9 Ways to Get Over the Fear of Failure and Start a Business Now


Fire your boss and work for yourself

Do you feel the way Jack Skellington felt the day after Halloween? You want more from your career, but the fear of failure is holding you back?

In the Tim Burton classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Skellington is at the top of his fright game. He is the king. But it’s the same routine. He’s bored. In a career rut.

But then he discovers Christmas. Boy oh boy he goes all in. The lights, the joy and the novelty. He wants to be Santa Claus and deliver gifts to girls and boys.

    The career change turns into a macabre disaster that involves the military shooting his sleigh out of the sky.

    But, Halloween Town gets its first snowfall and Jack gets the girl.

    What does all this have to do with overcoming the fear of failure and starting your own business? Sometimes you have to just go for it. These 9 tips will help you let go of your fear and take a leap of faith.

    1. Admit You are in Rut, Not a Routine

    Potaytoes potahto, right? Wrong. A daily routine is one thing, but being trapped in a state of sameness where days blur into one another and you spend decades on your life in a job that doesn’t excite you anymore, is not healthy.

    If fact, it is the opposite of having a Soul-based Job. 

    It’s time to ‘fess up and admit that you are in a rut. A rut happens gradually, so don’t blame yourself for not seeing it until this minute. Admitting you are Mayor of Rutville is the first step to getting out of it.

    Going to Starbucks every day and getting a venti iced skinny mocha is a routine. It punctuates your life with joy. Sitting in your cubicle and wishing you were somewhere else, is sad. And a rut.

    Maybe boredom is not an issue for you, but you feel undervalued and unappreciated. Does your boss dismiss your suggestions or take credit for them? 

    2. Fire Your Fear of Failure

    In most jobs there are some minor annoyances like being reminded 10 times to reset your password or being in meetings that veer off course for three hours. But you should enjoy most of your work.

    But when you feel empty and no longer enjoy what you do, it is time to fire your fear of failure.

    What is keeping you at your job? You are used to it. You don’t know what else you would do. You don’t want to risk your financial future on some pipe dream. That’s all your fear of failure talking.

    A Soul-based Job Search is not fear-based.

    Up until now, you have chosen to settle for a job that crushes your soul instead of filling it. 

    But that stops as soon as you release your fear of failure. Stop letting fear call the shots regarding what you earn and how or when you work. 

    Look to yourself. You have all of the resources you need to create the career of your dreams. You just need to let go of the fear of failure and have faith that you can be your own boss. 

    3. Decide to Change Careers

    Starting your own business starts with simply making the decision to change careers. You only have to decide at this moment that you want to work for yourself. 

    Do you want to work for the best boss in the world? Of course you do.

    You can take back your power.

    Decide that you want to make a change and set it in motion. Your thoughts are your reality.

    4. Get Pumped About Working for You

    You don’t have to quit your job, post your decision on social media or do anything drastic that would jeopardize your finances.

    It’s time to shift your thinking from I hate my job to I love working for me. Call yourself boss in your head.

    You don’t have to know what you are going to do or how you are going to do it. Those details will come later. You can identify and develop your strengths using this guide.

    The first step is to focus on you. Instead of relying on your current boss for recognition, tell yourself about the great job you are doing. Be in charge. Make decisions about your day and how you are going to spend your time.

    Referring to yourself as your boss may feel foreign at first, especially if you don’t feel like you have any power.

    But the thing is, we are powerless because we think we are powerless.

    When you change the script, your reality will align with the new storyline. Replacing your fear of failure with a plan for success is a huge shift in your story.

    New thoughts bring new opportunities into your life because your thoughts dictate your reality. Try it. What do you have to lose?

    If you have thoughts such as I’m never gonna get anywhere, I hate my job, or this sucks, you are going to keep getting what you have — a job you hate that’s a dead-end.

    5. Replace Your Situation with Affirmations

    Even if you don’t think you have a good idea for a business, have never entertained the thought of working for yourself, or have financial obligations up to your eyeballs, give these new thoughts a try. 

    • I am starting my own business.
    • I have talents and skills that I can use to earn a great living.
    • Working for myself makes me feel good. 

