If you are looking to start an online business, you are only doing something that tens of thousands of people have done before and with great success. However, it’s not the easiest thing in the world, as you are most likely to operate from home, at least in the beginning, and may not have a steady income to back you up. Here we look at the psychological aspects of starting an online business. In particular, we focus on the fears that you may have about starting an online business and tell you how to confront them.
- Fear of Failure
Every internet entrepreneur is affected by the fear of failure, even those who have been making six-figure incomes for years. So many things can go wrong with an online business – your most important website could get penalized by Google for some reason and be banished from the search engines. Your traffic may drop suddenly, and you have no idea why. Every internet entrepreneur deals with this fear, but doesn’t allow it to get to them. Let’s face it, the people who should fear failure most are those in traditional dead-end jobs that are being replaced by computers, not you, as an online entrepreneur.
- Fear of Running Out of Money
As an internet entrepreneur, there is always a thought at the back of your mind that you may run out of money soon. You have probably used a lot of your savings already, and your business hasn’t turned profitable as yet. The only way to deal with this fear is to work at a part-time job, or not to quit your regular job even as you start your online business. You will feel more confident in a couple of years time when your business turns profitable.
- Fear of Stress
Most internet entrepreneurs are in front of their computers for 12 to 15 hours a day. They struggle to keep up with deadlines and are in a constant battle to monetize their websites. It’s not easy to manage dozens of freelancers around the world either. They only way to deal with stress as an online entrepreneur is to exercise regularly and make time for the family. Go for a quick 30-minute run in the morning, that would clear up your mind.
- Fear of Loneliness
When you work at a regular 9-to-5 desk job, you are most likely to be surrounded by hundreds of people. It may be a boring job, but there are always opportunities for meaningful social interaction with other coworkers. This may not be possible when you run an online business, because most people you interact with are online – customers, associates, freelancers, investors or business partners – and they are likely to be a 1000 miles away from where you are. Don’t allow the loneliness to get to you. Join groups, associations, online forums, social media sites and try to meet your online contacts offline as well.
- Fear of Being Judged by Friends and Family
One of the things that most internet entrepreneurs deal with is lack of understanding from friends and family about what they do for a living. So if you are a stay-at-home home who has just started an online business, your parents and in-laws would advise against it, and explain why it’s so hard to run a business and raise children at the same time. It’s worse for guys, in most countries, it is expected for men to work at traditional 9-to-5 jobs at large corporations. Your friends and family may not understand your decision to try your luck at internet entrepreneurship. But hopefully, once you start making a lot of money in the future, they will realize that you are doing well and back off from constantly judging or criticizing you.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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