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Fear is a liar: 6 lies fear feeds you when starting a business

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FEAR IS A LIARFear, it stops you dead in your tracks. It says, “You can’t do that.” It keeps people, including you, from realizing their full potential. Fear keeps you mediocre. It prevents you from being awesome. Here are six lies that fear feeds you when you are on the verge of starting something awesome.

1.  I have a secure job and a great retirement plan. I can’t leave and start fresh.
This is a very common lie that many people believe. It’s completely false though. No matter how secure you may think your job is, it’s never that secure. My first job out of college was the all-illusive “secure” government job. Well, three years into working for the City of Denton, they instituted mass lay-offs. Hundreds of people lost their jobs, and I bet you every single one of them thought their job was “secure.” Many of them probably even lost company matching with their retirement plan because they hadn’t been there long enough.

2. There are too many competitors out there.
Ok, lets just throw this one out the window right now. Anybody who has had a business class can tell you that competition is good. Competition essentially serves as third party marketing for your product. Just look at the energy bar isle at Whole Foods, there are TONS of bars to chose from and yet many of those companies have been in business for years. New competition brings awareness to the category and gives everybody selling energy bars a lift.

3. I won’t make enough money.
First of all, let me stay this; you can live on a lot less than you think. It’s going to take some sacrifice though. First of all, decide when you want to get serious about launching your business. After you do that, start making some life adjustments. Cancel all those frivolous monthly accounts such as NetFlix, Hulu, Satellite TV, and pointless subscription boxes. Revisit your budget and figure out what is truly needed and what isn’t. Be prepared to lower your grocery budget and live on rice and beans for a while. I used to spend $600 a month on MYSELF for groceries, but once I launched my business my wife and I BOTH lived off $400 a month for groceries. Sure, I had to give up buying everything organic, but eventually all of that will be added back into our budget. But for now we are making a sacrifice. Check out my recent post “living lean” for more thoughts on this.

Starting a business isn’t easy, and you will make less in the start, but once you make the switch into a job you are truly passionate about, you will reap the rewards. It just won’t happen overnight.

4. But I need insurance and benefits.
This is another lie that fear will feed you. Do you REALLY need it, or does it just provide you a false sense of security. I haven’t had insurance for over three years now, and during that time I have always managed to pay whatever doctor bill came my way. But I also don’t go to the doctor like I used to. When I cold comes on I suck it up and treat it with home remedies and wait for it to pass. No more Z-Packs (which never worked for me anyway).

Also, there are all sorts of individual health savings plans, 401k’s, and group insurance policies you can join. Insurance and benefits alone should not be a reason to not start something awesome.

5.    I don’t have the experience.
Again, this is another bold-faced lie! Experience is overrated. I can tell you from EXPERIENCE. You don’t need experience. All you really need is passion, the willingness to learn combined with the drive and determination to bring your dream to fruition. When I started Bearded Brothers I knew absolutely nothing about the packaged food business. The most relevant experience I had was working in the Sea Food/Butcher Block counter at Albertsons when I was in High School.

I am under the belief that if somebody wants something bad enough they can learn whatever it is they need to become an expert in that field. I’m still far from an expert myself when it comes to food manufacturing, but I’m in the heat of it, constantly learning and growing my skill sets. I learn new things every day; from improving manufacturing techniques to the proper way to price my product to distributors so it hits a good retail price on the shelf.

6.    The economy is horrible right now.
When will the economy ever be truly “good” again? Gas will never drop back down to .85 per gallon (the price I paid when I was 16). A gallon of milk will never drop below a dollar. The truth is, a bad economy is only a false perception. Even though prices constantly go up, people are still buying and the economy is still thriving. Using the economy as an excuse is fear bullying you into not starting.

Fear is the biggest liar ever, especially when it comes to starting an awesome, new business. Fear doesn’t want you to succeed. Fear wants to keep you right where you are. For the longest time fear kept me from leaving my traditional full time job and starting my own business. All of the excuses above where things fear whispered into my ear daily. But when I finally let go and stopped believing the lies, it was the best thing I ever did.


About Caleb

I'm the co-owner/founder of Bearded Brothers, an organic snackfood company. I love ultra running, rock climbing and cycling. I'm also a vegetarian, passionate about health and well-being.
  • Alden Tan

    Fear is an asshole!