I used to think some people are naturally fearless. They jump out of airplanes and not because it’s about to crash. I couldn’t relate. I was extremely risk averse. If there was any chance I would fail, I wouldn’t even try regardless of how small the risk or great the reward.
That was me until a mentor told me what the seemingly fearless know that I did not. Here’s the secret: Everyone is afraid. Sane people do not jump out of planes with no fear or trepidation. They feel the fear and do it anyway.
If you’re feeling nervous about starting a franchise, you’re in good company. Every candidate, regardless of how many times they do it, has anxiety about investing in a new business. Bravery is not letting the fear stop you from making the decision to jump.
You know fear is coming, so how do you “do it anyway?” Here are some practical steps to overcoming fear and doubt.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what is causing the fear. I have often thought it was one thing when it turns out to be completely different. I have always had a fear of heights. I get the vertigo, sick feeling, and just want to run from any ledge even if there’s a railing between me and certain death. When I was ready to face my fear, I quickly learned my fear wasn’t the height but falling. If I am in a safe environment, there’s no logical reason to be afraid. Journal about how you’re feeling and what you think could go wrong. You may find that your fear isn’t what you expected or isn’t a real risk.
Weigh the Risk
The first time I went skydiving, I wanted to know the likelihood of failure. There’s less than 1 in 300,000 tandem jumpers who have an unsuccessful jump. That’s pretty low odds of something going drastically wrong and was enough information to make me comfortable or as comfortable as you can jumping out of a plane. Jumping was amazing and my first experience with that addicting feeling of overcoming fear. In businesses, it’s really no different other than failing isn’t death. Find out the success rates of the franchisees. Are you like the successful franchisees or like the ones who didn’t make it? Then once you find a model that works and meets your goals, just jump. It will change your life.
Find the Right Support
Sometimes our brain cannot rationalize fear, and there are always people in our lives that feed into the fear rather than helping us overcome it. When I decided to jump out of a plane, I had several friends and family tell me I was crazy for even considering it and a few tell me I was not the kind of person who jumped out of a plane. While that was true – I wasn’t the jump-out-of-a-plane kind of person, there was no reason I couldn’t become that fearless risk-taker. I had one friend who had skydived before, and he told me how empowered he felt after it and how it changed his perspective. That was what I needed to hear. It’s easy to listen to the negative, but find someone is has done what you’re trying to do. Hear what they have to say and what you can do to reach your goals. Ignore the critics who will always be on the ground.
Some of the best experiences in my life were after I overcame fear. I hope you feel the fear, do it anyway, and reap the rewards that those on the ground can only imagine.
Jessica Houston, Franchise Consultant