One of my closest friends is "hanging out her shingle" as an independent after spending her entire career working for large corporations. We've always texted fairly regularly but our conversations lately are less about our kids and more about self-employment taxes and setting up accounting software. To leave the relative comfort and paycheck predictability of the employee life is no joke and has me revisiting my own brave step into the world of entrepreneurship.
Becoming an entrepreneur means facing real fears. Here are some ways to push past the fear and do it anyway.
Fear of Uncertainty
When you're working for someone else, it can be really easy to fall into a comfortable rhythm of get-up-go-to-work-come-home-sleep-repeat. It's especially nice when you receive a paycheck on a regular basis for this routine. Stepping out into the world of freelance or entrepreneurship means that every day looks different but you'll never get bored with a routine like that! Although the entrepreneur life is not predictable, it makes you hyper aware so you're not slogging through each day with no memory of how you drove yourself to and from the office.
Fear of Failure
There wasn't one single day where I decided to become an entrepreneur. It was a process of little things and tiny steps that lead me to that decision. I didn't have a lifetime drive to start my own business but I did have a desire to be more available to my family. I also knew that if I failed, it would put us all into a bind and I would have to work even harder to catch up. As terrifying as it was to go out on my own, I knew that I was setting a good example for my children. And bonus, if I succeeded, they would have more of my time and attention.
Fear of Being an Impostor
Many successful people have a deep fear of being "found out". Impostor syndrome strikes at the heart of anyone who is good at something. They may feel that it was luck, not talent, that put them at the top of their game. They may feel that they've been getting away with something that they don't deserve. I personally feel that everyone has a talent or something that comes easy to them and if they don't have to work that hard at it, they feel like a fraud. On those days, I prescribe taking daily moments of gratitude for your skills and recognition of what it took for you to get where you are.
Fear of Being Overwhelmed
When you work for someone else, they typically have other employees that take care of marketing, sales, accounts receivable/accounts payable, tax preparation and more. Starting your own business means that you take on everything until you're successful enough to afford to hire someone. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when all you want to do is the part you're good at. Thankfully, I had some small business experience before striking out as an entrepreneur. I knew how to get organized and I was curious enough to learn the things I didn't know. If you're aware of all that needs to be done, and you take the time to organize it, your life doesn't have to be complete chaos.
Fear of Going Broke
As if striking out with your own business isn't frightening enough, you have to worry about the financial risks as well. What if you don't sell enough services or products to pay your monthly expenses? What if your clients aren't paying their invoices on time and you run out of working capital before the month is over? This is another reason to stay positive, build strong networks and relationships with your clients and keep your financial books in order.
The good news is that if you're having trouble getting paid, a commercial collections company like Enterprise Recovery can help. Not only does this blog help inform small businesses on client retention and financial strength, but the company can help clean up accounts receivable, collect bad debt and help pursue legal action against clients who refuse to pay. And if they aren't successful at helping your business, you don't owe a cent.
Facing all of these fears as an entrepreneur has been a true growth experience for me. I'm happy to share the good and the scary with my friend and the newest entrepreneur in my network. Cheers to your adventures out there too! 🍾