I’ve written a lot about the joys of entrepreneurship, and a little about some of the stressors. Something I haven’t yet mentioned is what keeps some people from making the move to running their own business.
In preparation for our upcoming workshop for women thinking about their next career move (Messy In The Middle), my partner Jacquie and I interviewed women on their dreams and what was keeping them from moving ahead. The workshop is for women who are looking at retirement and what that means to them, women who are in the wrong job but not sure what the next step is, and women who would like to start their own business. The #1 response from the overwhelming majority was one word: FEAR.
The fear looks different for each woman. Some fear a loss of status if they retired. For some, the fear is financial. How will they pay their bills as they build a business? For others, it is fear of being too old for the job market. So, they varied, but in each case, it is most decidedly fear keeping them stuck where they are.
I experienced some fear as well. It took some work, but I eventually reached the point where NOT doing anything was far more scary than taking a risk. I got past the fear when I felt I had no choice. Only then was I able to quit my job, sell my house, and move 3000 miles away to return to where I’d come to realize my future would be.
Getting past the fear is not easy. As I see it, you need to reflect on where that fear is coming from and deal with it. What structure can you build to help you move past that fear and start this exciting new chapter in your life? Build a plan that allows you to move forward. Often, this plan is an incremental process. Many entrepreneurs start moonlighting, or have a ‘side-hustle’ as it’s come to be called. You work full-time to keep income coming as you start your business. Then move on to part-time work as the business grows. Eventually, your business becomes a full time gig and you can walk out the door of your last employer and all that means.
So, yes, it’s hard to get past the fear. But you can do it. You need to figure out where the fear is and how to get past it. And you can! That’s the good news. There are many qualified professionals who can help, so don’t be afraid to seek them out. I recognized I couldn’t get here alone, so I sought out a counselor who I could talk to. She wasn’t a friend, or family, and didn’t have an agenda, so I knew I could count on her assistance. Ultimately, she was the one who made me get to where I needed to be.
So, as with all things in life. The things worth having are worth working for. Face your fear, get past it and do what you need to do to live the life you’re dreaming of. There will never be a ‘perfect time’, so just start. Start today. #dreambelieveachieve
Andrea made the choice to leave the corporate world in May 2013 to pursue her dreams.