Starting an online business can be a challenging and stressful process.  Research shows that 20% of start-ups fail within the first year of trading. To increase the chances of success, it is important to adopt the right mindset. In this blog post, we share some mindful principles that can help you to overcome fear and move forward in starting a business.

Why Businesses Fail

Theo Paphitis, the retail magnate and entrepreneur contends such a high percentage of new businesses fail because the owners either haven’t researched their subject properly or they don’t know where to get the right kind of funding. Mainly it’s because they haven’t done their homework. Or they simply don’t understand entrepreneurship.  This is one of the reasons Paphitis is a “passionate advocate of teaching entrepreneurship in schools”.

starting an online business

I was inspired to write this article when a relative decided to set up an online business.  My relative had been in the fashion retail business for around 12 years.  She dreamt of setting up her own store for years.  For a number of reasons, she decided this was the time.  Not least because I was in a unique position to be able to lend some much-needed support.  So within a few weeks, her online store was born.

We were both excited and enthused about the vision and possibilities this new venture opened up for us.  That was until a few weeks in, when we seemed to hit a real sticking point.

We were pretty sure we’d done our homework. Our vision and plan were pretty sound.  So when we hit a wall, which we always knew we would, I couldn’t understand how it became so stressful suddenly.  After all, when you’re riding the tide of enthusiasm and optimism, every risk and problem seems small in comparison to achieving your vision.

As a solution-orientated person and knowing how passionate my relative was about the business. I was mystified why suddenly everything became such a huge problem.  The critical point came like a wave. The murmurings of dissatisfaction began first, followed by a full-blown crisis. Several hours of discussion later, I realised fear had entered the equation.

The Fear of Failing

Fear can be a significant obstacle to starting a business. This is true especially if it is something that you have dreamed of for a long time. It can be a fear of failure. Fear of losing your lifelong dream, or even simply the fear of an unknown future. To counteract fear, it is essential to adopt a positive mindset and to remember that failure often comes with new insights and knowledge.

5 Mindful Principles

While ultimately after a few years, my relative wrapped up the business, during that initial time of start-up, we learned a lot.  We realised mindset was so important.  Here are some mindful principles we discovered along the way.

1. Keep Your Passion While Being Emotionally Neutral About Outcomes

One of the problems with things not turning out the way we passionately want or expect is that we become afraid of disappointment, and so we become afraid to dream. The trick to remaining passionate while letting go of the outcome is to realize that the gold is the journey and not the destination. It is important to be emotionally neutral about outcomes, to keep the passion, and to focus on the journey rather than the destination.

2. The Devil Is In The Detail

When starting a new venture, it is impossible to know all the details in advance. Unless it is a well-worn path that you have trod many times, it is also going to be a learning curve. Once you accept this truth, you become much less wedded to how things should be turning out at each corner. Yes, of course, you need a plan, and you need to be optimistic, but when any of these factors do not stack up or do not appear to be what you first thought, simply ask your intuition to help you move forward.

3. Problems Have Solutions

When facing problems, it’s easy to fear the worst and think that the project or business is doomed to fail. However, believing that there is always a solution – even if you haven’t thought of it yet – can help you approach problems with greater equanimity.

4. build accountability To Someone Else

When starting a project or business, it can be helpful to build accountability with another.  Having to answer to someone else can help you stay focused and committed to making progress and getting things done.

5. Focus On Your Own Vision

While it’s important to understand your competitors and market, focusing too much on what others are doing can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on your own unique vision, how you can help your customers, and why you’re passionate about your idea. Return to these reasons often to stay motivated and inspired.


Starting an online business can be challenging and stressful, but adopting the right mindful principles can increase the chances of success. By keeping the passion while being emotionally neutral about outcomes, accepting that the devil is in the detail, and trusting your intuition to find solutions, you can overcome fear and move forward in starting your online business. You can stay motivated by pretending you have commitments and deadlines to someone who is keeping you focused.  Focusing on your own vision is vital to prevent being distracted.

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.