There has been an increasing trend now a days to consider entrepreneurship as one of the option. As compared to 1980s and 90s, today the ecosystem is more supportive of new ventures. It presents more opportunities for us to be on our own as compared to the past. Why not consider this as one of the options available to all of us? It hardly matters at what stage of career you are in today. Even while working in a company you can be an intra-preneur, i.e. exhibit the qualities of an entrepreneur while staying in your company where you work. In this case your organization becomes the investor and you use its resources to do what an entrepreneur would do, if he had invested his own money. You should not be surprised if such a behavior of yours leads to an offer by your owner to become his partner, making you an entrepreneur the easy way!
Before we start discussing about the options available, let us see how to overcome the fear we might have before we attempt to do something new.
Some of the worst fears, which might prevent you from starting on your own, are fear of unknown, giving up a well paying job and facing ridicule if you fail.
Fear of unknown :
May be in the past, you have never attempted anything which remotely resembles running your own business. May be no one in your family has attempted that or worse still, you know of people who have failed in their own ventures.
Let us remember that even in your present career with a so-called secure job, there is a factor called ‘unknown’ but we turn a blind eye to it, or we are under the false impression that our jobs are secure.
I firmly believe that you need to trust the society to take care of your business. What I mean is, once you have started providing a service or launched a product, trust the whole ecosystem to work in your favor. It really happens that way. You will find customers coming to you, people approaching you and your friends giving references to help you, if you put a little bit of sincere effort in your enterprise.
To reduce the fear of unknown you can always start ‘in parallel’. That means, without leaving a secure job, you can try your hands on what you intend to do. This will give you a feel of what you are capable of. If you find the results encouraging, then it is worth trying it full time.
Giving up a well paying job :
You have struggled your way up the ladder and now you have a well paying job with an excellent team and a good company to take care of your insurances. Why would you leave all that?
I would say that by leaving your job, you are not going to suddenly unlearn your skill, or lose your reputation. Today, if you have 12 years of experience as a salesperson, and if you take a break for 2 years to do something else, you would still be left with 12 years of experience as salesperson! So you would be still needed by some company out there in the world to run its sales operations based on this experience. So where is the risk? Only that of losing 2 years? It’s worth having that experience.
There is one more important point to consider. You have already succeeded as a professional. That means you have some useful qualities and experience which the society is in need of. So, trust yourself that you have got enough brains to succeed in any related field. And you would, once you face a slightly different challenge as an entrepreneur.
The Ridicule in case of failure :
I remember a German word, Schadenfreude, that I learnt during my German evening classes taken in 1987, which means pleasure derived from misfortune of others.
If you are surrounded by people who are waiting for you to fail and you are afraid of facing the ridicule, then obviously these people are not the right folks to be with. You are in the wrong company. Better stay alone.
If you look around you will find lot of your friends who would be happy when you attempt something new, and would stay with you even if you fail.
I would go to an extent of saying that this ridicule is more in our own mind than in others’. In fact no one has time to think about you, and that’s a fact. It is us who create those stories of we being ridiculed in case of so-called failure.
You must have heard that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, just for the fear of failure.
Better be proud of the failure, just in case you fail. It is one of the best experience life can teach us. Most of the successes have a history of series of failures. (No, I am not going to give the example of Edison once again, which you have been hearing since school days.)