Why are so many people scared of starting a business?

February this year, I declared that we’re going back home next year after 14 years of living in UAE.
Last April, I started writing a book and it will be published in a few weeks.

Crazy, crazy ideas that I don’t blame people thinking that I’m crazy.

Why would I leave a good, stable and high-earning job just because of a dream?
Why would I dare publish a book when just a few years ago writing makes me palpitate?

Kelly Shaver, a professor of psychology at William & Mary College started a survey with his team called the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, which began in 1995 when they interviewed thousands of American households out of which they found 800 entrepreneurs. What I find interesting in their research is that entrepreneurs and normal people are almost similar in a lot of factors – they seem to aspire equally on achieving financial independence, both have the same feeling of being motivated in their jobs, and it’s not really that entrepreneurs seem to be devil-may-care risk takers.

The only significant difference based on the research is that those who go into business don’t care what other people think about them. Entrepreneurs have trouble imagining failure, and they don’t care what we think.

And I can relate. Maybe I’m downplaying the risk of failure (I’m a perpetual optimistic), and I’m very strong-willed that I can’t be persuaded to change my mind. While others might have the ability to predict the worst thing that can happen if they fail, entrepreneurs don’t.

If you think about it, fear is really the number one culprit why we don’t experience things.

It’s scary to go to the beach because jellyfish sting deaths are real.
It’s scary to send our child to school field trips because what if something bad happens?
It’s scary to get a mortgage because what if we lose our jobs?
it’s scary to go back home because what if our business fails?

Some fears might be silly for others but it’s real for majority.

And fear is not a bad thing, mind you. Fear is there to keep us alive.
You would probably be dead by now if you never fear crossing the street mindlessly. There’s a big chance we’re six feet underground if we thought jumping out of a 6-storey building is cool. So fear is a great friend to have.

But just like a mother, fear is over-protective. We’re just frying a fish but fear believes that the oil will splatter violently and will eventually blind us. We are pursuing a business idea but fear will start to kick in because it probably doesn’t want us to be disappointed and hurt.

I researched several forums and found the following comments on why the majority are scared to start a business:

“I think a lot of the unnecessary fear people have about starting a business comes from the common myths surrounding entrepreneurship.

Most of the examples we see in the media perpetuate the idea that entrepreneurs are natural-born geniuses who thrive on taking huge risks, raise tons of money from investors and have brilliant, one-of-a-kind ideas that will change the world completely. No wonder starting a business can seem like a such a scary undertaking. The takeaway seems to be that entrepreneurship requires some special, mysterious talent and if you weren’t lucky enough to born with it, you might as well not try.”

Another commenter said:

“Most people hate failure and rejection in themselves and in other people. They only want the end goal of success. These people are not willing to do what it takes to grow their business because of their fear of failure.

There’s also comfort. Once you start being employed by a company it’s comfortable. You get a paycheck every 2 weeks regardless of whether you went on vacation that week or were out sick. You get paid holidays and benefits. It’s actually harder, due to employment laws, for you to get fired without just cause. It’s pretty comfortable. Nothing gained but nothing lost. So most people just float along on the employment side of things because there’s little risk.”

But after all the readings I did, this comment sums up my feelings:

“Starting a business is not for everyone. Especially, since over 90% of small businesses eventually fail or make no money.
If you’re one of the lucky people to be able to sustain a small business then your lot in life is not an 8 to 5 job where you are almost guaranteed a paycheck every week. As a business owner, you are on the job 24 X 7 X 365. The payment for your services is not close to being guaranteed. If you calculated your hourly rate especially when you are first starting out is more than likely below minimum wage and most of the time $2 per hour.
Even when you have success and are making good money the worry you carry about the next change in the economy or losing your best Client or losing your best employee are everyday thoughts.
These and probably 100 more issues are reasons why most people are scared to open their own business.
However, for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not because I’m rich and successful but because I love the struggle, the fight and the freedom to control my own destiny.”

And I love this comments because it shows that not all entrepreneurs are driven by money. Well, I love money, don’t get me wrong and I want to have lots of it BUT it’s not my main motivator. Because if it is, I can stay on my high-earning job and collect my paycheck every month for the next 20 or so more years.

But that’s not the life that I want. And I know that’s not the life you want. I know because you are reading this.

The Wealthy Pinay community is about creating the life you have imagined for yourself. Not the life that you need or should or expected to do. It’s living the life in your terms. And definitely not a slave by money (oh! please read my latest Facebook post about that).

I’m always here, girl. I’m always here to listen, support, and encourage. You can bounce off your ideas with me and let’s talk about it. I’m a firm advocate of women supporting other women. You might not know me personally, and I don’t know you, but we can talk about business. I still have few slots next month for some mindset and business sessions. It’s totally free and no-strings-attached. Just here to help. 

Whatever situation you’re currently in, I sincerely wish that you’ll find the courage to dream, have the courage to continue, and have courage to believe. It won’t be easy my friend, I’m being frank here. But I know it will be all worth it. ❤️

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