3 Emotions All Entrepreneurs Feel (and How to Keep Them in Check)

UPDATED: August 2, 2021
PUBLISHED: January 23, 2017

Unchecked emotions are one of the main factors that can cause normal, educated and smart people to make all the wrong decisions. While under emotional stress, you can make decisions that you would never consider otherwise.

There are three main emotions that can dramatically influence the decisions we as entrepreneurs make. See how you can overcome the most common mistakes often caused by them.

Related: The 6 Emotional Enemies Inside Your Mind

1. Anxiety

It’s normal for entrepreneurs to feel anxiety as they try to launch a new business or grow an existing one, and it’s very important to learn to control it early on.

Anxiety typically comes from the fear of the unknown and our lack of confidence in the work or process at hand. Often, we haven’t created a strong enough foundation to feel confident and stable in our abilities.

Should you find yourself in a situation where anxiety consumes your brain, perhaps it’s time to take a deeper look at your business in these three core areas:

  • Analyze your structure and decipher if you have all components needed to support your customers and the team working to serve them—from IT to customer service training and protocols.
  • Analyze the core of your team by making sure you have the right people in the right positions. Everyone brings a unique set of skills to the organization. Ensure their key talents are aligned with the work they do.
  • Understand your destination and keep a clear view of it. In the earlier phases of a business, it’s easier to know where you want to go, but as revenue, teamwork and obstacles come your way years later, many entrepreneurs lose sight of the destination and instead focus on the immediate future.

Address these common issues to alleviate your anxiety.

2. Anger

Actions and decisions made in anger are automatically negative. Anger is powerful but easily controllable because time can dissipate that strong emotion. Some of the worst decisions can be made in moments of anger and can easily be avoided if you wait 30 to 40 minutes between the emotion and the action.

Keep in mind that anger can be especially dangerous when combined with pride. If you struggle with pride and ego, know that about yourself and don’t let anger dictate your actions. Take more than 30 minutes to reflect on the factors that caused you to feel this way and focus on a positive way to turn the situation around. Do not allow the immediate emotions to hurt your feelings and cause a desire for immediate retribution.

3. Fear

Fear is the emotion that keeps us from taking chances or achieving more. We either fear the outcome of what we are about to do, or we fear failing. In other words, wondering what if constantly plagues our minds and dictates our lives.

We fear the business we want to start will be too difficult or might not work. We fear investing because of the potential loss. We fear rejection, so we don’t approach potential clients at a networking event. We even fear missing out on an opportunity so we rush in too quickly.

Fear can be easily manipulated through the ability to assess risk and possible outcomes. We must look at the maximum gain and loss and then determine the proper course of action. But first we must accept the fact that without risk, no return can exist.

Next time you are afraid, take a moment and do nothing. You cannot assess risk when you are emotional and can’t clearly justify outcomes. So just pause and let the emotion settle. Then act.

Related: How to Stop Negative Emotions From Derailing Your Success

Photo by Chawki/Twenty20

Pejman Ghadimi is the author of Third Circle Theory, a book that explains how some of today's top visionaries are made. Since he was 25, Pejman has been financially independent and has dedicated his time to bringing Secret Entourage and Secret Academy—a unique platform which focuses on helping motivate, educate and improve the lives of young entrepreneurs—to life.