Face the Five Fears of Working for Yourself

Working for yourself is scary. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying!

The only way to conquer the normal fears that come along with entrepreneurship is to understand them and face them head on. You don't overcome them, you befriend them.

There are five fears that you can expect:

1. MONEY

Swapping out a steady paycheck for the variable income that comes with working for yourself is the most common fear. Fears including making as much as you do now and questions about where the next “paycheck” will come from.  

Spotting It:

It may come to your awareness directly, but it will also manifest itself by:

•  Reactive actions to “just go, go, go.”
•  Not properly investing in your business with the right partners (seeking the cheapest options vs. the best value.)
•  Taking any work – even work that you don’t do well, doesn’t pay well or with clients you don’t particularly care for.

How it Serves:

Fear of money raises issues of practicality to the forefront. You need to be smart about how invest your resources and have a plan for generating income.

The Shadow:

Fear unchecked keeps you busy, not productive. It interferes with your ability to discover what you can do to create long-term sustainable success. It puts you in the position to compromise yourself, your worth and value.

Tips:

Give your money fears a PLAN. Your money fears needs a rational reason to trust that you got this business under control. Invest in the RIGHT resources that can help you create and implement a strategy that will enable you to achieve your goals.

2. NOT "ENOUGH"

Becoming a consultant and entrepreneur can feel to many like starting over because in many ways it IS a whole new job. This creates fears about “having what it takes” to deliver on clients wants and needs.

Spotting It:

It may come to your awareness directly, but it will also manifest itself by:

•  Avoiding or procrastinating contracting conversations with potential clients.
•  Under-pricing services.
•  Positioning yourself as a sub-contractor for other “more successful” clients vs. creating own brand.

How It Serves:

Fear of not “enough” raises issues of integrity to the forefront. It is important to make promises to clients that you absolutely can deliver on.

The Shadow:

Fear unchecked keeps you spinning your wheels and stuck. It is hard to move forward with confidence if you do not believe that you can literally make a difference for your clients.

Tips:

Give your self-worth fears clarity on your own personal BRAND. You have talents and strengths that are transferable to consulting and it is your job to uncover and own them and articulate the value that they create when applied.

3. BEING SEEN

Working for yourself is vulnerable. If you don’t get the business, it’s not because “they” at the corporate office made a bad decision. It’s you...in the spotlight.

Spotting It:

It may come to your awareness directly, but it will also manifest itself by:

•  Only having your picture in the bio section of your website.
•  Over-focus on theories and methodologies.
•  Avoiding writing your own content.

How It Serves:

Vulnerability has “ability” at the end of the word and it means having the “ability to be wounded.” Therefore, it is smart to anticipate what might create harm to us and challenge us.

The Shadow:

Fear unchecked keeps you from even becoming a thought leader and powerful brand. Your clients need more than information from you. They need limbic resonance and heart to heart connection that only comes from being able to authentically show up in the work.

Tips:

Give your vulnerability fears TIME and PRACTICE. Find one thing that scares you and say “yes” to just that. Observe the results and if your fears of being seen actually came true. Observe the critics (and if you don’t already have them... you will) and see their own fears projected onto you.

4. BEING ALONE

Working for yourself can be lonely. It is hard to leave the camaraderie of colleagues and teammates. Being alone creates fears of not just having relationship, but also others who can spur on the work and be sounding boards for one another.

Spotting It:

It may come to your awareness directly, but it will also manifest itself by:

•  Wasting time with social media.
•  Meeting people for “coffee” who really want free advice.
•  Creating business partnerships with others who are not the right fit.

How It Serves:

Human beings are wired for connection. Honoring that need is a way of honoring your own human dignity.

The Shadow:

Fear unchecked keeps you putting yourself out there and creates the conditions in which you “play small.” It limits your potential of discovering all of who you are and the leveraging it to create maximum impact on the world.

Tips:

Give your relationship fears a COMMUNITY. Find a couple of others who are seeking the same type of success as you are and form a mastermind support group. Hire a mentor who does more than tell you what needs to be done but takes the time to engage with you as a whole person.

5. SUCCESS

Ironically many times the one thing we really want we fear achieving. While there are many expressions of the fear of success (fears of future expectations, let down, being able to maintain it, etc.) at the core is fear of what imagined success might ultimately cost.

Spotting It:

It may come to your awareness directly, but it will also manifest itself by:

•  Chasing after one shiny object after another.
•  Ignoring or resisting good advice from wise mentors.
•  Avoiding doing what you know will work to get business.

How It Serves:

This fear alerts us that we are human beings not human “doings” and work is just one aspect of our life that needs attention.

The Shadow:

Fear unchecked sub-optimizes your potential and keeps you stuck and not able to consider fresh ways to achieve your goals.

Tips:

Give your success fears a HOLISTIC DEFINITION OF SUCCESS. Chasing after dollars will only satisfy for the short-term. Your success fears need to understand your intentions for the other aspects of your life including: making a positive difference to the world, relationship goals with partners/significant others and children, and lifestyle priorities such as travel and other meaningful experiences.

If you want the best way to handle your fears, keep reading...

Your first step in transcending your fears, particularly your money fears, is to give them what they need which is a plan for how you'll replace your existing source of financial support with a new one. You need to ignore the well-meaning advice "to just go out there and get clients" and be intentional about implementing marketing systems that will CONSISTENTLY draw in and convert your perfect client.

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