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For Small Business, Fear Is The Word

Posted by Brian E. Satterlee on April 9, 2010

So what are you afraid of? Losing all you have? The IRS? The new health care law? The bad economy? Well, get over it! Now is the best time in our lifetimes to start a new business! There are a lot of challenges in this economy, and perhaps to starting a business in general.  But in the words of FDR, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It’s true.

The best and most successful entrepreneurs have no fear of failure. In fact, they fail a lot.  Part of being in business is getting “no” or having something not work as well as you thought it would, picking yourself up, and trying again. If you haven’t been dead broke in your life, you haven’t been an entrepreneur. Now having said that, good business managers will understand and accept the risks they are taking. Only the foolish go “all in” with a plan that they aren’t pretty certain will work – after they know the ins and outs of the idea. And not having a fall back is a very bad idea… you have to have some sort of a safety net.

But why do you fear:

Losing all you have? Start a legal corporation (with an attorney’s help) and you will only ever lose the corporation’s assets.  The corporation can go bankrupt but you will still have your stuff.

The IRS? I have good reason to fear the IRS, I have seen many people have issues with them. Be informed about taxes and you should be ok. Use an accountant if you need to but you still must be knowledgeable about tax laws. Still, you can learn them over time, you don’t need to know everything before you start.

The new health care law? It doesn’t have much of an impact on a new small business.  Learn as you go.

The bad economy? I feel for people who lose their jobs and homes but as a small business person, this is the absolute best time to start a new business and ride the growth wave when things turn around.  The bad businesses have gone out and there is room for new players.

Yes, fear failure… but make it a healthy respect and know as much as possible about your idea; but try. If you don’t try and fail you won’t be successful eventually… because you’ll never try.

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