How to overcome fear as an entrepreneur

Fear of failure or fear of commitment can be overcome with the right mindset and tools

Elite Business Live Keynote Mirela Sula

For most entrepreneurs, starting a business from the ground up can be both exciting and terrifying. Starting a business means there will be uncertainty ahead, and with all the different choices and paths to take, there is no question that anxiety can creep in. With every business, there will be ups and downs. This could serve as a great motivator or a crippling dread that hinders your development. How do you overcome the fear of starting a business? And if you have already launched your own start-up, how do you create an inspiring environment for talent, skills and growth? Mirela Sula, journalist, author, CEO & Founder of Global Woman Club and Global Woman Magazine, took to the stage at Elite Business Live 2024 to speak about empowerment, personal growth and overcoming challenges as a business owner. 

Mirela shared her journey of overcoming self-doubt and pursuing entrepreneurship as a single mother. She first arrived in the UK with her son, who was just 6 years old, carrying only her handbag and personal belongings. Through sheer hardwork and determination, Mirela launched her platform Global Woman Club, a platform created to empower women around the world to start their own businesses and side hustles. Every business begins with a great idea, Mirela said. But how does one get the courage to make an idea into reality? “When you first had the idea for a business, how did it make you feel?” Mirela asked the audience. “Once you had the idea, what did you do? Did you think about it? And for how long? When I have a great idea, I sometimes think why I didn’t envision it sooner. Imagine where I would have been if the idea had come to me 20 years ago? But you know what, many times we get brilliant ideas. And then we think that the idea is not a good idea. Every idea is a great idea!” 

Is it better to play it safe or take risks? Playing it safe, or as Mirela calls it, being ‘smart’ will leave you staying in the same place instead of acting on ideas. At the end of the day, taking risks is all about embracing the unknown and pushing yourself to be the best version you can be. Fear can inevitably hold you back from seeing the abundance of opportunities in front of you. “In our culture, we say while smart people are thinking about it, stupid people have done it,” Mirela, who is from Albania, said. “And one day I decided to be stupid. And now I ask entrepreneurs, do you want to be smart, or do you want to be stupid? It’s time to take action on your ideas and don’t be afraid to take the leap of faith. Because you will learn, grow and improve.” 

Every entrepreneurship journey has its ups and downs. What do you do when your business idea fails? Learning from failure is an integral part of the entrepreneurial experience and can be an invaluable stepping stone toward success. Mirela talked about the ‘dark zone’ in one’s business journey, where the hurdles and obstacles seem so severe that it seems impossible to keep going. The negative voices around become louder and it seems as if the world is crashing down. However, it is important to stay strong and keep powering on, because a breakthrough may just be around the corner, Mirela said. “In the dreaded ‘Dark Zone’, we start running out of resources, we lose friends and we feel upset that we failed and didn’t manage to reach our vision,” Mirela said. “We may start to think that maybe the nay-sayers were right. Maybe this was not a good idea. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe it’s not meant for me. And we may quit our goal entirely and go on to start something else. I have been in that dark zone many times. And it’s the best blessing that I have experienced. All the dark moments that you have experienced in your life are a lesson. They are going to help you to become stronger and reach your destination. There are no successful people in the world that have reached their destination without going through the dark zone.”

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj

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