Failure in the startup space is unfortunately a very real possibility. Forbes reported that 90% of startups fail. This is a rising proportion – as more and more enter the startup space, chance of survival is further reduced.

For an entrepreneur to succeed in the face of high competition and a volatile market it is important to understand these fears and remain connected to the market. A startup needs to recognize their unique offering, to identify the demand for this opportunity, and to be an expert in their industry in touch with changing market trends. This will better position a leader for successes.


Here are 5 powerful tips to either overcome your start-up fears or alternatively honor them,

1. Answer the question, “what if” for yourself.

There are only two scenarios: if I do, and if I don’t…leap into the start-up. So make the quiet time to answer these two questions and put your thoughts in writing. You might be surprised what emerges.

2. Don’t keep yourself isolated in a vacuum.

Avoid going in endless circles and torturing yourself with “go nowhere” mental gyrations. Break out and talk with the smartest people you know. Network. Get perspective. Be curious. Ask questions and engage with others who took the leap or chose not to. The input will be stimulating, guaranteed, and the next step(s) forward might reveal itself.

3. Know your nature, and honor it.

Most entrepreneurs are eternal optimists, and this predisposition often leads to trouble on one hand, but possibility on the other. They envision success and tend to be enamored with their great idea and perhaps even themselves. What about you? Are you preoccupied with failure, or more certain of success? If your answer is “failure,” it’s a potential tip-off that there maybe some mismatch between you the adventurer and the prospective start-up venture you’re imagining. Go back to Tip #1, the “What if” question, and imagine that you’re saying goodbye to your idea. You’re putting it to rest. Sit with that for a few days. Given your nature, is that a good decision or a bad one?

4. Trouble is inevitable, so don’t plan on avoiding it.

Strategize on how you’re going to meet it. If this prospect is not exciting and doesn’t galvanize you to be ready to work 24/7 or at least 12/6, your start-up fears might be your friends. Start-ups are demanding in ways that are likely to outstrip your imagination. If you’re not filled with passion, you may not have the necessary fuel to escape the force of gravity that all start-ups are subject to. There’s no way to be halfway pregnant and there’s no way to be half-way starting up.

5. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

In relationship to your start-up idea, are you resourceful enough to plug the holes and address your weaknesses? Are you a collaborator? Can you energize others and build a support network? If you’re inclined to put your head down and bull forward, think again. Surround yourself with the expertise you don’t have and your start-up fears are more likely to be overcome. Remember, as an entrepreneur you don’t have to be “everything.” You just have to try to anticipate everything (no one does) and be resourceful, finding the help and support you need to go the distance.

About Author

Ankur Chandra

A software engineer by education, Ankur is go-getter, who leaves no stones unturned to find a solution to a problem. He is passionate about technology and automobiles. And, is a big foodie at heart. Watching cartoons is his favourite off-field indulgence. At KnowStartup, he is an integral part of the editorial team.

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