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Overcoming Fear of Failure – So You Can Succeed as an Entrepreneur

By Luisa


That word can be so scary. So how do you overcome that fear of failure and not let it hold you back?

When I started my first online business, I was almost paralyzed by my fear of failure, especially of putting myself out there and having everyone SEE me fail.

Despite all of that, I was able to overcome my fear and build that business to over 6-figures BEFORE I left my job.

Lean in, because I’m about to share 3 powerful tips to help you eliminate that fear so that you can successfully achieve your business goals.

Tip #1: Stop seeing failure as an end point

When I was starting my first online business, every little failure and rejection felt like a physical blow.

I remember one time, I submitted an article idea to a very popular website that you might have heard of – Lifehacker – and I was so certain I was going to get accepted.

Every morning for weeks, I’d check my email and obsessively hit refresh, waiting for the reply I knew was coming.

It never came.

And I remember thinking…I’m never going to succeed. Because of this ONE rejection.

Thank goodness I didn’t give up, though. Because after that, I had about 50 more failures, including 2 months where I spoke with almost 30 people and had all of them tell me that they couldn’t afford me.

However, because I didn’t let those failures get to me and I didn’t give up, I got a yes at person #31, and I was back in business.

I’m making a bit light of it now, but at the time, it was the most painful thing in the world to face all of those failures and rejections.

I’m sharing this though because I want you to see that for every success, there are many failures that had to first happen to pave the way for that success.

So shift your thinking from seeing each failure as a confirmation that you can’t succeed. And stop thinking that if you fail, it’s game over.

Instead, accept that failure is simply part of the process.

Tip #2: Ask yourself – what’s the worst thing that could happen?

Whenever I feel fear creeping up, this is the question I always go back to.

Really, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

When I first started posting content on social media and sharing my knowledge with the world, I was so scared. I’m a huge introvert and super sensitive, so nothing about my personality helped.

But, here’s how I thought about it…

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

If I write something and no one responds, I’ll still be OK. I’ll have my job and a roof over my head. Maybe people will laugh at me and think I’m dumb, but if that’s the worst case scenario, that’s not so bad.

I did the same thing when I thought about failing in my business. What if no one wanted to buy from me? Ever?

Well, I remember thinking very clearly to myself even though at the time I really wanted to leave my 9-5…

You know what? Even if I can’t make this work, I have a job. Or I can get another one.


OK getting really honest…

I did think to myself: If things get really bad, at least my parents will always have a place for me. I never told them that, and I definitely wasn’t hoping that would happen.

But I knew that ultimately, even if I failed in the worst way I could imagine, I’d still have my life, health, and the people I cared about.

When you think about it that way, that fear isn’t so scary anymore, right?

Tip #3: Overcome your fear of failure by removing the emotion

I remember reading a story about the billionaire founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely.

When she was growing up, her dad would ask her and her siblings at dinner every night…

What did you fail at today?

And she credited that question with helping her develop an attitude of embracing failure and seeing it as a learning opportunity.

That story really stuck with me, and that attitude has made all the difference in my own business.

In fact, in my Employee to Entrepreneur course, it’s an attitude that I try to instill in every single student.

And when something doesn’t go as well as hoped, I have epic spreadsheets to track everything and scientifically figure out what went wrong so that it can be fixed.

I’ve seen embracing this final tip as one of the key differentiators of my most successful students who are able to build the business and life of their dreams.

And I’m sharing this with you in the hope that you’ll be able to do the same for yourself.

The business and life that you want are waiting for you…if you’re willing to overcome your fear of failure.

Because ultimately, when you weigh your dreams against your fears, I know that your dreams are so much bigger and more powerful than your fears. (Once you embrace that, you can even USE your fear to help you reach your dreams that much faster.)

Once you’re ready, I’ve got a tutorial for you on how to get your first paying clients.

Before you knock out that fear though, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Let me know: Which tip did you find the most helpful? And why?

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The proven blueprint

for building a profitable online coaching business that frees you from the 9-to-5

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online business. Fun Fact: She's also a former International Space Station engineer.

The proven blueprint

for building a profitable online coaching business that frees you from the 9-to-5

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