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How to fight fear in Small Business

As entrepreneurs our lives revolve around our businesses, so it’s no surprise we sometimes worry about things going wrong. We have bills to pay, families to support, competitors to fight and customers to keep happy.

But fear shouldn’t stop us from pursuing our dreams. Here are four ways to fight fear and stay in control.

1. Cross bridges when you get to them

Many of the things we fear we will never actually face.

The biggest stressor most people have to cope with is ‘what if’.

What if a client doesn’t pay? What if a product malfunctions? What if, what if, what if?

It’s easier said than done, but it’s important to not let your mind race with hypotheticals. Keep in mind that fear responses are automatic and natural; but that they don’t always make sense in the modern world.

Acknowledge your concerns and then examine the information in front of you. Is there a legitimate concern right now? Do you have a reason to believe something bad might happen? Have there been any actual signs?

Usually, we find that we’re just worrying about nothing, or misinterpreting information.

And if you do ever encounter a problem, or something does go wrong, deal with it then. Spending weeks or years mentally preparing for worst case scenarios is exhausting and unnecessary.

Every day you become more skilled. Things that terrify you now will become easier with time. Have a think; there are probably lots of things in your life that you wouldn’t have dared embrace a few years ago.

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2. Make a survival plan

Let’s say you’ve examined the data in front of you and you’ve found there is in fact something to worry about. But worrying isn’t very productive; if you think you might have to face a problem, make a plan.

What steps could you take to rectify a problem that arises? What resources would you need? Make a short, practical list of steps and then stick to it in case anything ever does happen.

It might also be worth having some practical things in place to provide you with confidence, like a little backup money in a separate account.

While it’s important to not overthink every little thing and panic about what if’s, having a plan in place for worst case scenarios can help give you a little comfort and stability.

3. Connect with other business owners

Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur you can’t do it all alone. It’s important to connect with other business owners and share your experiences and insights.

Chances are they’ve overcome some of the very scenarios you’re worried about! Hearing from people who have made mistakes can help you prevent the same from happening to your business, and will provide proof that things going wrong doesn’t mean the end.

Having a peer group of other entrepreneurs can also help you understand elements of business you may have felt insecure about. It’s important to learn from and support one another!

4. Remember that it gets better

Every day, week and month that you spend working you become more skilled. You learn more about business, about yourself, you gain talent and knowledge.

Things that terrify you now will become easier with time. Have a think; there are probably lots of things in your life that you wouldn’t have dared embrace a few years ago.

The best way to learn is with experience, so don’t let fear hold you back; remember that you’re growing and learning all the time.

- Lena Klein

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