Are you an entrepreneur or employee and you are afraid of failing? If YES, here are 20 tips to help you overcome the fear of failure and rejection in business.

It is the purpose of every businessman or woman to keep soaring high despite failure or rejection. But it is a fact that keeping our confidence is tough when doors keep closing in our face. In the business world, rejection can be more painful than being dumped by a lover. But if you can’t hear the word “no” without walking away crushed, then you may not be in business long.

This is the reason why you need to learn how to be persistent, to keep knocking until the door opens. That indeed is the key to profit and prosperity. To succeed in business, every entrepreneur has to be a salesperson, whether it is to solicit partners, vendors, asking for funding, or any number of other situations. If you are reluctant to make calls, then you are not a seasoned entrepreneur.

The difference between an entrepreneur who can handle rejection and one who can’t comes down to whether you take it personally or not. An individual who pushes past the rejection is the one who doesn’t take it personally. It’s not personal, it’s business.

You have to have a thick skin. Even actors and singers know that they have to push through the fear of rejection, and they just go for it. You need to understand that defeating your fear is one of the most difficult hurdles of starting a business.

Indeed starting a new business is taking a leap of faith, more so when you are leaving the comfort and security of a steady pay check. We also know that there are a number of factors that can bring fear to any would-be entrepreneur. The main one is the fear of failure and taking risks, and the disappointment associated with this failure or losing what you already have.

To help mitigate the risks and overcome your fear of starting a business, you should do the following;

Overcoming Fear of Failure & Rejection in Business – 20 Tips to Help You

  1. Empower Yourself with Knowledge

You need to understand the importance of research in business. The more you know about an industry and the process of starting the business, the less scary it becomes. We believe that how to do this is to familiarize yourself with all the steps of starting a business. Reports have shown that fear often comes from not knowing what lies ahead, and the more you arm yourself with information, the more you become confident about your business and plans.

2)  Do not forget the Reason You Are In Business

At that point when fear is starting to creep in, you need to remember the reason why you wanted to become a business owner in the first place. Understanding exactly why you want to be an entrepreneur will help you gauge how prepared you are for the disappointments.

Are you starting a business because you want to earn more than what you can possibly get as an employee? Is it because owning your own business can be your ticket to a better life for yourself and your family? Do you want the freedom and independence to pursue your vision? Do you want to prove that your business idea works?

3) Pen down your purpose for starting the business

At that point when you feel scared, we suggest you put your objectives for starting the business into writing. We believe that seeing the words on paper has a strong effect and it will make you decide if those dreams are worth fighting for. Anytime fear and doubts set in, re-read your reasons and remember what you want to achieve from your business.

4) Do the business part-time For a Start

Instead of quitting your job and with it the security of a steady pay check, we suggest you start the business on a part-time basis. While still employed full-time, you can choose to start the business on the side working on it in the evenings or during the weekends. Or if you don’t have full-time employment, you can possibly try to find a part-time job to help with some of your expenses, while also working on the business during your free times. It will give you the confidence that you have a fall back plan in case anything happens.

5) Be realistic with your expectations

You need to understand that doubts set in when you have expectations that are too high, or too low. You need to see business as a roller coaster ride, with lots of ups and downs. You need to think of your strategy and prepare a plan, and then stick with these plans. Even with the thrill of starting a business, it is important to keep your expectations in check.

6)  Build your goals with your resources

When planning to start a business, choose a business with lower risks, especially if your resources are limited. If you have poor credit and no savings, don’t start a business producing organic cleaning products that will require millions in production and marketing, which you don’t have or can’t get. Trying to hang your coat where you hand can’t get to can make you seem like a fool.

7) Do not forget to take a break.

It is very important to state that if you feel overwhelmed with your business, then take some time off. We suggest that you go somewhere, spend time with your family and friends, relax and find something else to distract you from that particular issue.

We advise you give yourself a few hours, or even days, to just enjoy life without the pressures of trying to jumpstart the business. Experts believe that relaxing and stepping back can help you see everything more clearly, allowing you to think more clearly and thus easing your fear of rejection.

8) Establish relationships and support system.

You need to know that you can’t do everything yourself. Research has shown that one effective way to overcome fear is to find like-minded individuals who you can trust. Find people who can understand what you are going through. It could be like a support network that could be made up of your family, friends, people you meet in networking organizations or virtual friends. Have it in mind that your network can also be your anchor when the going gets rough. These individuals can also give you advice, open doors for you, or introduce you to people who can help you.

9) Always face your fears squarely

Have it in mind that is important to adopt an optimistic view that everything will turn out fine when planning your business. But do not push yourself into thinking that nothing could go wrong and that everything will turn out as you have planned it down to the last detail.

You need to understand that starting a business is all about risks. Also to succeed, you need to understand these risks and find ways how to overcome them. Be confident enough to think about the risks you are facing in building your business. Ask the “what ifs” and start by looking at the worst things that could happen.

You also need to know the worst thing that can happen if the business fails. You need to think through the worst thing that could help you get a feel of the risks involved, and whether you can handle the risks if and when it happens. Also try to understand how you can scale over these worst-case scenarios.

10) Always believe in yourself and in your business

We believe that doubts and fear set in when you are not sure, which in turn makes you question yourself and your capabilities. You start asking questions like, “Can I do it?” or “Will my business idea work?” You need to get rid of all those uncertainties, refocus your mind, and believe that your business addresses a need. Understand that your belief in yourself and in your business will project itself to others and help them turn into believers as well.

