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The thought of starting a business can be exciting, but also very scary - how do you overcome the fear?
What are you scared of?
Theres absolutely nothing wrong with doing something from time to time that takes you out of your comfort zone. In fact it should be actively encouraged. But when it comes to starting a business this is easier said than done. Who can afford to leave the stability of a good salary-paying job to start-up a new company without any guarantee that it will be a rip-roaring success?
A plucky band of people do take the plunge each year and there would be many more if we werent all so scared of failure. Thats not a personal opinion: new research has proven that we British are a bunch of scaredy cats when it comes to going it alone.
A survey of more than 2,480 UK adults conducted by Orange Business Services together with Tickbox.net, has revealed some startling facts. It claims that in as little as three years the start-up sector could explode, because right now millions of aspiring entrepreneurs say they are drawing up business plans. If this were to happen, it would revolutionise the sector.
But hang on, dont get too excited yet. The sad reality is that up to a third of these plans will probably never see the light of day. That could mean a loss of seven million potential start-ups simply because people dont have the guts to go through with them.
Fear of failure is the number one reason people cite as to why they are stalling over setting up their own business. Low self-confidence and a lack of faith in their own business abilities are obstacles preventing them from pursuing their dreams. Its a shame, because nearly half of UK adults have considered setting up their own business, yet dont have the bottle to be able to do it.
Despite peoples fears, there is some positive activity. At the moment, 14 per cent of adults are exploring an idea they think could make their fortune, while a further 8 per cent have already put their money where their mouth is, have started working on their idea and will have a project up and running in one to two years.
Young entrepreneur Tim Campbell, a winner of BBCs The Apprentice, says of the report: "That half of British people consider setting up their own business is great news for the UK economy. While its clear that the main barriers holding people back are emotional, as a nation we have the drive and passion. If the business community can share a few hints and tips to encourage budding entrepreneurs, peoples fears will be overcome and more dreams will become reality."
The survey did make it quite clear that we British love a bit of the entrepreneurial spirit. We cant get enough of those rags to riches tales, maybe because it gives us all hope that our own business success is just around the corner. Over 90 per cent of people questioned said they associated confidence and hard graft with success stories.
Martin Lyne, director of small business at Orange Business Services UK, says: "British people view enterprise positively and are enthusiastic to give it a go. And its not the hard skills holding us back so much as our lack of self confidence and fear of failure. "Government, industry figures, community leaders and the education system can all play a part in nurturing self belief and confidence in our would-be entrepreneur workforce. The biggest discrepancy between entrepreneurial desire and fear of failure is among the young and there is a strong case to cultivate an appetite for rational risk in the education system."
So if youre one of the many harbouring a potentially brilliant idea, then it may be time to make that leap of faith into a new business. Just take a deep breath first...
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