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Hi, it’s Alicia here at newVAadvice.com and I’m back with another segment in the Getting Started series.
Today, I want to talk about fear. It’s the other “F” word. Fear is something that we all deal with, especially while we’re in the process of deciding if we should start our virtual assistant business.
I can tell you that I had plenty of fears when I started my business. Here are some things that I’ve thought and that I’ve heard from people that I’ve mentored:
Things we’re afraid of:
“I don’t really know what I’m doing. Running my own business will never work.”
“I won’t make enough money to do this for a living.”
“No one will want to hire me.”
“I don’t deserve to live out a dream like this.”
Does any of that sound familiar? Chances are, you’re thinking some of those very same thoughts yourself. So how do you address those fears, overcome them and move on? Today, I’m going to cover six actionable tips that will help you with this.
1. How Have You Handled Fear in the Past?
First, think about how you’ve overcome other fears in your life. Remember when you learned how to ride a bike for the first time? It was scary but you learned how to do it, you kept practicing and then one day, you took off on that bike without your training wheels for the first time.
Here’s another example. Many of you probably have kids. The thought of having and raising children can certainly be scary. And let’s face it, none of us really knew what we were doing the first time around. But did that fear stop you from having children? No. You probably looked at the big picture and decided that you would do what it takes to feel fulfilled and have a family, if that was your dream.
The point I’m making here is to look back on other times in your life that you were afraid but went ahead with something anyway. Learn from those experiences. You may have some instincts kick in that you weren’t even expecting.
2. Dealing with “What if”
The next practice in overcoming fear is to deal with the “what ifs.”
Think to yourself, “What is the absolute worst thing that can happen if I start this business?” Is it that you might not make as much money as you want? Then maybe you need to consider keeping your full-time job while you build a client roster or, if you’re not currently working, take a part-time job to help with income. If you need more money ideas, check out Part 4 of the Getting Started series.
Now, let’s turn it around and think, “What is the best thing that could happen if I start this business?” You’ll be working on your own terms. You’ll be doing something you love. You’re able to create a work schedule around the rest of your life.
And your final thought for the what-if game is, “What will I miss out on if I don’t start my business?” What if you don’t give yourself this chance right now?
3. Go Back to Your Why
Another way to deal with the fear that you’re feeling is to look at the big picture. Go back to Part 1 of the Getting Started series where we addressed knowing your why and using that for motivation. I know this all looks scary and overwhelming now, but what is your end goal with having your own virtual assistant business? Focus on where you want to be and start living and acting like you are in that place.
4. Change Your Mindset
Mindset is a big one when it comes to being an entrepreneur. A simple way to start this process is to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. Let’s go back to some of those things that we tell ourselves.
One of those thoughts was, “I don’t know what I’m doing. Running my own business will never work.” You can turn that into, “I will use the skills that I have and learn what I don’t know about running a business to make this work.” You’ve changed that negative thought process around and into a positive thought that you can believe in.
You can also take advantage of my free ecourse called Shedding the Employee Mindset to help you start thinking like an entrepreneur.
5. Know Your Goals, Make a Plan
The next tip in overcoming your fears is to know your goals. This can be business or personal but you need to write them down. It’s great to think about them, but they have to come out of your head and be written down to become a reality.
Then the next step is to develop a plan to achieve those goals. That could be your business plan or other action items you need to do in order to get your business up and running. Then break those things down into smaller tasks and schedule them on your calendar to work on them. Things don’t look as scary when you have a plan and you start taking action to achieve it.
6. Get Help
Finally, get the help that you need. I mean that in a couple of ways. If it’s education that you need on a topic, take a course to learn what you don’t know about running a business, industry news or your target market. I’ve made recommendations for all of those things at newVAadvice.com.
Getting help also entails finding someone you trust who can guide you through the process. Work with a mentor, coach or guide. When you work with someone and you’re able to talk through things and learn what to do next, it can often alleviate a lot of that fear.
If you think I might be a good fit to help you in this area, you can check out my mentoring page for ways that I can help you by phone or email. Perhaps it’s someone else in the industry or someone who is an entrepreneur in a different field. Whatever works for you, be sure to get the support that you need.
If something inside of you is telling you that you have to do this, even if you’re afraid, then do what you can to make that happen.
Recognize that you have special gifts and talents. There may be plenty of other people in this industry, but you have something unique to offer. People will want to work with you because of your personality and the things that make you uniquely you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to the people who are waiting to work with you.
Here are your action steps for this segment. Look back over the six tips that I gave in this segment and pick at least two to work on right now. You might choose creating goals and looking at your what-ifs. If that’s the case, then write down those goals and plan some action steps. Then write down all of those what-ifs and your answers to the questions that I asked in that part.
Start with two of these for now but then add in the others over the course of a week or two. Putting all of these pieces into place will help you move through that fear and make things happen!
If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.