing are innate to us all. While you can factor in all the elements and put them in a spreadsheet, the little voice at the back of anyone's head that casts doubt is a powerful force to be overcome. If that becomes a crippling doubt, then seeking out the experience and advice from other professionals and counselling from business-focused psychologists can help provide insights into why you feel dragged down by that fear of failure, and what you can do to overcome it. 

Ultimately, those that overcome their fears write the success stories, but every single start-up business was born in an environment of fear of failure and uncertainty. Still, the people responsible took that risk, and every big business name and brand we know today emerged stronger from those days of doubt. This doubt made business leaders, past, present and future better for it. Take strength from that next time failure clouds your thoughts about a business idea or plan.