Rupsa is a Content Writer and an entrepreneur who likes to write about marketing, business, and organizational culture.
The idea of setting up a start-up business has gained immense popularity in the last few decades. A start-up is a new company or project which is in the first stage of its development. The primary goal of start-up businesses is to develop a scalable business model. Millions of people are there all over the world that aim to launch their start-up companies for various reasons; some wish to follow their passion, some want to become their own boss, and some are not satisfied working in the corporate world. Apart from personal reasons, many people go for start-up businesses to properly capitalize on opportunities available to them.
Whatever the reason is, you are going to get emotionally tangled with the project in some time, and as we all know emotional involvement invites new challenges. It has become a general belief that 90% of start-ups end up in failure. Therefore, before investing a lot of resources, energy, and time in a start-up business idea, we should identify all the challenges that we might undergo during its development phase. In this article, I will be solely focusing on the emotional turbulence that people generally face as start-up business owners during the first few years.
Confusion and Indecisiveness Lead to Self-Doubt
No matter how equipped an entrepreneur is, and how much market research they have done, confusion and indecisiveness are going to be parts of their business during the first few months before they start generating revenue. The reason is simple, their business model is not error-free yet. It still has to go through a lot of trials and overcome numerous real-life hurdles that cannot be solved on paper. All start-up companies try to develop a sustainable business model that will keep generating profits for years. However, they face fierce competition from the existing companies. Lack of customers’ trust is probably the greatest hurdle they face. Entrepreneurs themselves need to figure out their unique way of earning customers’ trust and loyalty. Nevertheless, one needs to keep in mind that this is a trial and error phase where making mistakes is common and necessary. The focus should be on analyzing each adverse situation, learning from mistakes, celebrating small successes, and moving on.
Fear of Rejection Can Turn Into a Crippling Thinking Pattern
Start-up businesses generally introduce new products, services, or business models to market. However, it takes time for a product or service to become acceptable in customers’ eyes. Besides, customers may already know other brands that sell similar products and are perceived to be more reliable as they have been in the market for years. Under such circumstances, you may not receive positive responses easily and quickly. Many business owners take this as rejection. When it comes to service business, this rejection becomes more personal as in that case entrepreneurs try to sell themselves (their skills or knowledge). Fear of rejection can become a crippling feeling that eventually leads a person to enormous self-doubt, and limits their abilities.
Fear of Losing Control Generates Immense Stress and Anxiety
Small-scale business endeavors are generally funded by the founders. People pour their savings or borrowed money into their new ventures. Even though most new ventures perform market research and risk assessment, it is practically impossible to identify each potential risk factor during the preparation phase. You might encounter some unforeseen crises that no one has faced ever before. Therefore, it is better to accept the fact that future events will not always be under control. Otherwise, uncertainties might generate the fear of losing control which negatively affects individuals' behaviors and reduces their ability to run businesses successfully.
How to Handle These Emotional Challenges?
The above-mentioned emotional challenges can be tackled, provided you are emotionally intelligent (to some extent) and stress-aware. Having a support group is also crucial under such circumstances.
Develop Emotional Intelligence
An appropriate set of emotional skills can help us deal with such challenges efficiently. As per Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is a set of abilities that include five elements, those are, self-awareness, empathy, self-regulation, motivation, and social skills. Self-awareness is a state of mind where a person clearly knows how they feel. Self-awareness can be developed and practiced and can be applied to attain goals and healthier life. Meditation and daily journaling are two well-known approaches that help us become more self-aware. The effectiveness of these methods varies from person to person. Whatever the method is, knowing your underlying emotions is essential for dealing with them. Another important quality of an entrepreneur is intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is an urge that comes from within. People, that are intrinsically motivated, don’t require any kind of validation or encouragement from the outside world. Intrinsic motivation acts like a fuel that pushes an entrepreneur forward through thick and thin. The sources of intrinsic motivation are personally meaningful goals or purposes; in order to stay motivated, one should always work on projects that add value to their life in some ways. Self-regulation is another vital quality in this context. People, that know how to regulate their emotions and calm themselves down under critical circumstances, have a greater chance of surviving unfavorable situations.
Differentiate Between Eustress and Distress
Start-ups invite a lot of stressors in entrepreneurs’ lives. However, they should keep in their mind that stress is a very natural emotional state; it is the way our mind and body respond to demanding or challenging situations. We need to remember that stress is not bad always. Sometimes stress motivates a person and helps them improve their performances. This kind of stress is known as eustress. Eustress doesn't generally last long and generates positive feelings such as satisfaction, excitement, and a sense of fulfillment. Distress however is a negative kind of stress that feels unpleasant and causes concern. It can also lead to long-lasting psychological suffering. Therefore, it is imperative that we identify the type of stress we are going through. If someone is just feeling too excited about their projects then that type of stress shouldn’t be considered bad. However, when it comes to distress, one needs to have an open mind and a flexible attitude. They need to accept their current situations radically, divert their minds and focus on solving problems one by one.
Have a Team That Supports You
Teamwork is a very popular term in the modern corporate world. Having a versatile and diverse team is truly a boon to an entrepreneur as no one can handle all different aspects of a business with an equal degree of proficiency. Not only from a business perspective, but a cooperative team is also valuable from a psychological perspective. It works as a support group that keeps you from feeling lonely. One can share their feelings, ideas, and knowledge with their team members and in return receive support, guidance, and a social network to feel associated with.
Setting up a new business is easy, but running the business is not. Persistence and confidence are necessary for turning a start-up into a successful business endeavor. A healthy mind under such circumstances gives you the strength to fight all challenges that cross your path. Thus, never neglect your inner-self, always take care of it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.