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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Harnessing Fear: A force for Entrepreneurial Growth



Kirjoittanut: Raina Chakma - tiimistä Sointu.

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“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” – Jim Morrison 

We frequently perceive fear as a foe or a sensation to evade. However, through my studies in entrepreneurship, I have come to understand fear as more than just an obstacle to conquer; it can serve as a valuable ally in my journey towards success. Within the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship, fear becomes a steadfast companion, guiding us through the unpredictable terrain.

For the first few months at TAMK, I was gripped by fear of failure. I had this inferiority complex, feeling like I wasn’t as experienced as my classmates. No one made me feel this way; it was just my own inner voice constantly telling me I wasn’t good enough. This feeling held me back for a long time until I realised something important: my fear could actually be my fuel.

My fear is a part of who I am. Without it, I wouldn’t push myself to prove my worth. I wouldn’t dig deep into myself to discover my strengths and what I can contribute to my team. It’s like I needed that fear to light a fire inside me.

I’ve come to realise that fear plays a huge role in pushing progress and sparking fresh ideas. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks and venturing into uncharted territory. Whether it’s launching a startup, diving into a competitive market, or seeking funding, fear is always lurking around the corner. During the Proaketemia sales event, I felt a mix of nerves and excitement. I decided to dip my toes into B2B sales for the first time. Reaching out to various companies, schools, and universities was daunting. I’ve always been a bit reserved around strangers, and here I was, trying to sell coffee packets to Finnish businesses without being an expert in sales or speaking fluent Finnish. By the end of the day, I felt a sense of accomplishment for tackling this new challenge, even though stepping out of my comfort zone was tough. I set a goal for myself before “Sales Day” began: to learn the ropes of sales and  the art of convincing customers to buy my products. When the day arrived, I was so nervous I thought I might faint, but another fear nagged at me: if I didn’t give it a shot now, I might miss out on valuable learning experiences. This fear pushed me to work even harder to achieve my goals.

Accepting my fear has allowed me to take advantage of opportunities and experiences I never would have thought were possible. I’ve found passions and interests that have changed my life in ways I never would have imagined by moving outside of my comfort zone and taking chances.

 

“Fear has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything and Run’ or ‘Face Everything and Rise.’ The choice is yours.” – Zig Ziglar 

 

I want to tell you about our first team project, called “Project Siilinkari”. All the members of Team Tremia worked at Café Siilinkari, which is right in the middle of Lake Näsi. At first, the idea of going to the middle of a lake scared me a lot. After getting the first initial brief of the project, I found myself overwhelmed with nervousness, but I didn’t tell any of my friends in the team. Eventually, I mustered the courage to confront this fear and decided to embrace the challenge. This made me strong enough to do my part at the café. Riding a snow bike to get there, I saw cracks in the ice and got really scared. But I still did my job well and even tried using a kick sled on the ice, which I had never done before. After completing my shift and making my way home, I was filled with a profound sense of accomplishment. I had overcome my fears, embraced new challenges, and, in the process, secured an unforgettable experience that would stay with me for years to come.

All the experiences I’ve had while studying entrepreneurship till now, have made me realise that when we’re tackling something tough and chasing a dream, it’s crucial to keep reminding ourselves that we shouldn’t expect to be comfortable and happy all the time. We’re likely to be happy about a third of the time, feel okay about another third, and the remaining third, we’re just going to feel crappy. If we adopt this mindset, then when things go awry, we won’t get demotivated or too scared. We’ll just accept that it’s one of those crappy days, and that’s okay because what we’re doing isn’t supposed to be easy or comfortable all the time. Whenever I encounter challenges, this mindset always helps me. In my view, no one should try to eliminate fear. When we’re cruising through life and doing something significant, fear will be with us, and we need to handle it gracefully.

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