Monday, July 16, 2018

The Crippling Fear of Entrepreneurship

After years of trying to manage my passions and dreams as hobbies or my "side hustles," I've finally made the leap to being self-employed. While I've tried in the past and contemplated the option many times over, fear would always swell up in my chest. What if I fail? What would I do for money? What will people think of me? What would my hardworking family members think of my decision? My doubt in myself, the minimal manifestation of my dreams thus far, and the lack of know-how always kept me in a cycle of doing things that would keep me bound and keep me from pursuing my dreams with my whole heart.

My mother was an entrepreneur. She was a master hairstylist with skill oozing out of her fingers, through the scissors, and into the perfect haircut. However, my mother struggled as a self-employed entrepreneur. I know encountering failure over and over again damaged her spirits and made her doubt herself and her ability. My mom would take breaks from hairstyling to work jobs. While she would work hard and even like her jobs at times, she was often unhappy. In between every job, and sometimes even during a tenure, she would always find her way back to hair. Her face would just light up when she had a willing client. She was her happiest when styling hair. However, she just couldn't make the business side work for her. She would say she needed help. She would say she needed more money. She would say she needed more information or to be more knowledgeable about technology. She would say she doesn't really understand how the industry had changed. While my mom would tell me every reason why it just wouldn't work, I knew the real and underlying reason was fear.

Fear is crippling. Once fear has power, it encompasses your whole life and seeps into every area. Fear will make you question things you know you know to be true. Fear will stop you from even trying. Fear is more than a state of being. Fear is a force that takes up space in your life and makes room for itself as you feed it your doubts and insecurities. Why do we get so comfortable with fear's presence in our lives that we let it stop us from pursuing the unknown, which could actually be better?

What I loved most about my mother as an entrepreneur is that she never gave up, she had identified her passion (often the hardest and longest part of the journey), and she honed her craft. I am glad I learned that from her. But now, as an entrepreneur myself, I've realized I can not inherit her fear.

I have been racking my brain on ways in which I can honor my mother's legacy. I've finally decided that if nothing else, I will not give fear a place in my life and I will succeed as an entrepreneur. No matter how long it takes. No matter how many times I have to try. I will not let my failures hinder me. Those experiences will be the fuel for my growth. I will learn what I need to learn. I will do what I need to do. I will get up early. I will stay up late. I will make myself uncomfortable. I won't worry about people's opinions about my life and decisions. I will pour all of the good ideas I have for everyone else into my own business. I will make my mom proud of herself for raising a driven, fearless, entrepreneurial woman.

This post isn't to encourage you to go quit your job so you can go live your dreams. It has taken me over five years to even get up the nerve to consider the option of self-employment. I now know that all of my work experience leading up to this moment has adequately prepared me for success. While some days I wish I could trade that time because it often felt wasted, it all will work out for the good of my businesses in the long run. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with working for someone else. If you are respected, treated fairly, compensated appropriately, and HAPPY, don't let this wave of "travel & work abroad" hype make you feel like you should want more than to be a valued employee. If you do desire to be an entrepreneur, pray and search your spirit and soul. You have to come to peace with all the good and all the bad that comes with being self-employed (which I will discuss in future BrandBuilder posts).

So, whether you want to be a self-employed entrepreneur, you want to go to another country, you want to move, or you want to shave all of your hair off, think about the pros and cons of your decisions all you want for as long as you need to. But don't let fear be the determining factor that stops you from pursuing your heart's desires. SMOOCHES XOXO


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