Creative Business Tips

Overcome the Fear of Starting Your Business

January 18, 2022

Ready to start your creative biz, but overwhelmed by fear? Here are three tips to move forward.

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Are you ready to overcome the fear of starting your creative business? Do you have an idea for your business, but every time you start to take action, fear stops you in your tracks?

Do you find yourself asking questions like, 

  • “What if I fail?”
  • “What if I mess up?”
  • “What if people make fun of me?” and
  • “What if I don’t do it right?” 

All of these questions are totally normal on the entrepreneurial journey because starting your creative business can feel scary and full of unknowns.

But what if fear didn’t have to hold you back?

What if instead, you could use fear as a guide to move forward on your creative business journey?

In this blog post, I’m sharing 3 tips to overcome fear and move forward with more confidence to start your creative biz.

3 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Starting Your Business

Tip 1: Recognize and Acknowledge Your Fear

The only way to begin to overcome the fear of starting your creative business is to first recognize and acknowledge that the fear is present. If you try to ignore your fear, pretend it isn’t there, or push it away, it usually only becomes louder and more powerful. Instead, when you recognize and acknowledge that fear is present, you can start to make the fear more tangible. Once your fear is tangible, you can make a plan to dissipate it, quiet it, and actually use it as a guide forward on your business journey.

To recognize your fear, take 10 minutes to sit in a quiet place with a pen and your journal or a piece of paper. Set a timer for 10 minutes and free-write about your fear. What scares you about starting your creative business? What are you afraid of, specifically? Is it the fear of failing? Is it the fear of being judged? Is it the fear of filing your taxes?

Get granular and specific about what your fear truly is. Don’t filter yourself. Allow yourself to write any and all fears that come up.

After the timer goes off, read back through your fears. Recognize that they are present and acknowledge how they make you feel. Thank your fears for trying to protect you. Take note of the fears that are legitimately tangible, like filing your taxes or not knowing a specific skill yet, and make a plan for how to lessen that fear, like hiring an accountant or taking a class. 

Then, take note of the fears that are unavoidable like other people’s opinions of your choice to start your creative business. Recognize that you have no control over what people say. Accept that people will always have an opinion, but at the end of the day, you are the one who lives with your life.

Once you’ve recognized what your fears are specifically, you can take action to begin to lessen that fear’s power over you. 

Tip 2: Speak Your Fear Out Loud

Once you’ve taken time in solitude to recognize your fears, it’s time to share them with a trusted friend. 

This is particularly useful if you share your fears with another creative business owner who understands why you are feeling afraid. When you speak your fear aloud, you make the fear even more tangible which can give it less power by breaking fearful thought loops that may be playing on repeat in your brain. 

By sharing your fears with a trusted friend in the industry, you can find validation for feeling the way you feel, as well as tips to move through, and with, the fear on your journey.

Lastly, speaking your fear aloud to another person can reveal that what you thought was scary actually isn’t all that likely to happen, and if it does, you can make a plan and you will be okay.

Tip 3: Reframe Your Perspective of Fear

Once you’ve recognized your specific fears and shared them aloud with a trusted friend, it’s time to transform your mindset about fear from something to avoid to something that is totally normal and can be a useful guide on your creative business journey.

When you can start to see fear as a friend instead of a foe, you can use it as a tool to inform your decisions and provide clarity on which steps to take on your entrepreneurial journey.

One way to begin to shift your perspective with fear is to reframe your doubts.

Rather than going to the worst case scenarios of your fear, like, “What if I fail?” reframe that doubt into a phrase full of possibility like, “What if I succeed?”

Rather than the fear, “What if people judge me for starting a creative business?” ask, “What if I am fully supported in starting my creative business?”

Notice how the reframes shift how you feel mentally, as well as physically. Do you feel more ease? A greater sense of possibility? More faith in yourself and your intuition?

Any time you hear a fearful, doubtful phrase enter your mind, play the reframe game to transform it into an uplifting, empowering statement to guide you forward.

To dive deeper into these tips and gain more tools to transform fear into a guide on your creative business journey, take my online class:

Navigate the Creative Wilderness: Transform Your Fear into a Guide” on Skillshare.

You can take the class and get one free month on the platform here.

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I’m an illustrator and educator based in North Carolina. When I started my creative biz I dreamed of time and location freedom that would not only give me a rad biz, but a life to live fully. After making my dream a reality, it’s now my mission to help you bring your unique vision to life through coaching and illustration. If you love cowboy coffee, dancing to 90s music, and believe in the infinite power of creativity, you’re in the right place.

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