My biggest fear as a small business owner is...

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There are moments when fear threatens to overwhelm the small business owner: real and imagined problems seem insurmountable, or inner demons (masquerading as doubt and loss of self-confidence) cannot be stilled.

Fears can center around cash flow problems, competitors pre-empting your ideas, losing key employees, not being able to establish an adequate work-life balance, being perceived as a failure, never being able to earn a living which reflects the hard work you put into your business, and concerns that you lack the practical skills to run your own business (e.g. ‘I’m just a techie/ writer/ chef/ plumber, what do I know about running a business?’)

What you are afraid of and the intensity of your fear may vary depending on your age, personal circumstances, the stage of development of your business, and the degree to which you can take steps to help or protect yourself and your small business.

But it is the rare small business owner who can claim to have experienced no fear at all during their entire journey starting, running, growing (and sometimes exiting) their business. Experiencing fear is normal. It is how you respond to that fear that determines the future of your small future.

Do you let the fear paralyze you and give yourself over to despair? Or do you let fear spur you into action, possibly looking at yourself and your environment from a different perspective?

Or maybe you alternate between the two as you try to find your footing? It can be difficult to know what you need to do and when to empower yourself and turn your situation around.

Share your views. What are (or have been) your biggest fears and how have you dealt with them? What advice would you give other small business owners?

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