When starting a business in Nigeria, there are plenty of doubts and fears that will arise to hinder you, preventing you from taking the first step.
To begin, you must understand that it is completely normal to feel this way. Whenever you are going to do something that is important to you, it is inevitable to feel fear, uncertainty and anxiety.
But, undertaking is a challenge in which you must constantly overcome yourself and be willing to face your greatest fears. It is not about giving it without fear; it is about giving it with everything and fear .
The main fears that you must face when starting a business in Nigeria
The truth is that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must be willing to confront the fears that prevent you from starting up your own business.
Below we’ve listed the most common fears that torment an aspiring entrepreneur, identify which of these fears have you blocked and start working to overcome them.
1. Fear of giving up the good
It is likely that when you are about starting a business in Nigeria, you must give up many good things: comfort, free time, a job with a fixed salary, etc.
To start you have to leave your comfort zone. Whenever the idea of starting a business in Nigeria is passed through your head, you will hear a voice telling you that you better stand still because you are doing just fine and if you risk you could lose the good things you already have.
Entrepreneurship is a path full of uncertainty in which nothing is certain, but everything is possible. It’s your decision if you want to settle for the good or risk it to achieve incredible things.
“Do not be afraid to give up the good to pursue the great.” – John D. Rockefeller
2. Fear of “what they will say”
Entrepreneurship means fighting for ideas and dreams that probably only we ourselves understand. On your wayto sstarting a business in Nigeria, you will find people who are experts in criticizing and who will even make fun of what you are doing. They will call you crazy and will encourage you to put aside your ideas so that you can get a “secure job with a fixed salary”.
Are you ready to receive all kinds of criticism and keep your ideals firm? Then you must take the constructive criticism to improve and avoid the destructive critics with your desire to fight.
“When you stop caring about ‘what they’ll say’ , you’ll be ready for success.”
3. Fear of commitment
In the course of starting a business in Nigeria, you are going to bear responsibilities, pay tax, labor, fight criminal activities, etc.
But great objectives requires great sacrifices and great commitments. The bigger your achievements, the greater your responsibility.
It does not matter if you start alone, with partners or if you have collaborators who are responsible for keeping accounts and carrying out administrative procedures; In the end, you as the manager have the responsibility of guaranteeing that your business complies with the different business laws.
4. Fear of losing money
This fear is especially common when you want to start out of necessity and not opportunity. When money becomes an obsession from the beginning, you can easily lose focus on what you are doing.
If what you want is “easy money, fast, safe and without investing”, probably, starting a business in Nigeria is not the best option for you. Building a profitable, sustainable and scalable company can take years of effort, discipline and investment.
There is not a single business model in which you can guarantee immediate and safe results, so it is best to evaluate the opportunities that arise and determine if you are willing to take the risk that each business entails.
” He who flees from Investment, flees from Profit.”
5. Fear of failure
You will be ready to start up your own business the moment your will to succeed is greater than the fear of failure.
In our culture we tend to believe that failure is a source of shame and mockery, so we prefer to “play safe” rather than expose our dignity. But, the reality is that the only way to not make mistakes is to do nothing.
The path of entrepreneurship is full of stones that you will stumble upon. Before achieving any important goal, you must fall, rise, dust-up yourself, smile and continue threading forward. You will never achieve it if you surrender to the first obstacle.
You tell me that starting up a business is risky, when you depend on a job in which if you fail, you know they could fire you without thinking?
6. Fear of winning
It’s funny, but the vast majority of people are more prepared to lose, than to win. From the moment they decided on starting a business in Nigeria, they are already thinking about what they are going to do if they fail. They start by saying things like: “let’s see how it goes”, “I’ll try” , etc.
They taught us from an early age that ambition is bad and that “what is for one, sooner or later will come for him”. We grew up being afraid to win. We grew up believing that in a race the important thing is to participate.
An entrepreneur must assume the role of a protagonist in his life and be aware that in his hands lies the power to build the life he wants to live.
Having a winner’s mentality means always going in search of the first place and giving 120% of our effort to achieve it. Success requires discipline, preparation, determination and being willing to improve ourselves every day.
7. Fear of defrauding others
When we are insecure, we tend to believe that we are not good enough, that our product is not ready, that if we go to the market we will end up defrauding customers, partners, investors, family and friends.
Instead of limiting yourself, work on yourself and your product to improve. If you wait to be completely ready, you will never start because you will always feel that you need something else.Build a viable minimum product and interact with potential customers so they can tell you how to improve your product and your business.
“If you fail, no one will care, if you succeed, few will care.” Undertaking is a personal challenge that has to do with you and your family. – Edwin Amaya
8. Fear of professional relationships
As children we were taught that “you should not talk to strangers” ; But in business you will have to put aside this belief and be willing to relate to other entrepreneurs, clients, investors, etc.
Networking is an essential tool for every entrepreneur. Businesses are not only about money, but about people. You must surround yourself with people better than you.
Some entrepreneurs are shy and say they are better at working alone, but no matter how good you are, you can always strengthen your skills and talents by partnering with the right people.
9. Fear of being incompetent
When starting a business in Nigeria, the only competition you must overcome is yourself. Focus on your product and your customers.
Some years ago a person told me he wanted to start a cement manufacturing business, but he did not dare because he still did not know how he was going to compete against Aliko Dangote the Africa’s richest man and his likes. But the truth is that Dangote does not even know that he exists and he instead is desperate to compete .
They will not buy you because you’re better than Dangote, they’ll buy you for being the best in what you do and for offering something that even Dangote can not offer. You do not have to be better than Dangote, you have to be unique and be better than yourself every day. That must be your focus.
10. Fear of selling
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must learn to sell.
You must sell your ideas, sell the vision of your company to all the people who work with you, sell services, etc.
The world is full of people with very good ideas, but who never make them come true because they do not know how to sell them.
Knowing how to sell means knowing how to listen, understanding your clients, knowing how to communicate and focusing on serving others.
Keys to Confront Fear when Starting A Business In Nigeria
As you could see, even some of the fears mentioned have their origin in our childhood, therefore it is quite a challenge to overcome them.
These are some keys that will help you face your fears and prevent them from becoming an impediment to achieve your goal of being an entrepreneur and starting a business in Nigeria :
Partner : Find a partner that does not have that fear that prevents you from starting.
Evaluate the risk: The greater the uncertainty, the greater the fear. If you sit down to analyze a business opportunity with numbers, you will have a clearer picture of what you are doing and you can make informed decisions.
Get informed: Learn all the time and train yourself. The more you grow as a person and as a professional, the more confident you will be of yourself and the more irrelevant your fears will be.
Plan: Investigate and make projections about the business you are going to undertake, but be careful because too much analysis produces paralysis.
Be passionate: Let your passions be greater than your fears. Start a business that you are so passionate about, as to be willing to take the risks that are necessary.
Act: The best way to face any fear, is with action. Start by taking small steps and little by little you will take the necessary security to continue to achieve your dreams. If from the beginning you block yourself thinking about everything you have to do to build a business, you’re never going to start; so why not convert your goals into daily actions that you can start doing today.
“Let your decisions be based on your passions and not on your fears,
passion builds business, fear does not.”
What other fears which has not been listed here is preventing you from starting a business in Nigeria? Leave your comments, doubts and contributions about this topic below.
And if you found this article helpful, then you may also want to check out the reasons Why you should quit your job and become an entrepreneur.