A little while ago, I asked my social media followers what is most important to them in a step by step plan to starting their own businesses. I loved the enthusiasm! And there were some really good questions.
Where do I find funding?
How do I put together a business plan? Is it important?
How do I take stock of where I am and what I need to improve on?
How do I know if my business idea is viable?
All really great questions, and I had already started brainstorming so many answers to this… And then this question landed in my inbox…
How do I get over the fear of failure?
It hit me like a WAVE. And it really sat on my heart for quite a while. Because is that not the MOST NB action we need to take before we even start thinking about business strategy or operations?
You could have the most viable idea out there. You could have a ton of capital to throw into your marketing. You could have an absolutely solid business plan. But what if you are so scared of failure, that you never begin? Or you make slow, tough progress? The rest doesn’t really matter, does it?
In coaching, we refer to “away from” and “towards to” strategies. When we are using “away from” strategies we are focused on what we DON’T WANT. I.e. failure. We don’t want to fail. I totally get that.
No one throws their heart into the fire of entrepreneurship hoping to fail. You are hoping that it will be wildly successful! Or at the very least, you’ll be able to pay your bills and have a lot of fun chasing these passion-fuelled ideas.
Yet, there are so many of us glued to the screen of “I don’t want to fail. I can’t fail. Please don’t let this fail.” And how does that “away from” strategy make you feel? Pretty rubbish right?
It certainly doesn’t provide you with the hope, courage, creativity and boundless problem-solving ability that you’ll need for launching into the world of entrepreneurship! So now, what if I told you “towards to” strategies are the exact way to work through this?
Let’s let go of those scary thoughts of failure that we replay over and over, and that sap our energy.
And let’s focus on those things we DO WANT! Fun, success, exciting ideas… When we fill our minds and hearts with all the negative events that can happen, we literally squash out any mind space we may have for the real good stuff! And the real good stuff are the things that are going to provide us with that burst of energy and passion we need for this big step.
Now I’m not saying don’t analyse. Be aware of the risks, do your homework. Test your business idea before throwing life savings at it. But responsibility is different from fear. Very different. Give mind space to responsibility, infused with excitement of what you are moving “towards to”.
Not that many years ago, I was about to take a huge leap into something that felt overwhelmingly scary.
I was equal parts enthralled and terrified to my bones! I sat, confused tears streaming down my face. The pit in my stomach growing, unsure whether I could trust all the analysis I had done.
And as I sat there listening to an amazing Podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown, I had the epiphany that changed the course of my life and career.
IT DOESN’T MATTER IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT.
What? Am I crazy? No. It was never about the landing. I would have the ride of my life regardless of how it worked out in the end. Even if I crashed and burned, I would have taken the leap. I would have trusted myself. I would have tried something many die with, still locked in their hearts. And really, what’s the worst that could happen? This wasn’t life or death actually. I dried my tears. I stood up straighter and I committed my heart to bravery. I knew there and than, that at any point I could remind myself of this epiphany.
Spoiler alert: it’s worked out just fine. More than fine. AND I’ve had the absolute ride of my life.