Mental Health

9 ways for entrepreneurs to overcome fear and doubt

All entrepreneurs face fear and doubt. The difference between success and stagnation is what you do about it

If you’re thinking of starting a company – or already have – and feel fear creep up, you’re not alone. Every entrepreneur faces fear and doubt on a regular basis. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is simply that successful people don’t let fear and doubt stop them from taking action.

Reaching out to three successful entrepreneurs in my network, I asked for three ways each of them overcame fear and doubt. All had slightly different takes on the topic, but there’s a strong thread among them of looking fear in the face and walking right by.

Know why you started

Look for meaning in the work you do

The best antidote to the pain of challenging work is finding clear meaning in what you do. If you wake up each morning with a clear and ego-less sense of purpose, of mission, then work will begin to feel like play. On the other hand, if you’re primarily motivated by extrinsic factors — making headlines or out-earning your peers, for example — then you’re toast.

You don’t need to set out to “save the world,” by the way. Maybe you simply want to make healthcare incrementally better for outpatients, bring transparency to a market dominated by opaque pricing, or, in my case, help prepare people for the future of work.

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