Imposter syndrome concept

Contributed by AFFLINK

Most new business owners have a fear of failure. And there are good reasons for this. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 80 percent of small businesses — those with 500 employees or less — only survive one year. This is due to:

•      Cash flow problems.

•      Being in the wrong market at the wrong time.

•      Providing products or services no longer needed.

•      Ineffective marketing.

•      Not being viewed as an expert in their field.

However, according to Michael Wilson, senior vice president of business development at AFFLINK, home of the independent distributor, another reason new businesses fail is fear of success.

“It’s sometimes called the ‘impostor syndrome,’” says Wilson. “It expresses itself as a lack of confidence or a fear of failure, [but] what is really happening is a fear the entrepreneur will realize their dreams.”

Among the reasons for fear of success, according to Wilson, are the following:

Losing friendships. Friends and family often criticize entrepreneurs about a new business they want to start. A chorus of "It's a bad idea" is heard far and wide. But if the company succeeds, the entrepreneur becomes concerned they will lose those connections — and sometimes they do.

More headaches. Very common. The entrepreneur is concerned if their business is successful, it means more challenges and more complex problems. It's one reason people in the corporate sector refuse a promotion.

Jealousy. Once thriving, what often follows is others, friends and family, start criticizing the business owner and their business — often out of jealousy.

Letting go. People that start successful businesses are often afraid to let go. They micromanage everything. They don't empower others to make day-to-day decisions. Micromanaging limits business growth and is often an imposture for fear of success.

"The fear of success syndrome often disguises itself in other forms," adds Wilson. "Unpack those fears. Realize that your success helps you, your family, your community, and many others."