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3 Small Proven Tactics To Overcome Big Startup Fears

3 Small Proven Tactics To Overcome Big Startup Fears

Starting a business is one of the most liberating, life-changing things you can do.

You’ve made your decision. You want to start working for yourself and you’re ready for the income caps to be off your finances. There’s just one problem — that gap between seeing your vision and getting to it almost feels impossible.

Where do you start?

Should you start?

Can you really do it?

Before you know it, that excitement you once held for your project is now just a distant thought. Tonight’s dinner has now taken priority. But why does this keep happening? You get to a certain thought or particular part of the process and then stop until next time.

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Without you realizing it, your fearful thoughts are causing you to react and retract away from your true desires. These fears have become the cage from which you’re unable to escape. So how can you side-sweep these fears and really move towards the dream you want?

Here are three small tactics to help you overcome your big startup fears.

Accept That You Are Not A Psychic

When I finally hacked the lock off my cage of fear and started living according to my desires is when I finally understood what fear really is. Fear is the worry of something that doesn’t even exist. You are worried about something that hasn’t happened. Why are you torturing yourself over events, situations, or circumstance that haven’t even occurred?

That’s crazy, right?

Let it go. Your fears are there to protect you and keep you safe. But when they are controlling you instead of you controlling them, it’s a recipe for disaster. This prevents you from achieving what you want in life.

If you are making sensible and rational decisions, then you have no reason to be fearful of the things that don’t exist (and may never exist). To think about your startup fears is to attract them to you, so accept that bad events may happen in your business, it’s called “learning.”

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Reset Your Program

Your mind currently runs on its own program. At the moment, whatever situation you are in in your life means that your mindset has attracted you to that situation.

Your startup fears are part of a mindset program that you have set for yourself, and it plays back to you constantly. When you become conscious of the program you’ve unconsciously set for yourself, you can then reprogram it.

Right now, your mindset is either focussed on successful or unsuccessful thoughts. Each program is set based on things like your experiences in your childhood, environment, personal life and relationships, etc.

Begin reprogramming yourself by becoming aware of your thought patterns so that you can sense and feel your own negative presence. When you are experiencing negative thoughts, your body language will change — your face changes and your aura changes.

To beware aware of these changes in yourself means that you can consciously alter them. Commit to not allowing negative thoughts, words, or actions to enter your experience. Commit to seeing yourself and others in a good light. Luckily, we are all born differently, with various traits and personalities. Our perspectives are different, our skills vary, and our opinions can change. Appreciate this and only respond to it from a positive aspect. Like a mirror with a positive reflection, it will reflect positivity back to you.

Next, contact your subconscious mind by sitting down in a quiet place where you won’t be bothered. Using a pen and paper, write down all of your worries, anxieties, or anything important that is on your to-do list right now. Dedicate this time for you and your subconscious mind. Listen and feel what it has to say.

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Why is it not working with you towards your goals? What are its fears? Why is it really pushing against you? What is it protecting you from?

Start off your list with broad reasons, then start digging deeper to get specific answers. For example, your subconscious “broad” fears might include the fear of success. To get specific answers, think about what it is that you fear about success:

  • Is it growing apart from your partner?
  • Is it letting people down?
  • Is it having more people rely on you?
  • Is it the thought of extra responsibility?
  • Is it the fear of being tied down to your desk?
  • Is it the thought of having more work?

Allow your subconscious to have its say. After all, it’s just trying to prevent harm and disappointment. Hear without judgement or anger, only genuine curiosity.

If you can tap into the specific reasons why your fears exist, this is the priceless information you need to turn things around and change the program. Once you’ve reached the core of your worries and fears, it’s time to release them. Speak to your subconscious in a way that is comfortable to you. This could mean speaking out loud, writing a letting, or just thinking the words. Work it out so you can work together and not against each other.

Make a promise to yourself to honour what is truly important to you and what you truly want in your life.

You are taking control and reprogramming not just the subconscious mind, but your whole life too.

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Planning Makes Perfect

When you have a plan, you increase the potential of the outcome that you actually want.

If your startup is a one-person show, when you look at everything that needs to be done from the starting point to the end point, the journey can make you feel overwhelmed. All the hurdles, potential downfalls, and new knowledge can make you fear starting a business. But when you have every step planned out in front of you, the journey doesn’t seem so scary.

By planning, the huge leap becomes small steps, and if you can continuously plan the next small step, then before you know it you’re slowly growing your business.

The key to startup planning is being productive and not just busy. The way to do this is to create a huge to-do list. Write down everything that needs to be done in your business. Leave nothing out and write freely, from the biggest to the smallest tasks. Then, section off each task into groups. The first group is for the tasks that contribute to your startup growth only. The other groups are based on the tasks that need to be completed but are not urgent.

What’s most important is that you know what tasks need to be done in order to grow your business. This includes things like product creation, submitting guest posts, or testing your service out before it goes on sale.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is a scary time to start a business. If you are fearful, your options are to stay caged by fear or to accept, embrace it, and keep pushing forward.

Like I said before, fear is the worry of events and situations that haven’t even happened yet. You can keep yourself locked up or break free and make the visions in your head a reality.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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