Almost every business owner has a fear of the unknown. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, or are interested in becoming one, you likely came up with a multitude of scenarios in your head that quite frankly, freak you out. How can you possibly know everything that your future holds? Quite simply, you can’t, but there’s so much beauty in releasing yourself into the unknown in business. Here’s how.
There’s a set of rules—called the Core Four—that focuses on how one can navigate the unknown and discomfort in life and come out happier on the other side. These rules are incredibly useful in helping business owners when they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the unknown of a new business venture. Let’s jump right into these four things you need in order to get over the fear of the unknown.
Principle One: What are you passionate about?
Before jumping into a new business, it is important that you truly love and have a passion for what you are about to do. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur/investor that has a love for investing in exciting new businesses or you are just passionate about the fitness industry, caring matters.
It is also important that you are not only passionate about the business you are going into, but that you care deeply about jumping right into your business to change lives and the way people perceive your services or products. Ask yourself, 'How can I help improve what I am offering? How can I push myself out of my comfort zone in order to benefit others and my business?' Even if you don’t quite have the answers yet, you are preparing yourself to jump into the unknown and inviting the challenge.
Principle Two: Recognize that discomfort is inevitable and you have to be okay with it.
Perhaps one of the hardest things in business is accepting the idea that not everything will go as well as you had planned and hoped for. It is a sobering thing to realize that you inevitably will be faced with discomfort and challenges, but it can be equally as beautiful to sit in that feeling and come to the realization that it will be okay in the end.
Rather than fighting it and telling yourself that you will be one of few to not experience this, it is important to come to the conclusion that you will indeed go through some periods of growth and discomfort. In the end, however, how you respond to this discomfort is what will set you apart from others in your industry. Are you willing to fight for your business to prevail? If you are a franchise owner, are you willing to lean on your franchisor to guide you towards success? Make sure you come to grips with the reality of your situation and understand that in the end, you will be a better business owner after going through this.
Principle Three: Recognize the behaviors that will propel you forward and the ones that will stall your progress.
The third principle may be one of the hardest to overcome, as it requires you to reflect inward on your words and actions as a business owner. As a business owner, it is important to make sure that you are hyperaware that your actions and words are now a direct reflection of not only yourself, but also your staff and the business you run. When you get thrown into a situation that makes you uncomfortable or puts you in a place where you have never been before, are you reacting the way you would like your boss/friend/mentor/business partner to act?
If you are lucky enough to be a part of a franchise network, you have the opportunity to receive support through a business model that was made with your exact business venture in mind. Not only will you have the chance to check in on how you are doing, but you can measure your progress, success, and course of action should you need it. For example, if you are looking to find new ways to engage your customers because you feel they have recently become disengaged with your offerings, you have the ability to seek out support from your network. They will likely ask you if you have been utilizing all of the tools available to you, such as marketing, sales, or communication tactics. If the answer is no, you will have the opportunity to correct yourself quickly with their help.
If you are not a part of a franchise network, you will have to navigate this on your own, or with the help of your staff. It is important that you lay out all expectations and plans from the beginning so that you can check in on them as time goes on.
Moral of the story: make sure you hold yourself accountable for how you react to the unknown and unexpected.
Principle Four: What drives you through the discomfort towards success?
The fourth and final principle is made to follow the third principle in regards to how you respond to the unknown. If you are feeling anxious about when you will break even as a new business owner or how your industry will bounce back from a temporary setback, ask yourself this: what fuels you to push through the discomfort of being a business owner?
For example, if the product or service you are offering can change someone's life, but you are temporarily feeling anxious about the idea of finding the right location for your business, ask yourself how you can push through this in order to get back to changing people’s lives. Your end goal will get you through even the hardest days, pushing you through the temporary obstacles and towards the finish line. Keeping your end goal in mind will not only give you purpose, but it will also keep your mind off of the temporary feelings of discomfort and more on what your business can offer.
Finding the answer to this question will help you get back on track and allow you to objectively sit in your feelings of the unknown and recognize that this is temporary and you will prevail.
Whether you are a well-seasoned investor or a new business owner, it is important that you reflect on how you are responding to the unknown. Even if you feel as though you have it all figured out, these four key principles may just help you get back on a track that you didn’t realize you veered off of. Remember: discomfort and the unknown are temporary, but only you can make your success last.