5 Ways to Overcome Your Doubt to Start Your Own Business

Fri May 22, 2015

Starting your own business can be very exciting, but it can also bring up a lot of doubt or fear at the same time.

While it’s normal to experience some level of uncertainty when going from having a regular job to starting your own business, that uncertainty can easily turn into doubt and fear, which often stops people from taking the leap and starting their own business.

These doubts are important to address because they will:

  • Affect our confidence levels.
  • Prevent us from stepping outside our comfort zone and taking risks.
  • Lower our self-esteem.
  • Stop us from dreaming bigger dreams.
how to start your own business

things to consider when starting a business


Doubt often comes up when we ask questions such as:

  • Am I good enough?
  • Am I capable of doing it?
  • What if this doesn’t turn out the way I want it to?
  • What if I fail or lose something while doing it?

I remember when I first started my business over a decade ago, I had no clue what I needed to do. Up until that time, I had a normal job and I wasn’t aware of the mindsets that would be required to be an entrepreneur. Reflecting back, it was no surprise I struggled initially. There was so much I had to learn which created a lot of doubt whether I could successfully grow my business.

Thankfully, I was able to stay persistent, find the right mentors and coaches, invest in my development and continually learn what I wanted to build my business. That process of learning and applying is still ongoing and it’s one which I hope never ends. While I still experience doubt at times, it’s nowhere near what it was when I first started my business.

5 Ways to Overcome Any Doubt to Start Your Own Business

There are a few things which can help overcome any doubt we may encounter as we start and build our business. Addressing these things helped me focus on the things that were essential, especially in the initial stages of business.

  1. Get more clarity. Clarity is often the biggest stumbling block for entrepreneurs. We must have clarity of purpose (why we’re in business), who we want to serve, what value we bring to the marketplace, what we’re offering in terms of products and services, what our vision is (where we want to be), and what strategies will help us achieve our goals and reach our vision.
  2. Have the right information or knowledge. As we’re in the knowledge age now, information is available at our fingertips, anytime, anywhere. However, not everything we see, read or hear is in our best interest. This is where having clarity is important because that will help identify where to go, to get the right information or acquire the right knowledge.
  3. Develop the right skills. As technology is changing so fast, we must continuously invest in ourselves to learn what’s current now and what’s no longer effective. Unfortunately, so many new entrepreneurs find the technology side of business confusing and overwhelming, hence they often give up too soon. Again, knowing where to get the right information to develop the right skills is vital for long-term success.
  4. Have a plan to follow. Often, entrepreneurs will do things that are not necessarily coordinated, structured or based on a plan. This haphazard approach causes inconsistent performance and results. Not knowing what some risks and challenges are and how to overcome them will result in additional stress and worry, which can be detrimental to our overall health and well-being. A good plan should identify what actions are necessary to meet our objectives.
  5. Get the right support. Having trusted advisors or mentors is essential if we want to succeed in business. They can boost our confidence if we’re struggling, they can challenge our commitment and hold us accountable, and they can help build up our courage to try things we may not have done before. Things will not always be easy and having advisors or mentors to reach out to can often be the difference between failure and success.

The dream of being your own boss is what inspires so many of us to start our own business. It can be an exciting adventure, but it can also bring up lots of doubt, which we may not have been aware of previously. If these doubts are not addressed, they will filter into other areas of our life and can cause us a great deal of stress and disappointment.

When we address these doubts, new opportunities will come our way because we’ll be challenging ourselves in ways we haven’t done previously.

Action Step: If you’ve been thinking of starting your own business but have been holding yourself back, identify someone who could help you. Reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to offer you some guidance.

Question: What’s something you’ve done to overcome any doubt you may have had either in starting a new project or doing something for the first time?


  1. Jane Ransom

    Good stuff, Neel. Hurray for action plans and having good support. I’m constantly working on clarity as the situation changes… Thanks!

    • Neel Raman

      Thanks Jane. I believe clarity is really important however we should not use not having clarity as an excuse not to take action. The commitment to creating a new result is often the starting point. Totally agree with having actions plans and the right support. Thanks again for your comment.

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