Making the leap from full-time employment to an independent business owner is a scary step. What if you don’t make enough money? Are you even good enough to work for yourself? These are questions almost every business owner asks themselves at some point.
I’m sure many people reading this are facing this challenge right now. And one of the goals of my website is to share my own experiences with readers to help people learn from my mistakes so that your own journey is a little easier. In this post, I’d like to discuss 4 of the fears and insecurities I faced when starting and growing my business.
Part of facing (and overcoming) fear comes from being open about the very thing you're struggling with. If you’re going through something similar right now, please let me know in the comments below.
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1. Dealing with the money issues
Back when I was working full-time and before making the leap to full-time self-employment, this concern was probably top of my list. By working for yourself, you become 100% independent and suddenly all income generation is your responsibility. There’s no salary being paid into your account each week even if you’re ill. Your income completely depends on your own ability and effort.
With a mortgage and wife to support, I spent many hours worrying about money, how much I’d need to earn and what I’d do if I couldn’t earn enough.
My plan was always to be able to replace my salary before quitting my job. The theory was if I could make the same as my full-time salary while working on my business part-time, then when I went full-time I should be able to sustain and(or) grow this figure.
For me at least, going through this process and working out the minimum I’d need to earn to quit my job was a nice way of overcoming concerns about money. Even now, while the business is doing well, my income goal is the same. All I want to do is earn at least what I was earning while working. Everything else is a bonus.
2. Fear that I’m wasting time. Is this ever going to work?
In the early days, another source of anxiety came from wondering if I’d ever be able to make my business work. I would test many different ways of growing website traffic, email subscribers and selling more of my digital products. Often these ideas would have little to no effect on the business and it can be very demoralising. This lead me to think, “Will I ever be able to make this work and earn a living from this website?”.
All I’ll say to anyone feeling like this is – KEEP GOING!
Yes, it can be demoralising. But when you persevere and try new things, you’ll learn more and more about what works (and what doesn’t) so you can eventually find the thing that kick starts your business.
For me, consulting was a game changer and quickly got me to where I wanted to be. This helped me to earn enough to quit my job so that I could then focus on growing the website and product sales.
Had I given up, I would have never experimented with this idea and got to where I am today. So keep going! Keep trying new things and eventually, your hard work and persistence will pay off.
3. Overcoming imposter syndrome
The funny thing is after you actually start to make your business work, you then start to wonder if you're really good enough. This doubt in your ability is also known as imposter syndrome and is something I’ve struggled with more recently.
Again, it’s very common to wonder this. And I expect it’s not just business owners, but even full-time employees who sometimes doubt whether they’re good enough to do a certain job.
A few things have helped me to overcome this.
Firstly, if you doubt your abilities, this is actually a good sign that you’re challenging yourself and growing as a person. It’s only natural that as we grow and try new things that we would doubt our ability.
Secondly, to help demonstrate my ability to others (and in doing so myself), I use this website and my YouTube channel to add credibility to what I’m doing. So before someone hires me to help with Asana, they can go and watch my free videos on YouTube to confirm that I do indeed know what I’m doing.
I like knowing that people have seen this content before working with me so they have a flavour of what it’s like to work with me.
4. Fear of success. What if I lose everything?
The good news is that despite all these fears, business is good. But, this in itself creates a whole new type of fear; what if I lose everything?
It’s only natural to fear losing the things we have. Whether it’s losing a friend or family member, losing your home or in this case, a business.
To overcome this fear, I do my best to protect myself with insurance, by never taking on massive amounts of risk and by constantly trying to improve and add value to clients and customers.
Now I realise, even if I did lose it all. I’ve built a business before. And I could do it again if I needed to.