Fear of failure

April 16th, 2013 → 1:20 pm @

There are lots of things to be afraid of on this planet.  Business failure isn’t one of them.  Yet many would-be entrepreneurs are paralysed by the fear of failure.

As I write this, the TV is showing the first reports of the Boston Marathon bombings.  Such events are now commonplace around the world and are so frequent in some countries that they barely make our news.  Then we have car accidents, disease, muggings… there are plenty of things to be afraid of if we’re prone to fear.  For most of us, these events are just risks we live with.  We shrug, take some precautions, and carry on.

Starting a business offers a substantial up-side in financial security and in a sense of accomplishment.  The down-side is unpleasant; bankruptcy, anger from investors and family, perhaps some ridicule… but that’s all.  So why are so many people who want to start businesses prone to paralysing fear?

Unlike things which can happen to us, like muggings and car accidents, starting a business is a matter of personal action and presumed control.  We think we are totally responsible for the outcomes, and our egos become hugely invested in the process.  Failure is a sign of personal inadequacy. (more…)

Entrepreneur behavior