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What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Fear

fear of failure in business

In Big Magic (the book we’re reading this month in Fearless Femmepire, my online book club + community for fearless entrepreneurs), Gilbert writes “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.” I’m grateful I get to speak to dozens of women around the world each week during my free Legal Checkup sessions and client calls. Whether a woman’s connected with me because she needs legal templates or needs business mentorship via BizStorming sessions, she shares something in common with all of the women I’ve spoken to before her: fear.

“Entrepreneur Fear” shows up in our businesses in 2 major ways:

  1. Fear prevents us from taking action, steps forward, or creating something we’re really passionate about.
  2. Fear stunts our creativity and leaves us feeling frustrated, stuck, and confused about what to do next.

The first one is the type of entrepreneur fear I hear the most and the reason most women contact me to work together. Let’s dive a little deeper into that one first…

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Fear of Moving Forward

Women usually tell me fear has kept them from moving forward in their businesses in some way. In some cases, it’s prevented them from even getting started. Maybe they don’t come right out and say it, but they’ll usually say “I really want to start working with people 1-on-1, but I’m nervous about the legal side of things and I really don’t know what I need and how to use it.” Luckily, for that type of fear, they found the right girl ; )

No matter what type of business they have or how confident they might seem, they’re afraid to…

  • Get started without any sort of legal protection because they don’t know what they need & they’re afraid to get in trouble
  • Create their 1st program, course, service, or product because they want to protect themselves & their businesses first but don’t know how
  • Start their own business because they’re afraid so many people are already in the space
  • Show the world who they really are because, like me, they went down a path that didn’t truly serve them

No matter what the fear is about, it keeps them from moving forward in their amazing businesses. If their fear is at all related to legal, that’s where I come in. Not only can I offer them the contracts and website documents they need to get their businesses going, but all of my clients later tell me that having the How-To Video Tutorials that come with each template liberated their fear. Not only do the videos coach you through where you need to fill-in-the-blanks in the templates, but I include some business coaching throughout the video to help you truly understand what the document (and its language) means and how to use it to your advantage.

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Helping Our Clients With Fear

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that what I do helps to propel women’s businesses forward. It’s amazing how much a little information and encouragement can do for a person. Women come to me so confused, fearful, and frustrated with what to do next in their businesses because of the legal stuff. After becoming my client, they’re not afraid anymore. After that, they feel so confident to go out and create the businesses, programs, and content they truly wanted to create but were afraid to before. Don’t just listen to me, my clients will tell you themselves.

Remember this in your own business. If you’re a coach or online entrepreneur, you have the power to break through someone else’s fear and help propel them forward just by providing them with some resources, information, or tools to feel more confident. Maybe they’re afraid to try a new diet, exercise regimen, or approach in their business. Either way, you can be there to provide them with the nudge and information they need to be able to confidently move forward and make changes happen.

You don’t have to tell your clients anything groundbreaking in order to make them feel more confident. In fact, anyone who’s ever had a coach herself knows that sometimes just saying something out loud to someone else and feeling heard is all you need. And you know more than you think — that’s why your client hired you.

How Fear Stunts Our Creativity

You know that feeling you get when you’ve stepped up to a busy restaurant counter and you have to make a decision super fast, while 30 people’s eyeballs are staring at you from behind? For me, it usually goes something like “uh, uh…. uh…. I’ll take the grilled cheese!”

OK, so making decisions in our businesses is a little different than being forced to make a decision about sandwiches under pressure, but you get the idea. We don’t make the best decisions (and sometimes we don’t make any decisions) when we feel forced or under pressure. This is why I suggest to my clients that they carefully plan their exits from their full-time job before they take the leap. Amazing businesses aren’t typically built under immense financial pressure.

Just like your creativity won’t blossom when your mind is remunerating all of the fears we talked about above.

You’re not going to write a moving blog post if you’re afraid of what people will think of you for writing it.

You’re not going to create great live videos or social media posts if you’re afraid you don’t sound smart enough in them.

And you’re certainly not going to help your clients if you think you’re not qualified enough to help. 

If you create your business with the mindset that the online space is too crowded, then your mind will hedge its bets and rely on fear to keep you safe and sound. Fear will keep you from actually doing anything, because then you don’t have to risk anything.

So what if, like Gilbert writes in Big Magic, we fight our fear less and lean into it? We accept that fear’s a part of being human, let alone an entrepreneur, but we say “YES!” to it more often. How would that change our businesses? How would it change our lives? Tell me in the comments below.

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