    These new positive thoughts are called affirmations.

    Positive affirmations are a strong, memorable and encouraging statement to yourself. It’s what you know to be true deep down. 

    Your reality may not reflect the affirmation now, but be patient. The more you repeat the affirmation, the more your reality will change. Think positively and good things will happen.

    Repeat these thoughts to yourself several times a day. When you slip into feeling sorry for yourself or get aggravated at work. Train your brain to focus on what you want, rather than what is in front of you.

    The only catch is that you have to completely believe what you affirm. So if you have doubts, you need to adjust your statements until you believe them.

    For example, if you are nervous about working for yourself instead of thinking Working for myself makes me feel good, think I allow myself to explore the idea of working for myself.

    Saying I allow can make it easier for you to believe that you are open to the idea. As you become more confident in your plan, you can change the affirmation.

    6. Try Out Gigs to See What Fits

    You don’t have to jump into a business 100%. You’ve worked hard for the career you have. The last thing you should do is risk it. It’s time to explore the different businesses you could do.

    The job market has never been filled with so many opportunities to create work that you love. As little as 10 years ago, there was no Uber or delivery businesses. Smartphones were not that smart and the economy was in the toilet.

    Today, you can work from home or work from your car almost any hours. All you need is a smartphone and or a computer that’s connected to the internet.

    Here are a few ways you can earn a living and develop new skills and keep your day job.

    7. Become a Driver, Dasher or Deliverer 

    Uber driver

    Starting your own side business could be as simple as signing up for a rideshare or delivery service. There are a ton of options out there. 

    From Instacart to Favor, to Door Dash and others, you can get experience delivering items for these companies. You learn customer service, how to meet deadlines and communication.

    You can also drive for Uber and Lyft. These companies aren’t going to make you rich, but you’ll earn about $10 on a $14 fare after Uber takes its fees and percentage.

    How is driving and delivering going to become a full-time biz? Well, these gigs will teach you about the pitfalls and perks of driving.

    You’ll meet new people, have to navigate problems and find ways to keep the customer happy. There’s no cost to you to drive except the wear and tear on your car.

    If you discover you love being on the road, Amazon Logistics is hiring people to build delivery fleets. It costs $10,000 to start your business, and $30,000 in liquid assets (savings or accessible investments).

    8. Become a Virtual Assistant

    virtual assistant

    A Virtual Assistant is a work from home job where you manage tasks for other people. These tasks can be scheduling, managing social media accounts, providing customer service or a combination of tasks.

    This is a great gig option if you are an introvert and enjoy computer work, managing tasks, paperwork, or customer service. You’ll need the following skills and equipment to begin work as a virtual assistant:

    • A computer with a high-speed internet connection
    • Be able to research and find information online
    • Have decent typing skills
    • Use Google Suite and Microsoft Suite
    • Phone
    • Communication skills
    • Ability to follow directions and meet deadlines.

    Udemy offers a few courses on what you need to do to build a successful VA business. From basics to how to use Fivver to build your VA business.

    If you already have professional experience as an admin assistant or marketing, customer service or social media manager, you can sign up to work for Task Molly, one of many companies that help connect businesses to VAs.

    9. Make and Sell Your Own Products

    When you release your fear of failure, creativity can happen.

    Do you have a hobby or interest where you create items? It could be sewing, painting, graphic design, woodworking, soapmaking, even making printable items.

    Then you could start your own business on Etsy. My sister built her Etsy shop ColorAmazing from nothing. She started at the end of 2015 and last year brought in nearly $70,000 in revenue.

    A photographer by training, she used her eye for color and pattern to sell handmade pillow covers and other home decor items.

    If you have an idea, it might take a while to take off, but Etsy makes it easy to build a business around a creative endeavor. Keep in mind unique or one-of-a-kind items always sell at higher prices. 

    These are just a few ways to get over the fear of starting your own business. Your first step is to decide you want to work for you. Then it’s time to identify what you like doing and figure out how to turn it into a business.

    Beginning your own business is not easy, but neither is having a job that doesn’t fill your soul. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Be like Jack Skellington. Find something you love. Good luck and save the fright for Halloween.

    Tracey Lamphere

    Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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