11) Always be Calculative

Have it in mind that if you take every rejection personally, you will struggle to grow your business. We suggest that you try removing the personal out of the rejection equation. One technique many salespeople use: Track how many contacts, cold calls or sales calls you have to make before you get to “yes.”

It is possible to quantify the average number of attempts it takes to get a sale. If you do this, you can look at every “no” as one step closer to that “yes.” Instead of getting defeated by rejection, you will grow to see it as just one step on the path to your ultimate goal. It will give you that sense of being in control.

12) Always ask questions and listen to the answers

In your business, when a prospect doesn’t buy or a potential partner doesn’t follow through with the deal, ask them their reason for saying no and always listen carefully to their answer. Remember that at this moment your goal is not to try and change their mind (although that may be the ultimate outcome) but simply to learn and grow.

Ask them to be completely honest and never try to get defensive. You need to listen to their reasons, ask more questions if you need to, and then thank them for their honesty. Their reasons for saying no may surprise you and might serve as a catalyst for you to do better.

13) Analyze the problem

After you must have understood why the other person rejected your offer, you can evaluate whether the problem lies with your business, or whether this particular relationship simply isn’t a good fit. For instance, do you regularly hear from prospects that your prices are too high or is it just this particular person who feels that way? If the reason for rejection lies with the other party, and not with your offer, it may be best to just move on to your next prospect and do better.

14) Effect changes when needed

As an entrepreneur, when you must have heard the same “complaint” from several prospects or if your efforts to form strategic partnerships with other businesses are regularly rejected due to concerns about your business’s ability to deliver, then it’s time to make some changes.

We believe that seasoned entrepreneurs don’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. You need to adjust your approach as needed. When you keep fine-tuning your approach, you might find out that you get fewer “no’s” and more “yeses.”

Rejection will never disappear from your business life, and given the lessons it can teach, you shouldn’t want it to. Have it in mind that facing rejection doesn’t make you a failure, but failing to learn from it just might be your ticket to failure.

15) Always Dream Big

You need to always decide what you want. Is it a new house? A new luxury Car? A large conglomerate? A happy life? Only you know your dreams and entrepreneurship can be a way to achieve them. Dream big. Note that the bigger you dream the more you have to shoot for, and the less your fear will stand in the way.

16) Work on Your Mental Toughness

You need to believe that fear isn’t real. Fear is something we make up in our head when we think too much about what negative things could happen in the future. Mental toughness will allow you to be fearless. It will help you overcome just about any obstacle in life because most of things that hold us back actually occur in our own head.

17) Always Plan ahead

In business, we suggest you always have a Plan B and a Plan C. Because if you do, you’ll feel less desperate, and as a result, less affected by rejection. If you have other options, you will be able to think more critically about why your idea failed. After all, as the saying goes, it is not wise to put all your eggs in one basket. You need to have an open mind and understand that no project or idea is perfect. We believe that analyzing your ideas from different perspectives will help you understand rejection and how to combat it fully.

18) You Don’t Need To Take It Personally

You have to understand that it is impossible to be loved by everyone. No one will be understood by everyone. A lot of people spend their time worrying about people’s opinions about them that they fail to live and achieve their goals. Remember that one opinion by someone else does not define you. A few “no’s” don’t mean you aren’t good enough. It just means you are dealing with what everyone deals with.

Your self-esteem and evaluation of yourself should be how you see yourself, not how others see you. You need to understand that we humans are all different from each other and unique in our own ways. We all deal with rejection on a regular basis in some shape or form.

This is why you shouldn’t take it personal. See it as just another day at the office. We advise that you don’t get so emotionally involved in what someone’s answer is to whatever your proposal is, especially in business.

19) You’ve done it before and you will do it again

Indeed, there must have been so many instances in your life where you have been told no, but you have gone on to either try again, or purse something else. We understand that it may have been hard to get back up and carry on. It may even have taken you a long while, but don’t forget that it is your duty to move on, and you did. What was it that enabled you to move on?

And if previously it took you a long time to move on, what can you do to quicken the process this time? Have it in mind that the next time you notice that you are holding yourself back because you fear rejection, challenge your thoughts and beliefs about what it is that you need to do and get along with it immediately.

20) Its different strokes for different folks

You need to understand that rejection doesn’t mean you are not good. Because you don’t get the role or someone doesn’t buy your services doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. All it simply means is that they don’t want what you have to offer. But you don’t have to take it to heart or feel dejected. You need to understand that it’s different strokes for different folks.

Fear of rejection can stem from having a low level of self-belief. There are many factors that can contribute to this, often arising from early negative childhood experiences, causing you to believe that you are not good enough. But you have many things that you are good at, just like you have many things that you are not good at, or things that you are indifferent to. Always believe in yourself, your qualities and business.


Indeed failing and rejection is a fact of life. But the manner and way you respond to it will determine how confident you feel going forward. Know that you can decide to take it personally, telling yourself you are not good enough, wallow in it and hold yourself back from the success that you want. Or, you can choose to accept that it was a ‘no’ this time, dust yourself off, move on and try again.

You should also not forget that self-promotion is a leadership skill, and it is important to make others aware of your expertise and credibility. It is how you sell your ideas, your products and services. It increases your visibility and makes others aware of your work, your business, your department, your organization.

Solomon. O'Chucks