Fear is a perception. It is the enemy that appears from within. We can never destroy it, we can only fight it and let it stay small. When fear grows big, it consumes our spirit and creativity.
We all have fear.
I have fear. For the past few months, I’m worried that my business’s cash flow won’t be able to cover the expenses. I’m worried that all my efforts might be wasted if my idea couldn’t fly. I’m worried that my money might be wasted if my product isn’t good enough. I’m worried I won’t have enough cash to purchase a house in 3 years.
I’m worried things will go wrong. Fear is real, it is the enemy, and we can fight it.
Is it worth my time to worry? No. Not at all. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe I can fail, I can lose money, I can be exhausted and disappointed. So what? I learn from the lesson and I can start again. If I don’t fail, I will succeed. The potential gain is worth the risk. I’m so excited about the potential feeling of success that I have been working for.
Here are two ways I defeat fear.
Think different: Be bold yet cautious.
Be very bold and very cautious at the same time. I learn this from my life experiences and also from the owner of Genting Group, Mr Lim Goh Tong. He said, “Da Dan Xin Xi”, which means “Be bold yet cautious”. This is the single best advice for any entrepreneurs out there. Those who are not cautious enough have lost all and might not be able to return to capitalist’s game. People are too focused on those who succeeded.
I have learnt that I am an optimistic and pessimistic person at the same time. I am optimistic about great ideas, I make decisions really fast, and stay in it with enthusiasm. During the process, I feel paranoid. I am worried about thousands of things that can go wrong. For a few days of every week, I sleep very late to think about all the weaknesses my product has and to figure out the fix.
I understand that I’m very risk averse. I wasn’t risk averse until I failed a startup. I become very realistic while wanting to take risks for nice potential rewards. I have become a risk-taking realist. It sounds contradictive, but it is real. 🙂
Conquer the risks: Understand the risks and reduce them.
Never depend on a single source of income.
Most people believe in doing only one thing, or one business. I used to think like that too. Now, I don’t.
I don’t believe in doing only one thing at a moment. I believe in doing two. I used to be a president of an entrepreneurship club while studying. It’s great to actually have two main things in mind. When we are stuck at one thing, we can proceed to do another main thing rather than wasting our time being stuck. Most of the time, I get inspiration and energy to bounce back to solve the problems.
At this moment, 26th of June 2016, I have two main things. First, I work as a digital marketer and analyst. Second, I run a snacks business (I’m a Culinology graduate, Food Science/Food Technology). If you think it is impossible to do two things at once, think again. I don’t spend time hanging out on weekdays. I have like 12 – 15 hours of work time every single day. You have too.
Never depend on a single source of income and always try to increase all income. When the third opportunity arrives, outsource the lowest source of income we currently have. Sometimes we need to eliminate the source of income if it can’t be outsourced.
This is the way to reduce risks, especially when we have just started to accumulate capital.
As long as we are having a positive cash flow and growing it every month, we are not losing capital. Take care of the opportunity cost, strike when it’s time.
I believe the optimum would be 2 sources of active income, the ones we have to actively work for and think for, and 5 sources of passive income, the ones we only have to monitor and can outsource the work (In the form of real estate, paper assets, royalties, etc).
The most important of it all, all the sources of income has to be within our area of strength. What do I mean by this? We have to be really good at one or two things and use the same strengths to generate these sources of income! We shouldn’t learn every single thing on earth if we want to be really good at it. For me, my strengths are food products, digital marketing and analytics, and investment valuation. You have yours too. Your strengths can become a few sources of income. If you have not done it, you are missing out a lot. 🙂
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.”– Mark Twain
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