There are thousands of people slogging through another ho-hum workday who have probably experienced an “Ah-ha!” moment but who lacked the courage to act. In that moment of fear, they let opportunity slip through their fingers. On Entrepreneur.com, Nadia Goodman recounts the story of Digg founder Kevin Rose who nearly let fear of failure deep-six his idea to start what has become an enormously popular social news site. Now a multi-millionaire, Rose would still be writing code for someone else if he hadn’t conquered his fears.
Learning to conquer your fears is the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur or business owner; but it’s an uphill battle for most people. Some people are natural risk-takers, but most of us become increasingly wary about risk the more we have to lose. It’s a survival mechanism. Our brains are hard-wired to avoid risk and keep us safe. (Click to view Entrepreneur’s infographic: This is your brain on fear.)
Fortunately, we can train ourselves to override nature’s safety valve and take the risk needed to pursue a great idea or start a business. As Goodman notes, when considering risk, the trick is to focus on the positives, not the negatives. Use these tips to conquer your fear of risk and embrace your entrepreneurial side:
- Trust your gut. Don’t get bogged down weighing the pros and cons. Over-analyzing only leads to inaction. Go with your gut instinct.
- Start small. It’s less threatening to take on risk in small bites than in one big, overwhelming gulp. Start with a series of small goals. Each success will pump up your courage to take the next risk.
- Embrace the culture. Seek out other risk-takers. Surrounding yourself with other risk-takers offers support and examples of success.
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