Business advice from the Phonebox Millionaire: Don’t fear failure… learn from your mistakes and try again

Fear is an emotion felt by everyone at some time in their lives, but for some it controls their very existence.

Fear of going out – agoraphobia – is one such fear. Fear of staying in – Claustrophobia – is another. Vertigo, the fear of heights is yet another.

Atychiphobia, the fear of risk is the one that affects many business people the most.

Fear of risk is something many entrepreneurs face almost daily. Will this or that work? Will I waste my time? Will I run out my capital? What will my friends and family think if I fail? Will I make a fool of myself?

All these and many more are ‘fears’ which are expressed negatively.

However as an entrepreneur it is essential that you firstly understand your fears and then use them to your advantage – turning them to positively drive you forward.

In my case I only have to look into the mirror to confront my personal ‘Fear’ everyday!

Fear is essential. It prevents you stepping out onto a busy road in front of oncoming traffic. It prevents you from going too close to a cliff edge. It stops you taking unnecessary risks. What you mustn’t do though, in my opinion, is let it stop you taking ‘any’ risks.

If you are to grow your business you will need to take risks. It’s how you manage them that will define the outcome of any endeavour.

As an example a baby learns to walk by taking risks. At that stage of human development the baby is unaware of risks of course. It learns by falling down a few times. This however doesn’t prevent it trying again and again until walking is second nature. The drive to be mobile and express the freedom walking gives motivates the baby to have another go.

I doubt there is a parent anywhere who decided on the baby’s first fall that their baby will never walk! No, as a parent you keep getting your baby to stand up and try again until he or she does walk. You never give up! You keep encouraging baby to confront his or her fear of falling and have another go.

As an entrepreneur who may have failed it is essential that you learn to confront your fear of failure and try again. Your past does not equal your future. You can succeed. It is essential that you learn something from your mistakes but don’t be surprised if you repeat a few. I certainly have.

Fear as I say is a negative word which should be expressed positively. Use the fear of failure to drive you forward in any endeavour. It can be the most powerful word in your arsenal of resources.

Fear of lack of knowledge of your subject? React to that fear by obtaining more knowledge. Develop a burning desire for knowledge and your fear will dissolve.

Fear of failure? Develop a burning desire to succeed and you will conquer this fear also.

Anything is possible and most things are probable with a positive mental attitude.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Use that fear as a motivator and turn your dreams into reality.

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