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Entrepreneurs’ Biggest Fears and How to Overcome Them

Entrepreneurs' Biggest Fears and How to Overcome Them 2Being an entrepreneur is an exciting life adventure. It gives you the opportunity to turn your passions and top skills into a source of income, to create something and leave your mark in this world. But it is also a life where doubts nag you, where you ask yourself questions whose answers are not clear.

This is the rite of passage for all entrepreneurs. And the fact that you have fears means that you are realistic in your business endeavors. Those who never fear and never question themselves are usually bound to fail. But you need to understand that being trapped in your fears is not a solution, either. It just serves as a phase you must go through to find your motivation and inner resources to succeed.

What are your biggest fears? Most certainly, they are the same as every entrepreneur’s fears at one moment or another. Even iconic leaders you look up to had their fears – and they still do, albeit at a higher level. Let us spell it out for you – these are your biggest fears and the ways in which you can overcome them.

1. Fear of Having No Safety Net
What if your business fails? Your money is lost, you have left your job already and you can no longer provide for your family. It is a valid fear for any first-time entrepreneur, but there are ways to mitigate it. One of the most important ways in which you can do this is by putting aside your personal assets and not using them as security for your business.

Do not invest every cent you own in your business. Do not use your home as collateral for a loan. Do not forfeit your pension fund for a credit line. Start small and use your initial earnings to grow your business (this will also bring you tax relief, for reinvesting the profit in the business).

2. Fear of Not Being Liked by All Potential Customers
Running a business is the process of providing people with products and services which they need and like. But what if they do not like what you have to offer? Worse, what if they do not like your marketing approach? How can you please everyone?

The answer is simple: you can’t. Your success in business depends on identifying a niche market which you can own. It is a niche which you can address in a way which is appealing to the customers. It is a niche close to your skills, hobbies, passion and abilities. Your business can never be everything for everyone – it just needs to be something valuable for some people.

3. Fear of Failing to Complete All Tasks
It is hard being a Jack-of-all-trades: you are the marketer, the accountant, the client service representative and the manager, all in one. And you see your personal life shrinking to the point of disappearing in front of all the tasks you must do. Worse, you feel that, no matter how hard you work, you won’t be able to complete all your tasks.

Many new entrepreneurs believe that they should multitask – do several things at the same time, so they are all completed and they will also have more spare time. This is absolutely not the way to go about it. A study conducted by Stanford University proved that people who multitask tend to make more mistakes and complete tasks later than people who complete them task by task.

4. Fear of Losing Your Business Creativity
“What if this is the only product/service I can develop?” This is the question many entrepreneurs ask themselves. It is true that a business needs to perfect, update and expand its product range in order to be successful. But this does not happen overnight. And the more you interact with your prospects and social media followers, the more you understand their expectations. Soon enough, you will find an idea for a new product, or for improving the existing ones.

Plus, as you start networking and attending business events, you will be exposed to a whole new world of entrepreneurship, where you can find more resources to make sure your business keeps thriving.

5. Fear of Failure
We have left this for last because it is the worst fear entrepreneurs are facing at one point or another in their life. This fear goes beyond losing money: it is about losing face. It is the fear of having your family and friends know that you failed in the biggest dream you had.

But what if you don’t try to achieve this dream? Are you not afraid of a life of remorse, of “what ifs”? They are even worse than the doubts you have now, as you prepare to launch into business. So, go for your dream – not as a dreamer, but as a pragmatic businessman. No one can give you definite guarantees of success, but you will certainly do your best – and fortune usually favors the brave and hard working.


Powerful Ways to Turn Failure into Success in Business

Powerful Ways to Turn Failure into Success in BusinessOne of the most powerful fears we all have is fear of failure. Failure is more than just losing money. You lose face in front of everyone who knows you. You lose your self-confidence and your belief in your skills and talents. Yes, failure can be crippling…but only if you allow it to be so.

In truth, some of the most seasoned entrepreneurs have gone through their share of failures. They lost everything or a significant part of what they owned, but they still believed in their ability to create something useful, valuable and leave their legacy through a business endeavor.

The secret of moving on is to turn your failure into a ramp for boosting yourself forward to a new business enterprise. You have to find ways to turn your failure into motivation for success. While there is no secret formula for it, here are a few useful tips and advice.

1. Be Kind to Yourself after a Failure
We all talk to ourselves – in our mind or aloud when no one is around. We congratulate ourselves when we succeed and we chide ourselves when we fail. Be critical to yourself, but don’t bash yourself in. In the next few days after your failure, you are very vulnerable. You are trying to make sense of what happened and accept defeat. Admit the failure, but do not create a negative image of yourself in your subconscious.

There is one immutable truth: you become what you believe you are. If you cannot separate yourself from your failure, you will start believing that you ARE a failure. And this is a very dangerous path to take.

