The truth is, most of us, at some time or another, have considered business ownership. We’ve dreamed of the independence, the control, the personal satisfaction (and yes, the money) that being in business for yourself can provide. And yet, with so many of us harboring an entrepreneurial urge, why do so many of us never go for it? Why do so many of us let our entrepreneurial dreams shrivel and die like a raisin in the sun? The simple answer? FEAR.
At The Perfect Franchise, we guide aspiring entrepreneurs through a process that educates them on general business ownership, franchising, financing and much, much more. But nothing we do is more important than helping folks navigate the minefield of their own fears. Few come to this process with a natural proficiency. This is a skill that usually needs to be learned. Once you understand your fears, you can use them to your advantage. When valid, your fears can help you and protect you. But when unfounded, your fears can cripple you, denying you that better future for which you’ve longed.
Fear, in its most basic sense, is more than just an emotion. It’s deeper and more primitive. It’s a biological response designed to get you to react reflexively in order to survive. Whether it’s fight or flight, the whole point of feelings of fear is to prompt you to act, to make decisions without even thinking, which is incredibly useful when confronted by a saber-toothed tiger but not so helpful when evaluating the next step in your career.
To make a good decision, we have to be able to extract these feelings of fear and set them aside. We have to stop giving too much credence to the butterflies fluttering in our stomachs or the fine beads of sweat collecting at our brows. It’s not your trusty gut telling you something valuable and it’s not your wise intuition protecting you. It’s your reptilian brain telling you to run. Except, you don’t need to run. You’re sitting in a Starbucks sipping a latte, with no saber-toothed tiger in sight. Here are three tricks to help you start to overcome your fears.
- Replace Fears with Concerns. Become conscious of the terminology you use, especially in your self-talk. When evaluating a franchise, stop talking about what you’re afraid of and instead, think in terms of what you’re concerned about. Why? Because as grown adults in the 21st century, we all have concerns. We have concerns at work, with our kids, with our health. And you know what we do with our concerns? We handle them and keep moving forward. Have concerns about a business you’re exploring? Get to the bottom of them and then move forward or move on. You do this stuff everyday.
- Know Thyself. You believe you could be a successful entrepreneur but do you really have what it takes? How do you know? The answer is, your “future you” will look alot like your “past” and “present” you. Have you consistently been successful throughout your career working for someone else? Then, you’ll probably do fine working for yourself. But, don’t be afraid to do a deeper dive. How would you rate yourself in your current and past positions? Were you always at the top of the class or have you been average? It’s not easy to be honest with ourselves about ourselves. But the reality is, average is OK. If you’ve been an average performer for your career, then, as you evaluate franchise opportunities, find out what the average performers are doing. Not the all-stars. The 50th percentile. You may find out, the average guys and gals are doing alright!
- There are risks to everything. As we consider making a monumental decision, we’re prone to examine the risks of doing something new over and over again. Not doing something new is safer, more comfortable. Not doing anything new instantly removes all those risks that have been staring us in the face. But don’t fool yourself! There are risks to not making a decision and to not doing anything new. What are those? Where will your life be in 5 years if you do nothing new? What are the repercussions of not creating the independence and control and money that can come along with business ownership? Think about it. Marinate in it. Oftentimes, the consequences of doing nothing are far more dangerous precisely because we don’t consider them.
At The Perfect Franchise (TPF), we’re not in the business of convincing folks they should become entrepreneurs. We help those folks that can’t quiet that whispering voice, who can’t shake that nagging feeling that business ownership could be their path. If that’s you, we should talk. And talking about how to handle your fears will definitely be part of that conversation.