How Entrepreneurs Overcome Fears

I’ve read two surveys recently on concerns American employees have on pursuing entrepreneurship. Both surveys reached similar conclusions. Below is a neat info-graphic that Edward Jones complied titled “Supporting America’s Entrepreneurs.”


I’m fairly certain that Edward Jones didn’t conduct the survey for the hell of it.  It has the financial resources to act on some of the conclusions and I assume that it has.  The fact that 37% of Americans would feel more confident in starting a business if they had the support of a big company is something that Edward Jones and other large company’s could address.  Also, I can see how Edward Jones could leverage the fact 70% of Americans are seeking more entrepreneurial environments at work. This fits in nicely with their  financial advisor model.

On a broader scale, only 12% would opt to go alone without big brother’s support and only 15% believe that they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.  That seems about right.  If not on the high side.  Americans’ fears of entrepreneurship were well captured in this survey:

  • 61% fear losing savings
  • 58% fear lack of support and safety net
  • 50% fear losing healthcare and retirement benefits
  • 49% fear lack of work/life balance
  • 34% fear doing it alone and feeling isolated

Desire and fear are two emotions that we must deal with each and every day.  Most times fear trumps desire.  The fact that 70% desire entrepreneurial experiences at work supports that point.  In other words employees want the freedom and autonomy, but will settle for benefits and a predictable paycheck.

The first step towards becoming an entrepreneur is dealing with the fear and desire issue.  IMO, it’s kinda like addressing a personal finance issue.  There are two ways to approach a money problem –  either cut expenses or increase income. Cutting expenses especially after the easy stuff is addressed is no fun.  So, personally I would rather work on income side.  In the case of fear and desire, my preference is to approach it from the desire side.

Now I am making the assumption that becoming an entrepreneur is not a childish wish, but is a fully grown desire.  If that is the case, weird stuff starts to happen.  When you receive a bonus check or a raise – you bank the money instead of spending it.  The reserve fund to address the insecurities  of entrepreneurship becomes a priority.  Excuses disappear as the midnight oil burns.

If you think I’m smoking the good stuff – this is a well documented fact. Napoleon Hill in the classic “Think and Grow Rich” talks about this phenomena.  He calls it a burning desire – an inner drive that is so overwhelming that it will not be denied.  I have written about it many times (Forest Whitaker Reminded Me of a Key to Success – a Burning Desire).

The bottom line is that each of those fears, discussed in the survey, will be front and center in every entrepreneur’s first startup.  It comes with the territory.  It is part of the game.  Maybe after a few successful ventures those fears will be eased, but if someone wants entrepreneurship without risk it ain’t gonna happen!  That’s why you keep hearing people say make your business and your passion one in the same. Desire will overcome fear.

Social Media guru, entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk nails it in this video.  It’s about 15 minutes long.  I tried to find a shorter one, but this one really drives home my point.  It’s worth watching.



Let’s discuss. Can desire override fear?

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