Fear is a phenomenon and a key driver of human decision making. While some others get paralyzed and allow fear cripple them, others ride on it, leveraging the surge of emotions that come with it to make positive things happen.

Robert Schuller says, “If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” Fear is a common denominator and comes with the whole package of living on earth. Everyone will experience fear at some point, what has distinguished the courageous from the timid has been the ability to act in spite of fear as any mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory.
Africa’s progress on its trajectory to a full scale resurgence has been rewarding for its locals, and the support now available for budding entrepreneurs on the continent is growing by the day. Africa can definitely host more indigenous businesses, the numbers speak in its favour and the ever rising middle class will readily patronize successful start-ups, but the business men and women who float these companies must conquer 5 fears.
– Fear of Failure: This is probably the first and loudest fear to face. A few things to keep in mind though; if you decide to not try, you have already failed, if you do try and fail, you will learn some lessons that are probably as valuable as succeeding.
– Fear of Inadequacy: Many fear they may not have everything it takes to build a business in terms of know-how and smarts, and they’re probably right. The thing to do at this point is to fill the knowledge gaps by acquiring information through formal and informal learning, build strategic networks and leverage mentors. This approach makes more sense than telling yourself all day that you just aren’t good enough.
– Fear of Marketing: A good number of Africans may shy away from everything that has to do with selling; but truth be told, everyone has to sell something. As an employee, you still have to sell yourself as the best choice in a recruitment exercise. Better to fine-tune your Influence & Persuasion Quotient than to miss out on a chance to build the next MTN or Shoprite.
– Fear of Competition: Whether or not you have the first mover advantage in a business, at some point, competition will be a reality of your market place. Create, in advance, long term strategies to deal with such occurrences and design their execution such that there will always be multiple points of differentiation for your product and/or service. Successful business people have come to respect, not abhor, competition.
– Fear of Leadership: Coming from a continent that has been notorious for ineffective leadership can make many Africans question their ability and readiness to provide the required depth of leadership required to float a successful business. However, as usual, the right move is to seek to become a better leader, and one sure step to take is studying the lives of great business leaders.
Do not lose your dreams to inertia, face your fears today!
By Emmanuel Iruobe

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