Three ways to overcome your fear about growing your business

No matter how long you’ve been on your freelancing or entrepreneurial adventure, at some point you’ll probably get stuck. There are many events, beliefs or factors that can limit your growth and stifle your creativity. But very often it’s not the lack of skills that stops you from moving your business forward. It’s the fear.

How can you overcome your fear to keep growing and improving?

Here are some ideas:

1. Quit the comparison game

If you’re constantly worried that you’re not as far as you think you should be – or rather – not as far as your peers are, then it’s time to stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone who is better or different than you, but that’s not the reason to think less of yourself or your business.

Complaining that your website is not as beautiful at the one of your competitor or regretting that you haven’t achieved as much as someone else in your industry has, is the first step backwards. To keep developing and expanding your business you need a growth mindset. Maybe your competitors started their career long time before you did, maybe they didn’t experience any limiting family and health issues as you did, maybe they had a whole team of specialists that helped them grow or maybe they take more risks than you do? Every success story is different.

It’s great to have a reference point for your business or a role model to look up to. But that’s all it should remain: a reference. The way other freelancers or small business owners act and prosper shouldn’t be anything else than your source of motivation. Their efforts or successes shouldn’t make you feel that you’re not enough. For example, that you don’t have what it takes to acquire more customers, make more profit or attract more followers

So, quit the comparison game and focus on what you can learn and what you can do to achieve your goal.

2. Have a look at the dark side, then focus on the bright side

Another way to eliminate the fear that stops you from growing is to imagine the worst case and then the best case scenario.

In the book “Everything is figureoutable” Marie Forleo perfectly explains this approach: First focus on the potential failure. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you stay where you are? What’s the worst scenario that will play out if you take the step you’re planning to take? Will you lose your customers? End up investing time and money in fruitless ideas? Damage you reputation?

Write down an action plan that will help you find the way out of your darkest place. What will you do to get up if you fall?

Once you have an action plan to resolve the worst case scenario, you can fully focus on your goal and the dream situation. What is the best case scenario? How will you and your business benefit from this new idea, strategy or investment? Chances are, the bright side will be so attractive and empowering that you’ll quickly become stronger than anything else that holds you back.

3. Find your source of inspiration

It’s difficult to grow if you lose your motivation or feel like your goal is not reachable. That’s why you always need reliable support. It’s something or someone who will inspire you no matter what’s going on around.

It could be a book by your favourite author, a motivating podcast series or inspirational speech. Maybe all you need to be brave and stay on your growth track is a short mediation in the morning? Sometimes to find our inner voice of wisdom we have to mute all other sounds, including the voice of our inner critic.

What new ideas would you implement to your small or freelance business if no one was to criticise you? Is there a trend or strategy in another industry that you’d like to implement in yours?

For example, it could be the way companies from another industry communicate with their customers or lead marketing campaigns. Maybe it’s how they engage with their followers on social media, maybe it’s the specific tools they use to acquire more customers?

If you admire a brand or person from outside of your industry, don’t be afraid to take action in your field. Otherwise someone else will act on your ideas and you’ll lose your momentum.

Don’t let the fear stop you from implementing your business growth plan. Break it down, find your go-to support and stay focused to be able to reach your goal – whether it’s increasing your profits, reducing your work time, moving to a premium market or redesigning your products and services.


Over to you

What is your biggest fear? What can you do today to make sure your business can grow? Feel free to share your thoughts below!


Dorota helps digital brands infuse their content with a local touch. She is a localization consultant, translator specialized in IT, prompt engineer, and a book author. Dorota teaches online courses on localization, writes for her blog and a Medium publication. She also runs a Small Biz AI, a Substack newsletter for freelancers and small business owners ready to discover handy AI tools.

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