Fear – Key tip on how to get over fear

David Mondell – Fear – Key tip on how to get over fear.

Fear is inherent in start-ups, I don’t think it’s talked about enough but I think it’s an incredible reality. People get enamored you know, the big fundraising parties, the t-shirts and the glamour being, you know, a startup person and the reality that’s maybe 3% of the experience.

I think the other 97% is incredible fear and walking in everyday thinking ‘oh my God I have so many people who are relying on me’ is not funny. I have customers, I have investors, I have family, I have employees, all these people are relying on me every day to try and figure out how to make the right decisions, how to move this business forward and how to make it a real business, earn people money and make customers happy, and people aren’t talking about that but it’s really, really scary.

And, you know, you hire a few people and they say ‘oh, how many people you got?’

‘Oh I got 15 people’

‘Oh that’s awesome’ – No it’s not, that’s fifteen people I have to pay, right? that’s fifteen people I have to keep in a job and that’s fifteen people that I have to worry about their futures and my family and everything else.

So fear is an incredible realty when you’re working with a start-up and it’s really not talked about enough but it’s most of what you deal with and the problem is people think they’re not allowed to talk about it and I think the way you get over it is actually talking about it, and you realized that there are other people doing similar things or have been in startups businesses who have gone through the same pain, and you have got to reach out and have those conversation and what happens is you start to realize that you’re not the only one who’s scared shitless every day.

There are a lot of people out there who’s scared shitless every single day and just because your company didn’t work, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. These are really smart people and starting a successful business has as much to do with luck and timing and environment as it does with smart people doing the right things. So there is no way around the fear and if you can’t handle the fear you should not be doing a startup because it’s overwhelming.

I mean I have conversations with my wife every day and she says ‘why do you look so upset or frustrated or concern, isn’t the business doing well?’

I’m like ‘yes it’s doing well but I’m still scared every day because it takes a lot and there is a lot of people depending on you and there is just no way around it.’

So talk to people, find mentors, find other people in the same situation, reach out, have conversation and realize that the glamour and the glitz and you know the big parties is not what’s it all about. It’s all about fighting through the fear every day and making it work and trying to succeed and if it doesn’t succeed that’s ok, you just do it again.