Fear is often referenced as the reason that a person did not take an entrepreneurial leap. With 80% of small businesses failing in the first 5 years and 96% of small businesses failing in the first 10 years I understand why people are hesitant to make the entrepreneurial leap. Michael Gerber author of the E-Myth – Revisited calls deciding to start your own business an “entrepreneurial seizure.”
Fear of failure is a powerful emotion that at times can be a positive reaction because it saves us from doing something foolish that will hurt us in the end. All to often though fear of failure is used as an excuse to not take action and this kind of fear robs us of our potential.
In fact, as Les Brown says “fear can age you, it puts people in the hospital, in the graveyard” and he also says that the “graveyard is the richest place on the planet because so many inventions and businesses can be found there, businesses and ideas that we were never exposed to”! Why? It is because fear stopped those people from taking action and humanity suffered as a result because we missed out on the opportunity to experience what that person would have created.
Today I would like to relate an experience that highlights a totally different kind of fear, a fear that is just as powerful at robbing us from experiencing what contributions someone might have made. FEAR OF SUCCESS!
I saw a hopeful entrepreneur today turn down a great opportunity for their new business. You could see that this hopeful entrepreneur was afraid, no terrified of the opportunity being successful. They were scared that they would not be able to handle success. This hopeful entrepreneur had convinced themselves that it was for the greater good but I can see no sense in it at all. To make matters worse I had seriously contemplated investing heavily in this hopeful entrepreneur’s business but after seeing how fear of success had totally robbed this person of their potential greatness I decided to remain quiet and let the moment pass.
It is so sad when people shy away from their greatness because of fear. So many people never discover why they are on this earth. They struggle through life and never find a passion, a way to contribute to our society, to their community, and to their family. My suggestion is to keep looking, keep searching for something that speaks to you.
Fear is a terrible plague for it robs men and women of their dignity but far worse it robs them of their potential. Since all humans possess greatness within themselves this loss of potential is quite possibly the greatest threat to our economy today. Imagine if every person found a way to let their greatness out – what kind of a world would we live in?
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