Becoming a Founder

Fear Of Failure: A Barrier To Entrepreneurship

The journey you take as an entrepreneur can be both rewarding and challenging, but is your fear of failure holding you back?

Blog Author - Amanda Beach
Amanda Beach
Apr 22, 20244 minutes
Blog Author - Amanda Beach
Amanda Beach

Amanda Beach is a writer, editor, and project manager with 10 years of experience in tech and HR. She currently resides in Denver, CO.

29 postsAuthor's posts
1920x1080 Laid Off to Entrepreneur Taking This as Your Sign

The excitement surrounding the launch of your business can be thrilling. But the hurdles you might face in the process can be equally defeating. 

The factors that play into your success — or failure — as a new business founder are numerous and, at times, hard to control. And that can be pretty scary. But many before you have paved the way for entrepreneurship, all while experiencing the fear of failure. The key is understanding the specific aspects that contribute to that fear. Let’s examine why taking that leap can feel intimidating and how to look at entrepreneurship realistically.

Why Are Entrepreneurs Afraid to Fail?

When running a business (or trying to get one started), being afraid to fail comes with the territory. There’s a lot to do, and it’s not uncommon for founders to figure things out as they go. Having to learn things in the moment can shake your confidence, especially when you’re not familiar with the nitty-gritty of entrepreneurship.

If fear of failure is holding you back from entrepreneurship, you’re not alone. Fifty-nine percent of adults surveyed by Justworks and The Harris Poll said that fear of failure was holding them back from starting a business. But what, exactly, factors into that fear? What specific challenges do new or potential founders think they can’t tackle?

The Economy and Lack of Funding

The uncertain economic climate in the U.S. is impacting employers and employees alike. But an unfavorable economy is just one piece of the financial puzzle that worries entrepreneurs. Many potential founders consider funding one of the biggest barriers. Without access to capital and other financial resources, launching a business can feel impossible.

Knowledge and Experience

When it comes to starting something new, many people fail to even begin because they don’t know what they’re doing, or they feel they don’t know enough. When it comes to starting a business, some might hesitate because they don’t even know how to start. For others, all the uncertainties involved in running a business are just too intimidating.

Administrative Tasks

It’s true — not all aspects of starting a business are fun and exciting. But the ins and outs of daily operations are a necessary part of entrepreneurship. For some, though, administrative headaches are enough to stop them before they begin. Things like human resources, benefits, payroll, and training can be overwhelming to handle, especially if you’re handling it without any additional tools or resources.

Employer Compliance

Like daily operations, employment compliance comes with the territory of starting a business. Ever-changing employer regulations, complicated tax codes, small business tax rules, filing taxes — these are all part of entrepreneurship. But dealing with all of these complicated aspects of running a business can feel like a lot. For some, it heavily contributes to their fear of failure.

How Can Entrepreneurs Build Confidence?

Armed with the lessons you’ve learned (be it from your own experiences or those of other entrepreneurs), you are fully capable of building confidence. Sure, sometimes faking it ‘til you make it applies. But if simply acting confident isn’t cutting it, we’ve got some tips on how to actually become more confident.

Find Funding

You can’t change the economy, but you can take advantage of what funding is available to you. It can be hard to know what’s out there, so here are a few ways to focus your search:

  • Small business grants. Forbes keeps an updated list, but here are a ton out there beyond what you’ll find in Google’s first few search results. Check out the websites for your local and state small business associations to see what they may have to offer.

  • Learn how to prepare for a pitch. This can include aspects like creating a business plan, Securing funding can be hard, but making sure you’re fully prepared can only help. 

  • Ask your fellow founders. Connecting with your peers can allow you to gather valuable insights around funding opportunities, application challenges, and unexpected sources of capital.

Gain Knowledge

If you can overcome the feelings of self-doubt and the expectations you set for yourself, you’ll pass over one of the biggest hurdles. Here are some ideas to help you find your way:

  • Network with other entrepreneurs. Even the freshest of founders have something to offer. Whether that’s validation of your negative feelings or advice on where to source a specific product, make an effort to build relationships with others like yourself.

  • Find a mentor (or a business partner). As we said, it’s okay that you don’t know everything. But it doesn’t hurt to learn from (or work with) someone who does. Build a relationship with another founder or start-up pro who’s been in your industry for a bit and take any opportunity to learn from their experience.

  • Consider going niche. Perhaps you’re an MWBE or a veteran-owned small business. Maybe you’re launching your small business in a city like L.A. or Austin. Whatever your niche is, dig deep and search for resources specifically suited to your business.

Streamline Admin and Compliance (and Save Time)

The amount of complicated admin that comes with starting and running a business is no joke. But there are so many solutions that exist today that can help you streamline one or all of the operational tasks that make up your day-to-day:

  • Outsource to HR and legal experts. There are plenty of professionals out there who can help you handle things like risk management and human resource tasks. You can often choose to hire them as employees or work with them on a contracting basis.

  • Payroll and bookkeeping software. Doing things manually is a thing of the past with many payroll and bookkeeping providers on the market. Justworks Payroll and other solutions can help you save time while ensuring employees are paid correctly and on time.

  • Professional employer organizations (PEOs). Companies like these bundle payroll, HR, compliance support, and access to benefits into one offering. For founders who are just starting out, this can save a lot of time and provide peace of mind. 

  • Lean on free resources. The Scoop is a great example of this — it’s Justworks’ way of helping small businesses keep up with ever-changing employment laws and regulations.

How Justworks Can Help Entrepreneurs

Since day one, our mission has been to help entrepreneurs and businesses grow with confidence. By offering a solution that enables entrepreneurs owners to focus on the core of their business, Justworks helps small business owners and their companies thrive.

With Justworks PEO, you get access to benefits, plus payroll software, HR tools, compliance support, and 24/7 customer service, all through one user-friendly platform. Think streamlined business operations, simplified payroll, and a helping hand with all the nitty-gritty that gets in the way of starting — and growing — your business with confidence. If you’re ready to overcome that fear of failure, get started with Justworks PEO today.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Amanda Beach
Amanda Beach
Apr 22, 20244 minutes

Amanda Beach is a writer, editor, and project manager with 10 years of experience in tech and HR. She currently resides in Denver, CO.

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