Entrepreneurship demands action. It requires that you start.
I’ve never met an entrepreneur who didn’t start. And who doesn’t keep starting every single day.
Just as every entrepreneur starts, would-be entrepreneurs don't. And so a passion is never realized. A dream is never fulfilled. Something that was supposed to exist in the world either doesn’t, or ends up falling to somebody else.
Why do would-be entrepreneurs fail to start?
The Main Reason: Fear of Failure
Take a moment and ask yourself, “Am I choosing not to start something because I fear that I might fail at it?"
Look, I get it. If you never begin, you’ll never have to face the potentially terrifying prospect that your idea doesn’t work. Or that you don’t have the skills to pull it off. Perhaps fear is loss of income, rejection from your friends and family, your reputation out in the marketplace, and a host of other reasons.
But, fear doesn’t have to be crippling.
So, what can be done to overcome this fear?
There are lots of strategies to overcome fear.
I’ve read many of them over the years in books, blogs, and social media. I’ve been taught them in workshops and seminars.
I’m not here to rehash the secular strategies.
I’m here to present a spiritual strategy, because I believe all fear is, at its root, a spiritual issue. (In fact, it would not be too far off for me to say that everything has a spiritual component.)
How the Spiritually Healthy vs. Spiritually Unhealthy Handle Failure
Think of it this way. Suppose my business idea turns out not to work. If I’m spiritually healthy, then I face the reality head-on, adjust and then try the next thing.
If I’m not spiritually healthy, my spirit is devastated, perhaps even to the point of calling myself a miserable failure, never starting again. (I mean, why would I? I would just be subjecting myself to devastation and misery yet again!)
Or, suppose I didn’t have the skills to pull it off. If I’m spiritually healthy, then I go get the skills. Maybe I take a class. Hire someone. Find a mentor/coach.
If I’m not spiritually healthy, then my spirit despairs. My failure has just confirmed that I don’t have what it takes. Maybe I have no business starting something ever again!
Entrepreneurship is a spiritual endeavor. To start, and to keep going, you have to surrender yourself to something greater than your fear.
Don’t Neglect Your Spirit. Surrender to Something Greater.
At the heart of all major spiritual tradition is the idea that there is a benevolent, unifying force in the universe. Something that is inviting people to come together, to unite, to heal, to steward creation well.
We recognize Evil for what it is, only because we know that it’s not the Good that we know is good. People who want to divide, create strife, enslave, murder, harm, and ruin the planet — what they do is not Good. There must be a unifying force in the universe, and most of us call that force a Good.
I believe this unifying force is a person and has a name - Christ. And, I believe we can all have relationship with Him. I happen to have chosen to have a relationship with a person over just a belief in a thought, or an energy, or a force. But, every spiritual tradition worth anything has a unifying principle.
Every unifying concept has at its root a benevolence, a generosity, a self-giving principle. If I surrender my spirit to that principle (or person, force, energy), then I can act, even in the face of fear, because I know that the principle (or person, force, energy) will always support me and keep me from falling out of the universe.
If I don’t surrender my spirit to that principle, then I have, by default, surrendered myself to my own fear. This fear will keep me from acting. It will hinder me from pursuing my dream. It will make me focus on my performance, or lack thereof.
The best strategy to eliminate fear is to surrender myself to a benevolent, unifying, generous, self-giving principle — in my tradition, “Christ.” Actually, to be more precise, I’m not eliminating fear… I’m overcoming it. I’m able to act in spite of fear, because my surrender to Christ is greater than my surrender to fear.
Don’t Let Fear Win
If you’re an entrepreneur, or you want to be an entrepreneur, at some point you’re going to have to start.
A person who never starts is simply not called, “entrepreneur.” And if you’ve already started, at some point you’re going to have to deal with your fear of failure, in order to start again.
By all means, try to use all the secular strategies out there. But don’t deny the role your spirit plays.
Find a benevolent, unifying, generous, self-giving principle. Surrender yourself to that. I suggest trying Christ, because the relationship with an actual person works well for me. But find what works for you, and keep searching, keep reaching, keep starting.