BY; SHINA OSHODI
Leadpreneurship anywhere in the world is unpredictable, because: There is no guarantee the risks you take will pay off.
And it is pretty much more difficult here in Africa, because of lack of technology, finance, enabling infrastructures and more importantly Fear!
But if we allow fear to prevent us from pursuing our passions, we’ll likely always feel something is amiss. To succeed as a leadpreneur, we must tackle our fears head on so they don’t run the show anymore— we do.
Here are the six biggest fears African Leadpreneurs face, and how we can overcome them:
- We don’t feel ready yet.
You will never feel ready, you simply have to take action. Like the song goes “ready or not here I come”.
You might not feel like it’s the perfect time to take action yet. That’s totally normal. The truth is, the perfect moment doesn’t exist. You must take the moment and make it perfect by taking imperfect action.
Success is the product of action, not thought. Master the art of momentum to ensure you’re always moving toward your goals. If you take action and make a mistake, it’s OK; you’ll learn more from one mistake than you’ll learn from an eternity of daydreaming.
When faced with the fear of it not being your right moment, Always ask yourself, if I had just 24hrs to live will I be waiting for the right time to die or utilizing every second to live?
- What people will say/think of us
It’s none of your business what people think about you. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to like you or what you stand for. That doesn’t mean you should sit down because of them.
When you take a stand for what you believe in, people’s opinions become irrelevant. But if you stay focused on your visions and make it work like I know you will some might end up rallying behind you.
If your family and friends think you’re crazy for pursuing your dreams, that’s totally normal. They just want you to be safe. Steve Jobs said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Consider your craziness a gift.
When faced with the fear of being judged for being different, Always Ask yourself, I’m I willing to lose identity in a bit to please the few who don’t like what I stand and displease the many who will benefit from my uniqness?
- It’s already been done.
This might be true, but has it ever been done by you in your own way? What separates true Leadpreneurs from the rest of the crowd is not originality, but authenticity.
For example, the online shopping industry is quite saturated in the African continent right now, but almost every day Leadpreneurs with breath taking ideas still dive into that market. Why? Because successful Leadpreneurs have the ability to deliver value in a way that’s authentic to them—even if it’s not original.
What is originality, anyway? Almost everything we know is a hybrid of information that we learned from someone else who learned it from someone else, and so on.
It’s true, most things have been done before, but once you put your own perspective, passion and personality behind the value you’re sharing with the world, it becomes authentic to you. No one can duplicate the essence that makes you you.
When faced with the fear of not being original with your idea, Ask yourself, How can I add the most value to the world just being myself?
- We don’t know enough to start yet.
Yes knowledge is a great eliminator of fear, but most Leadpreneurs in the African continent use seeking knowledge as an excuse not to set out and fulfill their dreams. You don’t need all the certifications, self-help books or seminars to start pursuing your dreams. Knowledge is great, it evens out the playing field and throws the light needed to dispel the darkness called fear but it’s not just about the stuff you need to learn—it’s about what you do with that which you already are knowledgable in that counts. Just imagine what your life would look like if you actually applied what you already know.
For example, if You already know of a need and know how to provide it. Go ahead and provide that need, you don’t need to attend all the seminars and read all the books on that need to be able to make a difference in your own way. When you apply what you already know, you will shift your life and the lives around you in an incredibly powerful way.
Take action with the knowledge you already have and continue to master your craft as you go.
When faced with the fear of not knowing enough, Always Ask yourself, How could I make the biggest difference using what I already know?
- We are afraid we’re going to fail.
Pursuing your dreams is about stepping up and becoming a Leadpreneur. In the process, you will make some mistakes. Infact if you haven’t made mistakes, it clearly shows that you haven’t tried anything new.
Failure is actually the feedback you need to improve your craft. Walt Disney and Michael Jordan didn’t give up after they failed. They persevered because each setback was actually a setup for a greater comeback.
Your greatest lessons come from your failures, so perceive it as a gift. As Robert Kiyosaki said, “People who avoid failure also avoid success.”
Mind you, you can’t afford to make all the mistakes yourself. So endeavour to learn from that made by others.
When ever you’re faced with the fear of failing, Always Ask yourself, What’s the point of living if I don’t at least try to do something remarkable?
- We are afraid of networking
You don’t always know the exact route to your destination—you just know where you want be but don’t know how to get there, that’s OK. Take action on what you know, then either model, outsource or network with others Leadpreneurs who know how to get where you’re going to.
If you see other leadpreneurs who have the results you want, pay attention to what they’re doing. Opt into their mailing lists, buy their products, take a look at how they operate their businesses, and then model what you like using your unique content and authentic style.
If there are things that you don’t know how to do or simply don’t want to spend time doing, outsource them to other Leadpreneurs. There are teams of virtual assistants all over the world who will gladly handle your workload. There are thousands of affordable virtual assistants available at upwork.com, fiverr.com or freelance.com, among other sites. Or simply network with willing Leadpreneurs and get things done together as a more efficient force.
As Mother Teresa rightly said “I cannot do what you can do. You cannot do what I can do. Together we can do great things.”
Whenever you are faced with the fear of networking, always Ask yourself, how far can I travel alone if all I know is how to drive? Then ask yourself again how far can I travel with an auto mechanic, electrician and a guide?
The more we face our fears as African Leadpreneurs, the less power they will have over us.
We are far more powerful than we presently are aware of, our creativity knows no bounds and therein lies our greatest strength added to the fact that we’re a hard working and resilient people. so let’s surmount our fears and take the risks, trusting in our ability to deliver as we usually do.