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What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

by Faizun Kamal

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Faizun Kamal is a consultant with The Franchise Consulting Company. Email her at faizun@thefranchiseconsultingcompany.com.

Maya Angelou once said, “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.”

If only it were that easy. Hope and fear are actually two sides of the same coin. If you’ve ever started a new job, had a new baby, decided to get married, got a driver’s license, or had a new experience, you’ve probably felt fear. It’s a universal emotion. The good news is that fear isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can be a great thing—as long as it’s channeled the right way.

Are you contemplating buying into a franchise? If the fear you feel is a red flag that prevents you from jumping headfirst into a venture without doing your due diligence, then this fear is good and empowering. It cautions you to minimize your risk and protects you from rash decisions.

On the other hand, fear can also be a debilitating feeling that stops you in your tracks before you’ve even given yourself the chance to explore something new. Sometimes, a new opportunity can be the chance of a lifetime.

This kind of fear is self-destructive and disempowering. It can lead us to things that are not good for us—like staying in a toxic work environment because the fear of the unknown is too overwhelming.

Does the thought of starting a franchise—breaking with your career, charting an unknown path—scare you? Good. It simply means you are human. As fear rises, take a deep breath and go inwards. Ask yourself: Why? What about this scares me? Am I acting too quickly? Am I scared of failing? Am I scared of being successful? What will success mean? Am I scared because I might lose friends and family?

Helping clients manage their fears—and use them to their advantages—is part of my job as a franchise consultant. My advice? Welcome that good fear. Rational fear can propel you to do thorough research, ask more questions, and make informed decisions. So who knows? Maybe hope and fear can occupy the same space.