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5 Common Fears About Launching a Startup (and Their Solutions)

5 Common Fears About Launching a Startup (and Their Solutions)

Launching a startup comes with a unique set of challenges and some very real fears to accompany those challenges. Nothing can quite prepare you for everything, no matter how long you have been working in a certain industry or how experienced you are, but arming yourself with insight will help you face these fears with better understanding. Let’s look at five common startup launch fears and how they can be solved.

The Fear of Failure

Probably the most common fear in the bunch is the fear of failure, and while this fear is somewhat rational, dealing with it is a necessity, not only in the startup world, but in life in general.

True, every failure will set you back. You can fail rather miserably and go bankrupt and lose your company. However, there are plenty of businesses that have come back from the worst failures imaginable and become profitable.

Work on accepting that the possibility of failure is out there – but also know that it’s not the end, and that there are plenty of ways to get back from it. Only when you choose to give up can it be considered failure. As long as you keep going, you have not failed.

The Fear of Non-Compliance

The language of businesses and startups can seem practically illegible to the uninitiated. That makes your fear of not being able to comply with certain requirements or simply failing to understand what you should be doing perfectly understandable.

To subdue this fear, start by hiring an accountant who is well-versed in the startup economy and who can guide you through all the regulations. Having a lawyer on hand will also help you keep some of the stress of the unknown at bay.

Finally, use your spare time to read up on different regulations. For instance, GDPR is an important set of rules you need to adhere to, but finding out how to do it is only a couple of articles away.

The Fear of Taking on Too Much

Launching a startup on your own comes with the fear of not being able to get everything done as well as you hope to.

It’s difficult starting a business with just one person doing all the work and then figuring out when the time is right to hire someone who can take on some of the load. Worries around being able to afford an employee and sustaining enough work to be able to pay wages and every other startup expense are enough to keep you up at night.

The best available solution is to take things slowly and consider each move before you make it. Ideally, you want to have a business plan mapped out before you actually go into business. This will help you identify the amount of work you can take on. You’ll also want to keep track of your daily time expenditure. It will help you understand where you might need a helping hand and which tasks you can easily handle on your own.

The Fear of the Unknown

Not knowing what to expect is a very common startup founder fear as well. Sure, you can have it all taped out in your mind, but the unexpected is always to be expected, so who knows what might happen.

The best way to deal with this fear is to prepare as best you can. Come up with contingency plans for a lot of the dreadful scenarios that you think might happen – losing all your clients, getting sick, or failing to pay your taxes or bills on time.

However, do your best to teach yourself there is also the class of the unknown no one can predict – like the 2020 pandemic – and that you just need to accept that this is the case in life as well as in business.

The Fear of Success

Finally, you might also be afraid to succeed. This is a less common fear, but still perfectly understandable. Success changes everyone, and it will certainly change your life too. Not knowing how you might feel about earning more, becoming a well-known brand, or being required to run an entire business is just a sign you want to do well and live up to your own standards.

Read up on how others have coped with success, and start mapping out your own responses to future positive prospects. Don’t dwell on the future too much, though. The present is still what you need to tackle first.

Final Thoughts

All of these fears are quite natural, so if you’re suffering from any of them, don’t be too hard on yourself. Cut yourself some slack. You are, after all, taking on a huge challenge, and you can’t expect it to be smooth sailing all the way to the finish line. Take it one step at a time. Rely on your experience, knowledge, and instincts, and the rest will fall into place.


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by Sarah Kaminski // Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.