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Fear of Failure

KPL

New Contributor
Apr 9, 2018
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New Zealand
Hey Folks,

So i've just finished re-reading MJ's awesome tome and assessing some of my prior business failures/disasters and i'm noticing some common threads. I actually sat down the other night and wrote down everything I could remember about my 3 or 4 false starts and some of it very much surprised me.

Firstly, it seems like my past ventures have suffered from what I will call the "excitement" factor where I will come up with an interesting idea and just jump in boots and all to create it (normally some sort of tech product or service) without any idea on how i'm actually going to market it. In fact, most of them violated the CENTS concept and even for a hustle lacked enough meat to actually get people to buy in my opinion.

In addition, there has clearly been little forethought or plan in place to actually sell this stuff and many of the industries probably would have needed plenty of $$$ and effort to scale to profitability.

So it seems as if i've not been doing enough work up front to validate the idea and actually have a REAL marketing plan on how to sell the idea/service etc and once the novelty has worn off i've walked away and the product has just sat there. Obviously this was all before having read MJ's books.

However, at this stage i'm harbouring a mindset to be "Careful" of business because it just ends up being another sunk cost because I, in the past, haven't managed to successfully execute it (either due to laziness or lack of planning).

So I'm sitting here trying to come up with ideas and I can feel the negative thoughts lingering in my brain every time I find a problem to solve. Any advice on getting over the hurdle....and am I completely abnormal with this?

Cheers
 

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Late Bloomer

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In the past, you were unrealistically optimistic because you refused to look at the downside. Your challenge is now is to not become unrealistically pessimistic from looking only at the downside. Cynicism is not realism. Realism is realism. Reality includes good potential and it includes risk factors. Determine the worst case scenario you couldn't tolerate. Then, do the best available option whose downside is better than that.
 
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K

KPL

New Contributor
Apr 9, 2018
7
6
13
41
New Zealand
In the past, you were unrealistically optimistic because you refused to look at the downside. Your challenge is now is to not become unrealistically pessimistic from looking only at the downside. Cynicism is not realism. Realism is realism. Reality includes good potential and it includes risk factors. Determine the worst case scenario you couldn't tolerate. Then, do the best available option whose downside is better than that.
That's actually really good advice. The worst thing is that in my professional 9-5 job i'm exceedingly organised and analytical but not so in my personal life. I am embarrassed to admit that I read MJ's book in January of 2016 and yet still have really done nothing about it or taken any real action but the need is now real because, at age 40 with a reasonably high level executive role, you realise how little control over your own financial destiny you actually have when working a 9-5. In fact, the success i've had has really been luck...i'm the example where my life runs me not the other way around.

Also, working in the finance sector, I actually contribute very little to society...we do not create anything...nor really solve any problems other than access to highly complex instruments etc.

Seems like I have a bunch of things to work on both business mindset and personally.

Cheers
 

Late Bloomer

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Read a few articles about David Allen's "Getting Things Done" system. (I think the whole book is overkill for you now, and I don't at all agree with his idea to try to "Stop the world and let me get organized first" as the starting point. The sorting flowchart is great.) He developed the system while a busy software dev executive. This should help you clear up the clutter so you can block aside time to focus on what's most important. Shoot me a note if you'd like a couple other suggestions along these lines, but I think this one could be a good starting point.
 

sparechange

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fear is always a part of life, everything is all in your mind.

what if it fails? what if i lose all my money? what if i look like an idiot? what if i waste all my time and it fails?

its a part of the game we play, if it wasnt for this mental barrier id bet my money on most people not working a normal job, its much easier to just collect a paycheck and go home enjoy your few hours off then rinse & repeat head back to work.

some words from the great Felix Dennis

Salary begins to have an attraction and addictiveness all of its own. A regular paycheck and crack cocaine have that in common. Working too long for other people can blunt your desire to take risks. The ability to live with and embrace risk is what sets apart the financial winners and losers in the world.


If you are unwilling to fail, sometimes publicly, and even catastrophically, you stand very little chance of ever getting rich.

If you cannot treat your quest to get rich as a game, you will never be rich.

If you cannot face up to your fear of failure, you will never be rich.

I am convinced the fear of failing in the eyes of the world is the single biggest impediment to amassing wealth. Trust me on this.
 

WJK

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Adjust your glasses. See the situation differently. You can't make any decision without accepting the possibility of the worst, but you can still chase the best results. Make it your mission to up your odds of succeeding. Make a plan. Adjust your plan as needed.
Ask yourself:
What has worked for you in the past?
What elements do you need to add to make this a successful run at it again?
If you could advise your younger self, what would you say? Be nice and kind -- hindsight is a lot clearer than when you are in the middle of the fray.
You can also adjust your glasses about your job. IF you didn't have your job, starting a side business would be a lot harder for you. Having a pile of overdue bills and no regular income would really put a hurt on you and your family.
 

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