Terrifying small businesses the world over, failure is the bogeyman lurking under so many of our beds. It’s the reason you find it hard to make big decisions. And it’s what’s stopping you from taking your business to the next level.
To overcome fear of failure, we need to understand failure better. Is it really so bad? Taking risks and making mistakes is how you drive change, iterate, and do better next time. So why is the fear of failure so utterly crippling? And how can you out-manoeuvre it to move your business forward?
Here are some of the tips shared by successful solopreneurs who’ve overcome the fear of failure to transform their businesses.
Feel the Fear and Move Forward Anyway
For solopreneurs and small business owners, failure is personal. Your business is an extension of you: you can’t walk away from a bad judgement call. You’re not working for a large organisation that has your back. This is your enterprise, your ideas, all at your own risk. If you fail, you know it’s resoundingly on you.
But because it’s so personal, you care. Being passionate about your business is a good thing: it’s how you’ll make your business succeed. Passion drives your ideas, makes you show up and your customers keep on coming back. So acknowledging that you’re afraid of failure because you care so much, is a good starting point.
And then you just have to cosy up and make friends with it.
Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity
Samuel Beckett said “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” and he made a good point: you have to make some mistakes to get to where you need to go. Just look at Bill Gates. His first business was a huge failure, but he took what he learned and used it to build Microsoft. Failing hard can be the route to big success: if you don’t try, you’ll never know. So you shouldn’t fear failure, rather see it as a stepping stone to success. Or as Albert Einstein said “Failure is success in progress”.
Building Resilience and Bravado in Business
Being an entrepreneur or solopreneur is 90% cold, hard bravado. You know you have to believe in yourself to make your business work. If you listen to fear, ‘what if’ becomes ‘let’s not’, which is the end of the road for ideas and progress. Fear and doubt crumble resolve, paralyse decision-making and make mincemeat of motivation. The good news? There are techniques to banish them so you can hold your nerve and drive success like the legend you are.
- Listen to your fears (for a moment) – some may be legitimate and will help you to manage risk. Use them to help make good decisions and navigate the challenges ahead.
- Refocus your fear into positivity – Think about how much you love your business and the things you can do to push it to the next level. Choose to take bold, affirmative actions, rather than fearing the mistakes you might make.
- Fear missed opportunities, not mistakes – If you don’t take risks, your business will fail. Your competitors will get there before you do. Fear that – and use it as a catalyst for action.
Creating a Resilient Business with Virtual Assistant Insights
Be more Beckett, Einstein or Gates and embrace failure. Don’t think ‘what’s gone wrong?’ but ‘what have we learned’? Every step you take in your business journey is an opportunity to learn – good and bad. So you need to foster an environment where it’s ok to make mistakes and take risks. Build yourself a soft landing, so small trip-ups don’t mean spending 24 hrs in A&E.
- Practice self care – When you’re working hard, negative self-talk and burnout spirals can escalate. Before you know it, you can’t cope. Take time to prioritise wellbeing: go for a walk. Listen to a podcast. Take a ‘me’ day and get some perspective.
- Build a healthy relationship with social media – It’s comforting to remind yourself that there are never as many people watching as you think. Make your relationship with social media manageable. If you keep it at arm’s length, it’s much easier to shut down if things get too much.
- Separate personal and professional – You need to have a ‘you’ outside of your business so that a work problem isn’t also a personal problem. Building a happy life outside work means if you have a bad day, you have somewhere you can retreat to and the drama is halved.
- Seek support – It may be your business. But you don’t have to do everything on your own. Mentorship, coaching, online networks with like-minded business owners are all untapped places where you can find support and strength as well as perspective when you need it most.
- Bring on a virtual assistant – Talk to us at Level Up about finding an assistant who can help you run your day-to-day tasks. Then the runway’s clear for you to propel your business into the future. Admin, operations, planning – bring on a VA with the skills you need and find success together. It’s a lot easier than going it alone.
Expanding Your Support Network with Virtual Assistants
Solopreneur support through virtual assistant services can be transformative. Delegating tasks like administration, operations, and planning to a virtual assistant can clear the path for strategic business growth.
Our team at Level Up is ready to partner with you, providing the virtual assistant support you need to focus on overcoming challenges and achieving success. Book your free call with us to get things started!