Many entrepreneurs aren’t held back by a lack of opportunities, skills, or even capital. They’re held back by a fear of the unknown.
Fortunately, you can embrace and utilize fear. In fact, you can turn fear into a potent force for success in franchising or elsewhere in your life.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know to complete this transformation. By the end of this article, you’ll understand how you can turn fear from a liability into an asset.
Where Does Fear Come From?
We experience fear when we anticipate danger or discomfort.
Of course, in our modern lives, we don’t need to worry about real danger, like saber-toothed cats attacking us.
Still, that’s not going to stop our brains from trying to do their jobs of protecting us.
So, what happens?
Our brains hallucinate. In the absence of real dangers, our brains find danger whether it exists or not. And the easiest opportunities for our brains to fixate on are areas where we have limited knowledge.
Starting a franchise venture brings numerous unknowns. It’s completely normal for these uncertainties to breed fear and even leave you paralyzed.
Not shockingly, most people never move past this fear to realize their dreams of starting a business.
How to Turn "What If" Worries into Powerful Actions
As you gather knowledge, you diminish fear and you enhance your potential for success. You don’t actually need a massive amount of knowledge to succeed. You just need enough information to convince your brain that you’re not operating in a spooky mystery zone.
For example, if you're afraid of public speaking, you can reduce your fear by learning a handful of speaking techniques, talking to experienced speakers, practicing your material, and leveling up from smaller to bigger audiences.
When contemplating opening a franchise, you'll face countless "what if" concerns.
Don’t bury these fears. (Buying never works.)
Instead, use your fears to amass knowledge.
Jot down each question that springs to your mind, regardless of how significant it appears. Then seek out answers to each question.
Let’s say you're researching a franchise and you’re apprehensive about your competition. You can ask questions like "How many similar franchises are in my area?" "What sets them apart?" "What strategies can I implement to outperform them?"
Dissect and tackle each question individually. This will let you focus on acquiring accurate information. Once you’ve done your research, you’ll experience less anxiety. This will free you up to make informed decisions more confidently.
Stages of Risk and Anxiety
Risk varies from person to person, depending on what you excel at, your previous experience with risk, and your natural risk tolerance.
Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, you'll progress through four stages of risk and anxiety.
Stage 1: Ignorance is Bliss
In this phase, you're like someone who's never cooked before – you don't grasp the potential dangers, so you don't fear them.
First-time entrepreneurs are more vulnerable because they lack the experience to understand the possible outcomes of their actions.
Stage 2: Cautiously Curious
Now you're aware of your shortcomings, and you actively seek knowledge to overcome them.
Like someone who's learned that a hot stove can burn, you're careful. But you’re also eager to learn.
Most prospective franchisees find themselves in this stage. They’re wrestling with the unknown and gaining knowledge in pursuit of their vision.
Stage 3: Skillfully Applying Wisdom
At this point, you’re ready to implement your newfound knowledge. Like someone who's learned to cook a perfect meal, you're proud of your achievements and excited to put your skills to use.
Consequently, your anxiety recedes.
Stage 4: Effortlessly Adept
Eventually, managing your business becomes intuitive, just like cooking for a seasoned chef. You comprehend the risks, but you’re confident in your abilities to maneuver them.
At this stage, you've conquered your anxiety.
Negative Stress and Positive Stress
So, how do some leaders get to the stage where they can effortlessly adapt? How do they push through their anxiety?
In most cases, it’s because they use their anxiety to their advantage.
Anxiety produces one of two types of stress.
- Negative stress, where anxiety diminishes your ability to make decisions and take action.
- Positive stress, which empowers you to accomplish tasks beyond your dreams.
Negative stress can cause you to dwell on unfinished tasks, replay conversations, and dread possible bad outcomes.
Psychologists call positive stress eustress. Here, anxiety can manifest as fear of failure, fear of getting it wrong, or fear of missing out. This type of stress can help you take on new challenges, concentrate, boost productivity, deal with adversity, find meaning, and live a healthier and happier life.
Whether you experience negative stress or positive stress comes down to how you decide to recognize and harness anxiety.
Transform Anxiety into Positive Stress
Here are some ways to become aware of your stressors and channel your anxiety productively.
- Identify triggers: Recognize situations, people, or events that cause anxiety. By identifying these triggers, you can develop strategies to manage your reactions.
- Reframe your perspective: Change your mindset and view anxiety as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Reframing a situation as a challenge rather than a threat can help you face it head-on.
- Break tasks into smaller steps: Manageable steps can help you feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
- Set realistic goals: Establish achievable goals that will challenge you without being excessively demanding. This helps you maintain motivation and prevent burnout.
- Practice mindfulness: Use meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga, to help you stay present and focused.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep. Enjoy a hobby or two, help others, and make time for your friends and family.
Use Anxiety as a Launchpad for Success
You can motivate yourself purely with a need to succeed. But, there’s a much more powerful, durable motivator that comes naturally to most of us.
Loss aversion research shows that people are more driven by fear of loss or pain than the pursuit of pleasure or gain.
If you drink enough beers with leaders, you might have noticed how this applies in the world of business. Many accomplished businesspeople are not motivated by a need to succeed so much as they’re motivated by a desire not to fail.
They use anxiety to push themselves to work more intelligently and diligently.
Thinking back to our public speaker example, if you were afraid of speaking in front of a crowd, you could use your anxiety to fuel your preparation and concentration. This, in turn, would help you prepare a memorable presentation, and you’d likely knock it out of the park.
In the same way, you can prepare to launch a profitable franchise business by taking simple steps towards your goal.
Managed properly, anxiety can drive personal growth, productivity, and achievement. Rather than viewing anxiety as a negative mental health issue, you can use it to become your best self.
Seize the Opportunity to Get Started
Don't let fear hold you back from living life on your terms. As a franchise consultant, I'm here to help professionals like you find the perfect franchise business to replace or supplement your income.
Schedule a free strategy session with me today and discover how my expertise can help you make the leap into franchise ownership with confidence.
Together, we'll explore opportunities that align with your skills and vision.
In your franchise journey, you will have to embrace the uncertainty that accompanies business ownership.
Not everyone can do this. That’s why it’s key to harness the power of your anxiety. Use it to motivate you to acquire more knowledge and take decisive action.
Financial freedom and life on your terms are just a few steps away.