Fear can have an incredibly negative effect on franchisees. It can prevent you from making the right decisions, stop you from taking calculated risks, and have profound effects on your attitude and mindset. In business, a small amount of fear is healthy. However, too much fear is likely to hold you back. Here, we take a look at five different ways franchisees can help themselves overcome the fear of failure.
1. Step back and consider the long game
Much of the fear we experience and the pressure we place ourselves under is unnecessary. A lot of it originates from the short-termism of many franchisees' attitudes. Rather than stepping back and considering the long game, we often consider a small failure or setback to constitute an enormous problem. In most cases, our individual failures will not impact on the end result unless they're part of a larger pattern of failures (or are particularly large mistakes).
Isolated mistakes and failures should be considered part of the learning experience and necessary steps on the journey of personal growth you’ve undertaken by becoming a franchisee. It’s important to understand that failure is an essential component in any business venture and that it’s bound to occur whenever you take risks or attempt new things.
Fear of failure is likely to result in a failure to take necessary risks. This attitude can prove incredibly damaging to a business and its owner. It will often leave you trailing behind the competition and with limited franchise options – both of which will make it difficult to succeed in the long run.
2. Don’t be overly self-critical
While a certain amount of self-criticism is necessary as a franchisee (a franchisee who considers themselves perfect is likely to be deluding themselves), too much criticism is not healthy. Opening a franchise is the biggest challenge most individuals will face in their professional careers, it can be testing and trying at the best of the times. It’s made even more difficult if you’re constantly at war with yourself and overly self-critical.
In one sense, too much self-criticism is simply counter-productive. Typically, those with an overly negative attitude spend more time pointing out what’s wrong with something than do working out how to fix it. This prevents individuals from moving past certain problems and means they’re doomed to repeat their mistakes.
Being too self-critical can also have a big impact on your general outlook, mindset, and attitude. Run yourself down too much and you’ll soon find that any positivity is gone and self-doubt reigns supreme. Rather than being overly-critical, recognise that everything didn’t go quite to plan and look to learn lessons from your mistakes.
3. Change your approach
If everything didn't go right the first time around, a lot of your fear will be based on the fact that you're afraid of repeating your mistakes. When this occurs, some people find it helpful to alter their approach. This benefits you in two distinct ways.
First, if you mix up your methods and try something different, you’re not falling into the same old trap and repeating your previous mistakes. While the first failure may have been bad luck, it could have also gone wrong because of your approach. Second, approaching a task in a different way is psychologically beneficial because there’s less of a ‘here we go again’ feeling. A new approach allows for fresh hope and reduces your fear of simply repeating your earlier failures.
4. Surround yourself with good people
A good franchisee surrounds themselves with good people. An intelligent franchisee understands that they’re not going to be able to handle every issue on their own and that they’re going to need some help and support.
Advisors come in many shapes and forms. They can be friends, colleagues, mentors, associates, or you can pay for their services. Whatever their status, it’s important that you trust them and respect their opinion. Advisors can help you through tricky times by offering a second perspective, emotional support, or suggesting a route through your current problems. In some cases, it’s just important to have someone there to talk to.
Franchisees often find that their fears are reduced by the simple act of expression. Just talking about your problems can help relieve much of the tension and calm your nerves. There's a reason that most successful businesspeople develop strong support networks around themselves – they act as both a pressure valve for fear and nerves, as well as being a source of good advice.
5. Adopt the logical mindset
Fear is an emotional response. Sometimes, there's a logical basis for your fear, but not always. Franchisees can often overcome their fears by taking a step back and analysing that fear, your circumstances, and the decision-making processes you're currently involved in.
For instance, momentarily detaching yourself from a situation to consider all of the potential actions and possible outcomes can reduce anxiety. When we see all the possibilities set out in front of us, we feel more confident in our ability to traverse obstacles and avoid problems. It also allows us to create contingency plans. Knowing that you’ve got a back-up plan in place can be incredibly reassuring and will help minimise your fear.
Adopting the logical mindset is what we do in most complex situations. With any question, such as whether a particular franchise investment is safe or whether you should trust a certain franchisor, the only way we can improve our chances of reaching the right answer is by arming ourselves with all the relevant facts. Generally, the greater our rational understanding of something, the less fear we feel towards it.
As we've said previously, some fear is only natural. However, a strong fear of failure is likely to prevent you from reaching your full potential. Franchisees need to develop ways of managing fear as best they can if they're to run a truly successful business. These five tips will help you begin to suppress this fear and run your business with a new confidence.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©