It’s Shmoney Monday – today we’re talking about overcoming the fear of failure in business.
Alesha from Atlanta wrote me saying :
I watch your Money Monday videos and they are so motivating. I have a great idea for a natural skin care line but I’m afraid of everything that might happen if I fail… I’m a wife and mother of two and we need my paycheck to make ends meet, so failing would cost me and my family so much. I’m stuck. I feel like I have to choose between my business dreams and continuing to support my family. Can you help?
I know change can be a scary thing. When you’re going after your dreams and you begin taking the steps toward owning your financial future, you find yourself in a position to make all of the important decisions but along with that comes the weight of knowing that if anything does go wrong, it’s all on you. That fear of failure is what stops most of us from reaching for more. Especially when it’s not just us, but we have our kids and partners also relying on us to provide that stability that is so necessary at home.
So how can we overcome our fear of failing in business? I’ve broken my answer down in two parts: mindset and strategy.
Let’s start with the mindset portion of my answer:
It starts with us understanding the opportunity cost we’ll have to pay if we choose fear over freedom.
Many women consider shrinking back, not going after their goals and settling into a life they know is less than the one they really want to live a service or sacrifice they’re making for the greater good of their families. But they’re wrong. Especially if they have daughters that’ll internalize the idea that it’s not only okay but expected for a woman to sacrifice her dreams over fear masked as comfortability.
That’s opportunity cost.
In every situation you have a number of choices – including quitting or giving up before you even start – but with each choice you make, you have to understand that you are giving up the opportunities that comes with the alternatives.
So, when you choose fear over pursuing your financial freedom, what are you giving up?
The opportunity to show your kids the real role a woman is supposed to play in life – one where she takes ownership over her circumstances and isn’t shrinking back but is leaning in to ensure the best possible reality for herself and her family.
You’re giving up the chance to push yourself to new heights and really show yourself what you’re made of – which I can promise, is so much more than you think.
You’re giving up the opportunity to join the millions of women around the world that are changing the status quo of workplace politics, not because a group of men are allowing them to but because these women who empowered themselves financially – and weren’t beholden to the whims of any men – decided it was time to change things for the generations to come.
Understand, when you choose fear over freedom, that is what you’re giving up.
Now onto the strategy part of my answer.
How do you minimize the fear of failing in business? Approach business with strategy, solid planning and leave as little up to chance as possible.
Wanna know how you can you ensure your startup becomes a success? My biggest piece of advice: don’t approach business like you would’ve before 2015. What I mean by that is in the olden days, back in the 1980’s, 90’s & early 2000’s, the approach to starting a business included spending months drafting an 800 page business plan, locking in tons of capital, securing a brick and mortar, building out an expensive team, paying marketing and branding agencies boatloads – and then hoping the market would buy enough of your product or service to pay everyone back and eventually, one day, you might turn a profit and sell your company or go public – all while the founders have become slaves to their business – hustling for 18 hours a day, not enjoying the fruits of their labor.
As a millennial business startup coach, I don’t allow any of my clients to waste time or resources on ANY of those things because applying that same approach today would be asinine and would put you at an incredible disadvantage. With the advent of e-commerce, social media marketing and globalization, starting a business in 2018 is literally as simple as putting up a webpage, running a few ads to test the viability of your product or service, pivoting and tweaking until your product and offer speak to your target market (which you’ll know because they’ll be buying) and then scaling those efforts by systematizing the process.
All of this can be done in a matter of weeks for less than a few hundred dollars.
So start with steps one and two: build a simple website that offers your product for sale; then run some ads targeting your ideal customer. If no one buys, its either your product or your messaging. Tweak your messaging, try tweaking your target audience, try tweaking your product presentation. If all the tweaking and twerking in the world can’t get anyone to buy your product, no one wants it. Scrap it and try something else.
So, while you still have your day job, dip your toe into the side hustle space by testing your products using the process I just outlined. When you finally have a product that hits, scale it and when your side hustle income meets or beats your main paycheck, maybe it’s time to consider taking the leap toward full time entrepreneurship.
And if you’re interested in entering the green rush, I’m hosting a free business webinar on Wednesday October 31 at CharloGREENE.com/webinar.