I am all too familiar with the deep, deep fear that comes along with starting your own business. I know the waves of self doubt, where you ask yourself over and over again if you are actually good enough to start your business. But I also know the waves of joy, the excitement of building that matters and the thrill of sharing that with others. Which is why it always surprises me how often people tell me they are afraid to start their own businesses. I never have the perfect advice to share when people ask me for advice on starting their own business, but luckily this Mindy Kaling article hits the nail on the head for me:
"Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement has gotten a bad rap because it's used almost exclusively for the useless children of the rich, reality TV stars, and Conrad Hilton Jr., who gets kicked off an airplane for smoking pot in the lavatory and calling people peasants or whatever. But entitlement in and of itself isn't so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great. The hard part is, you'd better make sure you deserve it. So, how did I make sure that I deserved it?
People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That's a mistake.
I work a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I feel like I must have been watching TV as a kid and that cartoon parable about the industrious ants and the lazy grasshopper came on at a vital moment when my soft little brain was hardening, and the moral of it was imprinted on me. The result of which is that I'm usually hyper-prepared for whatever I set my mind to do, which makes me feel deserving of attention and professional success, when that's what I'm seeking."
If you are afraid of starting your own business, just work for it!