Overcoming Fear of Failure as a Small Business Owner

I am about to confess something absolutely ridiculous to you.

Don’t laugh. (Or don’t laugh so loudly that I can hear you.)

Sending out my first monthly newsletter has me paralyzed.

I mean, how ridiculous is that? I write newsletters and emails for clients all the time, yet it comes to me, and I am paralyzed at the thought of doing it, and I think I know why: fear of failure. Analytics don’t lie. If no one opens my email, I will see the truth in black-and-white.

A crap result will be bad for my business for two reasons: 1) I think I am good at it (people pay me to do it!), and 2) I’ll have lost out on the opportunity to connect with current and prospective clients.

All small business owners suffer from fear of failure in some way or another. So here’s how I’m overcoming my fear of doing email marketing for myself:

I scheduled the newsletter on my calendar

It’s right there on my calendar: “Send out newsletter on September 15.” Scheduling it made me commit to it mentally. Now it’s looming there, of course, but it’s there.

I will be getting feedback

I already told some people that I will be sending them a preview and asking for feedback. This is important to do with any new endeavor, as it gives me the chance to vastly improve on my first, fourth, and even twelfth attempts. Plus, incorporating feedback ensures I give the people what they want, not what I think they want!

I have an accountability partner

Earlier this year, I joined an organization called Her Corner, whose mission is to provide the tools women need to grow their own businesses. As it turns out, women are good at starting businesses, but not growing them, and those two things are very different.

As a member, I belong to a peer group that meets every other month. A fellow group member, Heather, is my accountability partner, and I am hers. Knowing I am accountable to someone else is the best kick-in-the-butt EVER (and she agrees!).

I have been talking about it

I keep opening my big mouth and telling everyone I am starting a monthly newsletter. So between that and being accountable to Heather, I have to. People are expecting it.

I decided not to reinvent the wheel

I am a HUGE fan of Dollar Shave Club’s monthly newsletters, which are printed out and arrive in their monthly shipments. They are very funny and entertaining, and that is a model I am going to emulate. Who doesn’t like to laugh?

I would rather try and fail than do nothing

I have to remind myself that I already do this in both my personal and professional lives! I have two kids for pete’s sake (and I constantly feel like I am failing as a mother, but that’s another blog post). I absolutely try new things, and if they don’t work, oh well. At least I tried! Regret is worse than failure.

So that’s my big confession. How have you overcome the fear of failure as a small business owner? What are you struggling with?

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