In a survey conducted by Wakefield Research they found that one-third of Americans are more afraid to start their own business than to jump out of a plane.
Have you dreamed about getting paid to cook? Having a successful personal chef business? Having clients love you, adore your food, and call you chef?
What’s stopping you from starting a personal chef business?
I’ve asked a lot of passionate cooks who haven’t taken the leap this question, and gotten a lot of answers:
I don’t know how to get started.
I don’t know where I would find clients.
I don’t know if I could make enough money.
Their answers all boil down to one thing.
But not just any fear.
Fear of failure.
Overcoming fear when starting your personal chef business is one of the most important skills to master. As important as cooking well.
If you’re not doing the things you need to do to start (or grow) your personal chef business, it’s probably not really a lack of time or money that’s stopping you.
Being frozen by fear is really common, but sometimes hard to recognize in ourselves. Often, we blame inaction on lack of skills, money, time, or just plain-old procrastination.
But if we dig a bit deeper, it’s actually fear in disguise.
Everyone Has Fear
Fear is actually hardwired into us. It’s an evolutionary trait to keep us safe from danger. How else would we know to run from that saber-toothed tiger?
Unfortunately, it also manifests itself as being afraid of what other people think about us. Which contrary to popular thinking, will not kill us.
Every entrepreneur has had to face and overcome their own fears.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have the fears.
We’ve just learned how to manage them.
Understanding the Fear
When you realize that it’s fear that’s stopping you, ask yourself literally “What exactly am I afraid of?”
People judging me?
People thinking I’m stupid?
People not liking my cooking?
Then think about if it’s actually true or not. What evidence is there that this will or won’t happen?
When you do this, you might even realize that your fear is totally illogical.
Which might not help since fear can be irrational and emotional.
How Fear Shows Up
For most people, fear is often disguised as procrastination.
When I’m procrastinating about doing something it might be that I’m not sure what to do.
A lot of the time though, I know what I need to do but I keep coming up with reasons that I can’t do it right now.
Which really means I’m afraid of doing that thing.
Once I realize that there’s something that I’m afraid of, it helps to dig a little deeper.
Procrastination Ploy #1 – I don’t know how to get started.
When they first have an idea, most people don’t know exactly where to start.
All it takes to solve this is though, is a little research so it’s more likely fear.
Procrastination Ploy #2 – I don’t know enough aka Imposter Syndrome
Since you’re reading this, you probably love to cook and have done it for a while. You like your food and other people have liked your food.
If so, then you have evidence that that isn’t true.
Procrastination Ploy #3 – I don’t know how I’d get clients.
You might have already gotten paid to do a little catering, or had people ask if you would.
How did that happen?
If you haven’t yet, and you will soon if you want to, have you told anyone that you will cook a week’s worth of meals for $x? Or cook a dinner party for $x?
So, is it that you don’t know how, or that you’re afraid to ask?
Why Fear Sucks
Fear stops us from taking action.
Fear causes us to self-sabotage.
Fear prevents us from doing what we truly want to do in our hearts.
Plus, fear can be subconscious, which makes it sneaky and hard to identify.
How to Get Rid of Fear of Failure (or at least manage it)
How can you break your paralysis and get past being scared of failure?
It just takes two little things:
- change your attitude about failure and
- take action.
Change Your Attitude About Failure and Shift Your Mindset
Why are you really scared to start your own personal chef business?
Most people fear failure because they think other people will judge them.
What if someone says no?
What if I do something wrong?
What if people don’t like my food?
Failure is not life threatening.
What will happen if someone says no, they don’t want your services? Sure, it’s not the answer you want, but statistically I’m 100% sure you won’t die.
What will happen if you do something wrong? Maybe you pick a business name you end up not liking, you hire a web designer who flakes, or you underprice a catering job?
Guess what? Change your mind. Make a different choice. Learn, improve, and move on.
You’re already ahead of people who never started or quit when something went wrong.
And a big one, what if people don’t like your food?
Let me ask you, have you cooked for people before? Did they like your food? Do you like your food?
Has anyone in the history of the world not like something you cooked? Are they entitled to their opinion? (even though we both know they were wrong ).
Did you quit cooking?
Is it even an option that you would ever quit cooking?
Mistakes can be uncomfortable and suck but aren’t life-threatening.
And not to get all Pollyanna on you, but failure is always an opportunity to learn and grow.
(Why we can’t just get that from eating chocolate chip cookies is a mystery.)
When you make a mistake or fail and take the opportunity to learn and grow, you are moving forward and will have success.
Fear can often come from the fear of the unknown and this quickest way to get through that is through knowledge.
Learning can be a powerful antidote to fear of failure. Most successful entrepreneurs and leaders embrace lifelong learning.
Just be sure that you’re not using this as a procrastination tactic to avoid action.
Small Steps, Grasshopper
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Don’t focus on the whole thing, just do the next thing that moves you closer.
Call that friend who has an annual Christmas party you want to cater, invest in a personal chef course, press publish on that business Facebook page, hand someone a business card, hire a business coach, just do the next thing that moves you closer.
Start with small, achievable tasks. It will make everything less intimidating.
And remember, everything doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t be anyway, so don’t waste your valuable time.
Sheryl Sandberg wrote; “Done is better than perfect.” The subtext there is that if you’re going for perfect, it will never be done.
Don’t let perfection become another procrastination stall.
Have a support group of other passionate cooks
Let’s be honest, entrepreneurship can be a lonely road. Without people who ‘get it’, it can be so much harder.
Surround yourself with likeminded entrepreneur chefs who can help you through rough spots and celebrate your successes.
Remember why you want to start a personal chef business.
If fear is starting to creep in, remember the reasons why you want to become a personal chef in the first place.
Is it to get paid to do what you love, cook?
Make a lot of money?
Have control over your own schedule?
Knowing exactly why you want to have your own personal chef business will help you stay focused and centered.
Overcoming Fear Gets Easier (but never really goes away)
Unfortunately, as long as we’re continuing to learn and grow, we’ll have some fear because we’re pushing into the unknown.
Fear is a sign that we’re outside of our comfort zones, but that’s where the magic happens.
The good news is that with each action you take in spite of the fear, your confidence grows.
Not only does that reduce your fear in that one area, but your fear fighting muscles get stronger in general making you more capable at handling the next challenge.
Starting and running your own personal chef business will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, personally and financially.
Don’t let your fear of failure make you miss out.
You’re not going to be able to skip the fear, but with practice and successes under your belt, you will be able to manage it.
*Maybe* even enjoy it, knowing that you’re making progress and moving toward your dream.
Take the first action step forward toward starting your personal chef business and download the free guide on how to cook a personal chef service here.