It’s the most common reason many would-be entrepreneurs never venture outside their comfy cubicles.
It’s what keeps many small businesses from reaching their potential.
And it could be killing your small business.
What is it?
5 Phobias that are killing your small business
I’ve seen them time and time again: 5 common fears that many small business owners and entrepreneurs fall prey to–and they can kill your small business if you don’t watch out.
So what are these common phobias?
Perhaps the most common phobia of them all (and most wanted for small-business murder) is Failure-phobia.
Entrepreneurs have a natural tendency to want to be successful. But with that blessing, comes the curse of being afraid of failure.
It’s something almost all would-be entrepreneurs (and even some seasoned entrepreneurs) face and have to push through.
So how do you get over the fear of failure? The same way you conquer your fear of heights: jump out of a plane.
Jump right in to freelancing or running a small business. Try it out.
Freelance on the nights and weekends to prove to yourself that you can be a success. Once you’re ready to fly solo, leave your job (if that’s your goal…there’s nothing wrong with working a full-time job and running a small business on the side) and make the jump into entrepreneurship!
You’ll always have little failures along the way, but small failures are a moment to grow and learn–not a moment to give up and count yourself as an all-around failure.
Small failures do not equate to big ones if you simply handle them well, learn from them, and move on.
Conquer your fear of failure today by doing something totally off the wall.
I know lots of would-be entrepreneurs who are afraid to start out on their own because “their benefits at work are just too good.”
Enter phobia number 2, Benephobia: the fear of losing benefits.
Now remember, you’re talking to a guy here with a wife and toddler who has a full-time job as a marketer/designer and freelances on the nights and weekends (don’t hate me).
So I totally get this fear.
But if the thought of losing benefits is keeping you from reaching your dreams (my full-time job actually helps me reach mine), then it’s time you take the next step and make the move to entrepreneurship.
Take your family to the dentist and doctor one last time and then quit your job (if that’s what you want) and strike out on your own. There are plenty of other ways to get “benefits.”
There is far too much information on small-business benefits for freelancers/entrepreneurs, so we’ll cover that in a detailed post in the near future.
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This one might feel out of place a little bit, but I see it all the time.
The Phone-phobia is one that often hurts entrepreneurs who have decided to take a chance and start their small business.
They start finding clients and building a reputation, but they’re afraid to get on the phone with anyone.
(This phobia is especially common among those of us who are 18-30 right now.)
Let’s face it: emailing, texting, sending a message on facebook are all much less threatening.
But there’s no better way to impress a client; no better way to close a sale; no better way to build a partnership than with a personal phone call.
How do you overcome this common phobia?
Make rules for yourself.
For example, tell yourself that every third encounter you have with any client, will be on the phone instead of via email or text. Or make it a point to call a client or partner if any situation takes more than a few sentences to explain.
You’ll find yourself building networks more quickly, plus you’ll save all sorts of time: writing a long email can take double or triple the time (or more) to write–not to mention all the back-and-forth time you and the recipient must spend after the fact.
Pick up the phone…it’s really not that scary.
If you haven’t heard the truth about running a small business yet, here it is: it’s hard work. It takes a lot of time. You had better be committed, or you’ll never make it.
Another common phobia would-be entrepreneurs have is fear of not having time to do what you need to run your business and not having enough time to spend with family and friends.
How do you overcome this fear?
You have to realize you are the keeper of your time.
You can get a lot more done in a little time than you think.
I learned this lesson when I got my full-time job and had to limit my blogging to only 40 minutes each day (that includes writing, moderating comments, promoting posts, networking, editing guest posts, finding advertisers, working with affiliates and much much more.)
It was then that I realized I needed to work hard on my streams of passive income.
Slowly, but surely, my dollars per hour worked have gone up over the last year and I couldn’t be more pleased.
You are the owner of your time. You decide how you use it and you decide how it benefits or hurts you.
The last business phobia I’ve seen a lot of new entrepreneurs shy away from is the fear of the hard sell. In fact, many newcomers to business wonder,
“Is it possible to be a great salesman and still be likeable?”
I say “yes, it is.”
Why are so many aspiring entrepreneurs afraid of hard-selling people on their business, company, or services?
There are a few likely reasons:
1. They’ve been sold to way too much themselves and find salespeople annoying.
2. They’ve tried the path of sales (perhaps door-to-door summer sales) and find it tedious and emotionally draining.
3. They think the only way to be an effective salesperson is to lie, bloat the truth, and make impossible claims.
But here’s the deal: it’s your business.
If you don’t want to make people angry by hard-selling in a traditional way, then don’t. If you don’t want to twist the truth and bloat the facts to make the sale, don’t.
It’s that simple.
But you have to sell.
That’s what business is all about. If you don’t make money, you’re not in business. You’ve got a very time-consuming hobby on your hands.
The best part about being an entrepreneur is that you are the master of your destiny.
You decide how you do business.
You decide how you treat customers.
So don’t be afraid of sales–find your preferred way of “selling.”
And then run with it.
What phobias have held you back?
Everyone has some fear(s) that hold them back from reaching their full potential. If you share yours with me by leaving a comment on this post, I will do my best to help you overcome it. Deal? Great! Good luck.Written by Preston D Lee Preston is the founder of GDB, a designer, programmer, marketer, and entrepreneur.