Fear and Uncertainty
Today, I’m starting out my fourth week of being an entrepreneur. Four weeks in and I still have doubts that just like to fill my head. I’ve managed to make enough money to cover all my expenses and I continue to build out new sources of revenue, but still that fear lingers in my mind. I wanted to share my tips and tricks for how I’m dealing with fear and uncertainty. As I’ve been sharing my journey with friends, family, and community, a few have reached out asking me questions about why I started going down this route. Many share the same fear and uncertainty that I felt when I first started this journey. But, since those feelings have started to disappear, I wanted to share with you how I am pushing fear and uncertainty aside.
Financial Peace of Mind
First thing I would say with respect to controlling your demons (fear and uncertainty) is to have some savings ($$) saved up. I would have never done this leap of faith if I did not have the financial security that I have right now. I knew, months before quitting my job that I had enough money to go at least one year on my own. This gave me some peace, but let me assure you, it did not remove my fears. Even though I know I have money to cover my expenses, I still feel that I need to go back to get a normal job. I’m making money already and I still feel like I need to apply to new jobs just in case. Just this morning, my wife received news that she might have to change teams again in the Summer. This creates even more uncertainty and fear because we have a family, mortgages, and responsibilities. It is really mentally challenging to stay focused on the bigger picture when life is hitting at you hard. I tend to be able to rebalance myself because I remind myself every time these emotions creep up that the runway I know I have is there even if my wife doesn’t have a job. As long as she’s working and I continue to receive freelancing jobs, my financial runway of 12 months is still there. Therefore, if you want to keep the thoughts and emotions behind fear and uncertainty, make sure you have a financial plan that works for you and your specific needs.
Have a Plan to Make Money!
Being your own boss is hard. I know people told me that it was going to be challenging, but let me assure you, it really is hard. Thoughts of fear and uncertainty will plague you each and every day. These thoughts do not go away until you achieve your goals. I’m on week number four and while I’ve managed to get roughly five income streams going, I am no where near complete. My goal is to launch eighteen sources of revenue and I still have a few more to build out. May 1st is going to be a pivotal moment for me. I would have completed four weeks of being out on my own and I’m going to slowly start folding in the income streams I have planned that require computer programming. Everything I’ve been doing so far has not required me to code at all. But, since I started my LLC, I knew that coding is something I would have to do in order to achieve that financial independence I was looking for. As you can see, my overall plan, from the beginning was set up in such a way that it would generate money for me. Knowing that I am making money and that I have many more income sources to go helps me fight off the fear. Also, knowing that if I try and put myself out there, I can make enough money to cover my expenses. In all of 2020, I made nineteen cents on my side hustle. In the months leading up to me quitting my full-time job, I had made less than one thousand dollars in side income. I need almost four thousand a month to cover all my expenses. But, in just three weeks, I managed to pass my goal! I now know that working hard, interacting with my community, and providing value to folks around the world, will help me achieve my dreams. Having this solid plan that I spent months developing has also really helped me cope with fear and uncertainty. But, the fact that I’m making enough money is really what is helping me fight off these thoughts. I know that I would be telling a different story right now had things not worked out as quickly as they have. I believe things worked out quickly because I spent the better part of seven months figuring things out. Learning, researching, and trying to put together a plan that I knew would work.
Trust In Yourself
Finally, trust in yourself. I’ve never had a lot of trust in myself. If you’ve been following me for some time, then you know that I suffer from Imposter Syndrome. I’ve never been very smart and people around me have historically made me aware of my shortcomings. I took a leap of faith when I quit my job. I knew that I could do my job well. I had been doing an amazing job as a technical program manager for two years. My performance those last two years gave me that boost in confidence that I needed. As I get ready to write my own books and launch my own courses, it is more important than ever for me to believe in myself. I am going to be teaching other individuals out there how to do something that I am passionate about and love. Trusting in myself and not depending on someone else’s approval has really helped me cast the fear away. Eventually, I do plan on becoming the best version of me that I can be. I am learning so many different things that I just didn’t have the time before to learn before. I am becoming an excellent developer, hacker, coach, and leader. I am learning as much as I can, all day, every day. My imposter syndrome had caused me to be fearful. It had caused me to not trust my skills. But all of that has been slowly going away these last few weeks. As I get new clients, their happiness reinforces my beliefs and my trust in myself. Trust that you are good enough. Anything you do not know, use it as a launching platform towards new things you can learn. Do not let someone else’s criticism of you control your destiny.
You have to control the things you can control. Fear is always going to be there. If you are venturing into unknown waters, fear will be there every step of the way. My recommendation is to follow my three rules I’ve outlined here to help you start overcoming your fear. In the end, this is a mental game and the spoils will go to the hardest worker in the room. Be the hardest worker. Be in the room where it happens! If you do not know how to do something, learn it. Invest in yourself and pretty soon all those negative thoughts and fears will go away. You can do it! Go chase your dreams and do something that scares you!!