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I’m an entrepreneur (and I’m scared.)

person standing on edge of huge cliff looking over the ocean

There, I said it.

Oh sure, I put on a brave face and everyone thinks it’s great that I have my own business. “Good for you!” they say. “Wow, you’re doing it!” Some days anything is possible, the world is my oyster, and then some days – boom.

I’m scared.

This entrepreneur stuff can be mentally debilitating. There are so many hats to wear, so much to learn, and so much work to be done. There are financial worries, growth worries, client worries – all the worries.

This is my confession.

Yet, still, I daydream. If this article gets out into the world maybe it will go viral and entrepreneurs everywhere will unite. We'll take off our bravado masks, and take down our 'hustle' Instagram posts. Suddenly thousands of uplifting comments will pour in and miracles will soon follow. (Cue Rocky theme song.)

Richard Branson and brilliant-minded, Ted-talking CEO's will applaud this for the brutally honest soul-baring post that it is. Naturally, they’ll contact me and we will start changing the world together. We will make all the headlines, my business will soar and OMG Ellen’s people will call – right?

Reality check. That’s not how it works.

The facts are that I’m damn good at what I do and I have years of wins to prove it. I’m smart and I know it. “And dog-gone-it people like me.” Stuart Smalley But that’s not enough as a business owner. Not even close.

Embracing the skill sets needed to expand is tough, and hiring the right people, at the right time is even more difficult not to mention risky. The challenges pile up and become a massive mountain to climb.

Despite that, I’ve learned that fear and ultimately failure are essential ingredients for success. It’s deeply intimidating knowing that I’m going to screw things up but the truth is that it’s inevitable.

Profound lessons emerge out of failure.

Like a baby taking her first step, we fall and get up again, and again. Each time with more conviction than the last. Consistency and perseverance is the only way to reach our goal and with every failure, we earn a gift.

The gift of insight.

The insights might hit us on the head or whisper in our ears. Most importantly they should never be ignored. They need to be tucked away with care and called upon to conquer even the biggest Mount Everest of goals. A goal like owning a phenomenally successful business.

So am I scared?

Heck yeah.

Does that make me weak?

No way. It makes me stronger.

(Except for real mountain climbing, that's freaking scary stuff. Unless Ellen calls. Yeah, I’d definitely, climb a mountain for that badass. #daydreamingagain)

Jo-Anne Chow is the owner and Creative Director of the brand studio, Brand Creek Creative. Jo-Anne can be reached at

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