2. Analyze Your Failure
A failure is a complete loss for you if you cannot learn anything from it. Once you have got over your initial shock and disbelief, start analyzing the chain of events and decisions which led to the failure. Somewhere down the line you made a mistake. Maybe you were overly enthusiastic in estimating your market size or cash flow. Maybe you believed too much in your product and failed to test a minimum viable product (MVP) properly.

At any rate, once you understand what went wrong, you have learned a lesson. This lesson will help you become a better entrepreneur.

3. If You Fail at First…Try and Try Again
Henry Ford declared bankruptcy twice before he became the iconic car manufacturer we all know. Steve Jobs was fired from the company he founded and then got it back. Henry J. Heinz failed in the simple business of selling horse radishes. He decided to try making ketchup and nowadays you probably have a bottle of Heinz ketchup in your pantry.

All these businessmen and many others failed and recouped and tried again. They did not let fear define them. They had that entrepreneurial spark still shining within them. If you do have it, do not let it die out. Try and try again.

4. Seek Feedback
You can be easily biased by the fact that you failed at something you believed in so passionately. This is why you probably do not see all the facets of your failure. Ask your friends, your acquaintances and your network of business associates and partners to share their views on your failure.

They will probably tell you things which will hurt you momentarily, but remember that they do not want to humiliate you, but to offer their honest view on what went wrong. Their feedback will help you think outside the box and discover some inherent mistakes you kept making without being aware of them.

5. Be Enthusiastic about a New Beginning
Every new business venture is an adventure. It is your chance to start building something meaningful all over again, to overcome your shortcomings and to prove to yourself and to others that you can do it. Every successful entrepreneur on this planet is, first and foremost, an enthusiast – someone who enjoys what they are doing and looks forward to the future and not in the past.


Home-Based Businesses and Zoning Laws

Home-Based Businesses and Zoning LawsRunning a home-based business should be simple enough: you get your license, register yourself with the IRS and you start operating. Actually, it is a little more complicated. There is an issue called zoning which can effectively prevent you from running certain kinds of businesses out of your home.

What Are Zoning Laws?
The development of American cities follows a certain pattern: you have business areas, industrial areas and residential areas. The zoning laws tell people owning or renting property what kind of activities they can perform in a specific area. For example, you would not open a children’s park in the middle of an industrial area with lots of factories, heavy machinery and pollution. And you would not open an adult entertainment facility in an office building.

Now, when it comes to residential areas, the inherent value of properties depends on how the respective area is perceived by potential buyers: safe for children, quiet, a civilized, helpful and friendly community, etc. In order to safeguard these values, the zoning laws limit various activities, even if you believe that they are not impacting your neighbors and the community as a whole.

These are the key aspects related to your home business which make it ineligible according to zoning laws:

1. Vehicle Parking
Whether you live in a residential complex or in a detached home, there are limitations to the number of vehicles you may park in your designated parking area, usually two or three. Therefore, if your business involves many deliveries, or the use of commercial trucks and vans, you may be in violation of your zoning laws with regard to vehicle parking.

A solution for this issue is to rent a mail address where you can receive your supplies and bring them home in your own car. This will also solve the problem of giving your home address to every delivery agent and supplier.

2. Customers Coming to Your Home Office
Residential communities are very careful about safety. Nobody likes to see a constant coming and going of strangers. This is even less acceptable if you live in a gated community or a residential complex. Your neighbors could and will complain to the administrator of the residential area and you may be forced to stop running your business.

There are options for you in this situation, as well: meet with clients in cafés, or rent office space by the hour in special business incubator hubs which offer small entrepreneurs the chance to conduct their activities in a professional environment.

3. Noise
Noise is a big no-no in all residential communities. Once they came back from their busy jobs, people want to relax and rest at home. They certainly do not want to hear you crafting products or operating any machines which cause noise. Most certainly, you cannot run these machines even in your garage.

The only solution is quite expensive: you should soundproof your workshop to your neighbors’ satisfaction.

4. Keeping Dangerous Goods
Chemicals of all kind, and flammable or potentially explosive materials are completely forbidden in residential homes. If your home-based business involves working with such substances and goods, then you should consider renting an adequate workshop in an area which permits such substances.

5. Signage
Displaying a sign for your home-based business is also forbidden in residential areas. According to local or homeowners’ association regulations, you may be even required to maintain the aspect of your house in a specific manner. Any changes, including signage, are not acceptable.

The only way out is to challenge the rules by official proceedings or try to obtain an exception for your home.

Last, but not least, when you start planning your home business, imagine your neighbors doing the exact thing you want to do. Would their activities impact your life? This initial consideration will help you decide whether you can run that business from home according to the zoning laws in your area.

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