Hi, I am Nataly and I am the co-founder of Work It, Mom!
I write the daily Work It, Mom! Blog where I talk about issues affecting working moms, goings on in our Work It, Mom! community, new site features, updates,and contests. I also share my own juggle between work and family and love to see members jump in with comments. Come and visit often!
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Today’s guest blog post is by Wendy, the rockin’ founder of emomsathome.com. Following up on my post yesterday about overcoming fears of failure as an entrepreneur, this is Wendy’s perspective on the topic. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of hers–read this, it will give you a fresh perspective whether or not you’re an entrepreneur.
Is it Fear of Failure or Fear of Success That Is Holding You Back?
My second home based business was a great freelance graphic design business. I ran it for 4 years from home, never took on any debt, and made money every year (until the endâ€¦ but thatâ€™s another story). There were several times in which I tried to figure out how to grow the company without taking on more clients - and the obvious solution was to subcontract some of my work out to other freelancers.
This worked for a while, but I found that I was a little lot outside of my comfort zone to delegate work - especially work that had â€œmy name on itâ€. I wanted to run the show - wanted to maintain control. At the time, I knew I was dealing with an internal struggle - and deducted that I was just afraid of failing :: that if I didnâ€™t control all of the pieces of the puzzle, something would go terribly wrong.
So I eventually stopped trying.
It wasnâ€™t until few years later that I realized that perhaps it wasnâ€™t fear of failure at all. In fact, I was damn good at failing :: I failed to follow up on a ton of leads, failed to grow my business to the level I wanted, failed to manage my time efficiently, and in the end the burnout got to me and I ended up closing my doors (which may or may not be considered a failure - for me, it truly was the right time to move on).
It was a dear friend who helped me to see that failing was indeed comfortable for me. What I was actually afraid of was becoming a success. Megan over at eBay Selling for eParents wrote a heartfelt post about this yesterday. And instead of buttoning up her article, she left it open ended and asked for some input from others.
So hereâ€™s what I have found. Becoming successful has a whole slew of perceived baggage that comes with it: I feared that if I became hugely successfulâ€¦
- Friendships and relationships would change because I would become more successful than the people I loved
- That success would go to my head and I would become a raving bi*ch (hahaha)
- That I would become materialistic and spend a lot of money on things that I didnâ€™t need
- That I would teach my children that success is more important than relationships
- That once I became successful I was going to have to be perfect all of the time, because thatâ€™s what people would expect of me
When it came right down to it, being super-successful was so darn foreign to me that the uncertainty that it caused was more frightening than just staying in my ho-hum business and never getting anywhere.
At least I knew what to expect with â€œho-humâ€.
I wonâ€™t kid you by saying that busting through these fears was easy. Honestly, Iâ€™d have to say that they were the hardest challenge of all - pushing me to the limits of what I felt I was capable of (and well beyond it, at times).
In short, the internal walls to success are far more difficult to conquer than any external challenge you will ever face as a business owner.
And I hate to sound negative, but no matter how successful I get, there still seems to be more internal roadblocks to overcome. The good news is that once you get a little practice at facing your fears and moving past them, it does get easier to do it again.
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