Entrepreneurs must face the Fear of Success

For entrepreneurs fear of success can be more debilitating than the fear of failure.

During a conversation with one of the companies that we work with; we realized that the entrepreneur is unknowingly sabotaging their own success, by overthinking each activity and looking to reach perfection instead of effectiveness.

During the conversation, we deep dived into the issues affecting his indecisiveness. Understanding that the concern is not what he was expressing but what he was not saying.

It was not about product, market fit, value proposition, customer acquisition, but it much more fundamental — the question — What happens when customers buy our product ? What happens next ?

Entrepreneurs struggle, not only with the fear of failure but the fear of success.

What happens if what I am involved works ?

How do you build the company if I have never done it before ?

What does building a company mean ?

What happens if I need to scale ?

Am I ready to operate it and grow ?

Can I scale it ?

Do I want to scale it ?

What about funds ?

What about people ?

What about ……?

Entrepreneurs start working through the answers before the questions are even relevant to their situation. Undermining their path to success while trying to answer all the possible unknowns.

It is that fear — the fear of the unknown and what to do, that makes each decision and activity so critical. In some cases, it’s easier to debate and ponder on the many possible answers than to take the action that is right in front of you.

Fear of success can be debilitating, it imperils the decision making and over thinking of each activity. — do not let it stop you from moving forward — Knowing your goal and understanding the journey is key to help entrepreneurs overcome the many challenges they will face.

There are many methods and tools to help you remain focused through this journey. This is one that we use with our clients;

The three circles — an exercise to achieve business clarity.

The three circle exercise is used in a workshop setting to help the entrepreneur achieve clarity about the key foundations of the company.The value of the document is not only on what it delivers, it also becomes a reference point, when doubts or questions creep up.

3 Circles Exercise — Courtesy of Ureeka

The Quadrant method — a method for entrepreneurs to focus on their key objectives and activities

It provides a clear process to help the entrepreneur remain focused on the important objectives and the key activities to achieve in a short period of time to reach them. The method helps individuals to not be distracted by external actives that may influence their decisions or delay action.

Quadrant Exercise — Courtesy of Ureeka

There are many other methods and tools to use. Use whatever you are comfortable. The objective is simple — as an entrepreneur you must remain focused on the objective and understand the steps required to achieve it.

By documenting it, it helps to regain clarity during the moments of fear or doubt.

Also, when such fears enters the equation. Reach out to your business advisors, board or friends to provide guidance and make you work through those challenges and become unstuck.

Otherwise worrying about what may happen if you’re successful may prevent you from reaching such objective and your fear of success will drive you towards inaction and failure.