Fighting Fear & Uncertainty for the Self-Taught Entrepreneur

Self-taught artists, designers, writers and others in the creative field are often uncertain of whether they’re doing the right thing, and that’s understandable. Whether you design websites, write fiction novels or content for marketers online, are a graphic designer or perform any of the other dozens of services in demand today, it’s a frightening proposition to decide to leave the “sure thing” (the 9-5 job) behind and try to make a go of it on your own, especially financially.

If you were to talk to any honest self-taught entrepreneur, that person would admit to having feelings of fear, uncertainty or self doubt at some point in his or her journey. So, how can you rid yourself of these feelings?

Get feedback and validation from others who have been in your shoes. When you talk about your feelings with someone who’s “been there,” it gives you a measure of comfort. If you know someone who has been in a situation similar to yours and has ultimately experienced success, ask them to review your business strategy. The feedback you get from others can be a tremendous help – and validation that there is a market for your services and good potential will help alleviate your uncertainty.

If you don’t have any friends or acquaintances who have ventured out on their own with their talents, consider finding a group or organization in your local area where you may get the tools you need for success, and perhaps even meet up with a mentor.

Don’t fight failure. Fighting the idea that you might fail is exhausting, and takes away from being positive and productive. If you find yourself fearing that no one will invest in your services, that you’re not good enough, or that you will completely fail and lose everything you have invested, don’t fight it. Take those fears and let them redefine what motivates you. You’ve heard people say “you learn from your mistakes,” and you do. When you make mistakes, you learn a new lesson every time – and those lessons go with you throughout life. Those who reach true success as self-taught artists never give up, even though they may fear failure and make mistakes frequently.

Knowledge is the greatest way to conquer fear. When you continue to learn about your industry, you gain a certain level of confidence. Continuing education in your industry, keeping up with current trends and knowing what you do inside out equals power! When you find yourself fearing a certain aspect of your business, fight it head on by learning all you can about it. For instance, if you’re an online content provider and the thought of writing a press release fills you with fear or dread, study those others have written, read blogs about how to approach it – learn all you can, and that fear will disappear.

The old saying, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” is a golden nugget, and one you should keep in mind when those uncertainties start to make you question your career decision.