Manage Your Fears: Six Exercises for Startup Owners

At any given time, establishing a startup is never an easy task. This, however, becomes more difficult for first-time entrepreneurs who do not have much background and experience in managing a company.

Because of the uncertain and ambiguous nature of most startups, would-be entrepreneurs usually find themselves facing a number of fears and misgivings about starting a business. These fears – which are often tied with the need to perform unfamiliar chores and tackle unforeseen challenges, among others – affect one’s performance and would usually lead to a rather disastrous outcome.

Fears are always present, that is the reality. And in order to overcome them, entrepreneurs should keep in mind that their goal is not to get rid it. Instead, they need to have the ability to transform the adrenaline that naturally arises from fears into an energy that can inspire them to move forward. Unmanaged, fear can be destructive. But with proper control, it could turn into a motivating force. 

In an address at the University of California at Santa Barbara, entrepreneur Seth Epstein – an owner of a popular clothing line and the Founder-CEO of broadcast design firm FUEL – talked about fear management and provided several exercises that could help entrepreneurs, first-time or not, harness their fears.

The exercises try to deal with common trepidations faced even by those who are not in entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, Epstein notes that following the suggested tasks would increase one’s chances of being a successful business owner. He said that in order to thrive and enhance their capacity to deal with problems, entrepreneurs must face and do things that they are afraid of.

Following are Epstein’s list of exercises to help startup owners manage their fears:

Go out on a date. Inviting someone to have dinner or watch a movie is one of the most common fears in town. This, therefore, should be on the top of the “face your fears” list. Unfortunately, this exercise is only for those who are still available.

Talk to strangers. People are usually afraid of conversing with unfamiliar people. This is understandable, considering the popular warning that parents often say to their children. Grown-ups, however, must keep in mind that it is important to talk to others, especially in social gatherings and other events.

Engage in an extreme challenge. A lot of people do not participate in extreme physical activities because they are afraid of falling, drowning, or simply losing control of themselves. If you want to know how to manage your fears, then start engaging in activities such as parachuting, bungee jumping, surfing, diving, etc.

Connect with our idol. Try to contact a very important person that you really admire. Look for his or her e-mail address or send a note via regular means. This does not only give you an opportunity to connect with your idol, it also prevents you from being intimidated whenever you face a high-profile person.

Go out and have an adventure. Participating in a challenging trip to an unfamiliar location will help you get used to unfamiliar circumstances and develop your resourcefulness – a very advantageous exercise for entrepreneurs.

Say yes to every opportunity for a week. People are afraid of grabbing opportunities because they are afraid that it will disrupt the status quo and will eventually lead to disasters. For a week, try to keep an open mind and say yes to every relatively safe opportunity that you come upon. This will help you discover things that you will never learn every time you say no.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

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