Setting out as an entrepreneur and making a success out of it is not a task for the faint-hearted. This reality is more pronounced in a peculiar business terrain such as Nigeria. Indeed, most entrepreneurs have the mind-set of an orphan as the pains of failure is borne all alone. This is why success is a driving force for all entrepreneurs. This alone is what gets them widespread adulation and praise.
Yudala, the largest online and offline retail chain examines some of the biggest fears faced by entrepreneurs.
Fear of not being good enough: Many encounter this particular self-doubt at various stages of the entrepreneurial journey. It is a fear that continually gnaws away at the confidence to take bold steps. During difficult times and especially when set-backs occur, the mind will often come up with various reasons why you don’t have what it takes to cut it at the top. The key to overcoming this is to remember that this fear is not alien to other entrepreneurs. Competitors will always be out there with better connections or financial muscle than you. Remain consistent in chasing your passion and allow it work for you.
Fear of re-inventing: Success as an entrepreneur often involves the ability to innovate; to constantly re-invent and fine-tune your offerings, business processes and solutions to meet changing times and needs. A lot of entrepreneurs, including the successful ones, face the fear of evolving at one time or another. This often happens when entrepreneurs grow their business to a certain point and feel comfortable with the position or status attained. In such situations, it becomes difficult to face what needs to be done when faced with the idea of expansion or re-invention. As an entrepreneur, the ability to constant re-invent or engage in positive disruption is a quality that sets you apart. Embrace it!
Fear of failure: This is perhaps the biggest fear faced by all aspiring and established entrepreneurs. The immense burden, shame and psychological effects of failure not only weighs down an entrepreneur; it also creates a huge mental block in the minds of many aspiring ones, preventing them from venturing into business or giving their passions a try. Interestingly though, one of the secrets of most successful entrepreneurs, is their view of failure: it is not an end in itself. Although still prone to the fear of failure, they do not allow it shape their thinking and actions.
Fear of the unknown: Entrepreneurs function in a system that is heavily susceptible to market forces, currency fluctuations and government policies. These factors lend a measure of unpredictability to the business environment. Investment decisions could go south as a result of an unfavourable or sharp shift in any of the afore-mentioned factors. As a result, entrepreneurs live in constant dread of the unknown. This should not in any way reduce the entrepreneurial zeal or the drive to pursue your dreams. As the Holy Book says in Ecclesiastes 11: 4: “He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.”
Fear of betrayal by trusted associates: Life as an entrepreneur often involves an element of partnership or entrusting certain core responsibilities to others. However, the experience of most successful entrepreneurs usually takes in one or two incidences of betrayal or let-downs, often by trusted associates and/or business partners. This fear is real and one that a lot of entrepreneurs have to deal with on the way to success. This should not, however, prevent you from reaching out or giving people a chance to prove themselves. A healthy dose of optimism is one quality that has helped some of the best entrepreneurs cope with this fear. Caution and due diligence also come in handy here.
Fear of ideas drying up: This is a fear that confronts most entrepreneurs who rely heavily on making fortunes out of their ideas. A perfect way of overcoming this fear is to observe other successful entrepreneurs. One quality they all have in common is that scarcity of mind does not afflict them. These are the individuals who are constantly thinking up new ways to make money, more good people to hire and with whom to work, new ventures to invest in or investors to pitch ideas to…
The beauty of being an entrepreneur in a country such as Nigeria lies in the numerous opportunities that abound to create and sustain wealth. Despite the peculiar challenges encountered by aspiring and established entrepreneurs, many agree that the Nigerian economy arguably remains one of the few around with the potential to transform a hopeless start-up into a multi-million-dollar business in a few years’ time. This should be the motivating factor for every struggling entrepreneur out there.
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