What is an Entrepreneur's Worst Nightmare?
Without a doubt, an entrepreneur’s biggest fear is failing–understandably.
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Most new businesses fail. The thought of failure should not haunt entrepreneurs, but should encourage every entrepreneur to do more to succeed against the odds of failure. There are lots of ambiguities that comes with starting a new business. Most new entrepreneurs dread these first encounters and it’s okay.
The fear of FAILURE is the real nightmare!
Without a doubt, an entrepreneur’s biggest fear is failing–understandably. Greater percent of all businesses fail. When you’re starting with those kinds of odds, it’s OK to be a little freaked out. The list of what-ifs is endless: What if I’m not cut out for entrepreneurship? What if I can’t get this last deal? What if I go bankrupt? But the consequences of failure are mostly in your head. Get over your fears and face your doubts with courage. Remind yourself of what you are doing right and focus on what works.
As a young entrepreneur, I had started a venture knowing it can set me on course for a lifetime of fulfillment. Unfortunately being just 19 while starting up my first venture and 23 at present, I realized age can trigger societal stereotypes that try to make youth a liability rather than an asset. While dealing with conflicting social attitudes and other age-related resistance, you also have to face all the other pressures faced by anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur.
I learnt that your place in the startup world depends on how you navigate the obstacles in your way. Rather than letting other people discourage you from reaching your goals, learn about what you should expect and get ready to rise above the fray.
I learnt that your family members and friends might not understand why you chose to start a startup. They might not share your passion nor support your ideas. They also might question your decision not to work as a regular employee.
Life as a young entrepreneur seems exciting, but it brings challenges that you have to deal with on your pathway to success.
The first meeting with potential investors, if you have bootstrapped your business and need cash infusion to take it to the next level, an investor meeting will be a crucial point in your entrepreneurial journey. It even gets worse when your idea is yet to be fully developed into a product (even though it’s a viable idea). When everything depends on funds from investors, you will definitely not conformable until it’s all over.
Once an investor accepts to meet you for a presentation of your idea, there are just too many thoughts in your mind before the meeting itself. But there is no cause for alarm, as long as you have adequately prepared for it and are ready to deliver the greatest investor pitch of all time. You have a few minutes to make a lasting impression, make it count, don’t panic your way to failure.
Then begins the real nightmare, product launch, If you get past an investor pitch and come out with some funds, you should be comfortable enough to prepare for your product launch, but it’s not that easy to pull it off successfully. If you are starting your business with your personal funds, savings or borrowed money from friends, investor pressure will not be of concern to you but you will still be desperate to know how your prospective customers will respond to your product launch.
Make sure your product launch strategy is good enough to attract the right audience who could potentially be paying customers for a long time: your business depends on it. Don’t spend all your resources on marketing, find out free options that could still make a difference. Once you run out funds, your business may possibly crash especially if you have bills to pay.
Every great and successful entrepreneur know today still faces some kind of fear, nightmare of Inventory, not knowing who my target clients are, expanding too quickly - a lot of entrepreneur’s failed to scale after raising initial rounds of funds. Not understanding the utilization of funds will hurt on just the venture but the careers of all the employees, firing employees is always a pain. But, they manage it because they have experience and know things could go wrong at some point. It’s the will to get back up and move on that counts.
If you get past your first moments with partners, customers and investors, you will be much more confident about your prospects of success. At this point, you are doing something right and your should be proud of yourself but the journey has just started. Most businesses with board members are being run on investor funds hence the need to monitor its progress every quarter or even less. Your board members will either be pleased with the progress you have made or may threaten to pull off the funds if the numbers don’t add up. They know you may not make money in your first or even second year but they expect growth of some sort. Be comfortable and talk about what is working, what is not working and most importantly what you intend to do differently to get on the success road.
It’s a huge confidence boost to look back at the things that scared you last month, last year, or even five years ago. And realize you conquered them. This kind of success leads you to trust your instincts. And it also builds confidence.
It’s hard to ignore the thought of failing when failure is so close and difficult to ignore. Whenever you think about quitting, remember, ‘Why did you start your startup?’! Hustle!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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