Today more people than ever are driven to start their own business. While the idea of being your own boss and creating something you love can be exhilarating, many entrepreneurs also feel that sense of fear when getting started. After all, the potential for failure is high in the early stages of a startup, and new businesses don’t always survive their early years.
Some people will bend under the pressure while others will rise to the challenge despite their fear. To help you make sure you’re in the latter camp, 14 members of the Rolling Stone Culture Council share how entrepreneurs can overcome the fear of failure and move forward.
Learn from those who have failed before
The first thing every entrepreneur should do is learn from those who have failed before them. There are so many entrepreneurs who have failed before and they have learned what not to do and what mistakes to avoid. It’s important for any entrepreneur to remember that there will be failures, but it’s also important for them to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. – Kristin Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
Find the lesson
I have failed thousands of times in my life and will probably fail thousands more. The most important and critical part of failure is finding the lesson. Each time I failed, I learned something from that situation, adjusted, and made it a point to grow as an entrepreneur. – Jayson Sawyer, JABM Enterprises
Change your thought process
If you want to build a business from scratch, your mindset about failure has to change. You have to see failure as a lesson and your startup as an experiment – much like scientists do when they find a formula. If you do it this way, you realize that every failure brings you closer to success. Failures are data points that you can iterate over to get great business. – Jason Saltzman, relief
Watch your cash flow
The most important tip for anyone starting a business is knowing where your money is coming from and where it is going. Track which revenue streams are working or not working and do more of what is working. You must spend money sensibly. So, review your budget monthly. – Matt Campbell, My Wedding Songs
Know your industry
When you start, you never think about failure. If you do, you will fail. Knowing our market, understanding our product roadmap and having a great team has helped me know that we have something no one else has. Above all, know your industry better than all incumbents and new businesses. Tell the team where the future of the industry is going and what you think about it. If you’re right, the team will trust you on the roadmap. – Adam Rumanek, Aux Mode Inc.
Have a backup plan
Be able to deal with failure if it happens and don’t let setbacks get you down. Understand that failure is a building block of success. Undo any damage by having your own backup plan and maybe a few industry veterans to ask about your dream. Ask for help if you need it. If anyone could start a business, they would. Many cannot, but you can because you believe in it. Move forward. – Wayne Bell, Really Big Coloring Books® Inc. | ColoringBook.com
Ride the rough patches
Start by knowing that the best planning won’t prevent bumps in the road. Ride the difficult passages and keep going. Address the issues you can fix and let go of the things you can’t control. Evaluate your mistakes and view them as learning opportunities. –Sheila Dedenbach, Heavenly Sweet
Organize a mindset of failure
Lots of people have good ideas, but it’s those with tenacity, who fall and get up every day, who will succeed. Know that you will fail – you wouldn’t grow and improve if you didn’t – but take that failure and use it to improve, create new systems and procedures, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. A fail-forward mindset eliminates blame and encourages innovation. – Jason Hennessey, Digital Hennessey
It’s simple to say, but it can be difficult to implement, but for me, limiting time with naysayers who themselves wouldn’t have the courage to start something was essential. The beginnings of anything are fragile, and too much exposure to people who think it can’t be done because they can’t do it personally will water down the best creative impulses and will to succeed for ever. anyone. – Cate Rubenstein
Create and implement a business strategy
As with any investment in life, you need to do your research, create a business strategy, and plan for its implementation. Learn about your market and identify the top threats that can impact your business. Identify or create your business opportunities. Be humble and willing to learn from others. Trust your abilities. Don’t let fear guide you. Learn from small mistakes and small accomplishments. – Rene Nunez, Sensum
Start with an MVP
The best way is to start with a minimum viable product or service (MVP) for what you offer to minimize financial, time, and energy risk. We can do a lot of mindset changes, mental conditioning, and training, but the best way to overcome the fear of failure is to experience mini-successes. So once we have our MVP, then we should aim to attract users for our business and garner positive feedback. – Royston G King, Royston G King Group and Companies
Aim for smaller, achievable goals
As an entrepreneur, I have learned to think about the present through small daily actions. Without it, there is no future for your business (or any other). Aiming for smaller, achievable goals also reduces risk. –Jacob Mathison, Mathison Projects Inc.
Build a strong support system
Without a doubt, you should have a great support system in place and surround yourself with positive people. Assuming you’ve done all the research, work, and finances beforehand, it’s the only thing that can make or break you. This first year is rarely smooth. There will be issues that will arise, and having a great mentor, business partner, or friend there to help you through that is a necessity. – Karina Michel Feld, Tallulah Films
Find your “why”
Advocating for harm reduction and cannabis legalization policies while doing my PR work helped me find purpose behind the push and gave me greater ownership of my career. It also made me more resilient; if I failed at something, I could always pick myself up and try again, knowing that every step forward was helping others. Work for more than the bottom line – find what fuels your fire. – Evan Nison, NisonCo