So I have money. I have business ideas. But when it comes time to execute on the elaborate plan I have written, covered all of the bases, etc - I come up with some excuse as to why I shouldn't do it. Perhaps I need a partner, maybe I think it won't work. Maybe it won't be as profitable as first thought. I get cold feet when I go to pull the trigger... How do I get over it and grow some balls?

As a serial entrepreneur, I've been in your situation many times. I completely understand you feeling that the problem is that you need to "grow some balls", and it feels like it would be nice if there were some magic way to overcome fear. I'm going to suggest that the first important thing you need to consider is that fear is not always a bad thing. It stops us from doing really stupid things that can hurt ourselves. So if you are coming up with legitimate reasons why the business startup won't work, I wouldn't call those "excuses". I would call them legitimate issues that you need to work out in advance before committing enormous amounts of time and resources to an endeavor. There are many people who don't take this step and end up regretting it a year or two later, when something obvious trips them up and shows that their plan is flawed.

If you find that the thing is holding you back is not reasonable/or logical or likely to happen, then I recommend taking another tactic. There is no such thing as a brave person that isn't afraid. The difference between a brave person and a coward is that the brave person feels the fear and still goes ahead anyway. The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step, so if this is your situation, then the important thing is to take that first step. Instead of just obsessing on your elaborate plan, pick the first thing that needs to be done and just do it. Then take the next small thing that needs to be done and do that tomorrow. Every day you should be taking at least one step closer to your goal, and if you are persistent, then your momentum will be virtually unstoppable.

The last thing I'll say is that you should try to minimize your risk as much as possible so that your fear can be managed and kept at a reasonable level, so it won't interfere with your ability to execute. The most important thing is to have a backup plan for each thing that you fear. For example, if you fear you might be running out of money in 5 to 6 months, then line up a part-time job. If you're worried that your cofounder is too much of a flake, start talking to other possible replacements before there is a problem… so that you can transition to a better partner without too much disruption. Etc.

If you need any other advice, or assistance, I've been in your shoes many times and can help. Good luck!

Answered 7 years ago

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