The fear of missing out is a phenomenon that I dare to say most people struggle with at some point. It can be fear of missing out on a social event, or fear of missing out on a job opportunity. Breaking it down further, we can even claim it to be a fear of saying no.
To say no can do two things for you:
- You miss out on something,
- You gain something
The first thing is quite straightforward. But the second one is where the question marks start to arrive. The way you look at the word no, completely depends on the perspective you have. And whether the FOMO (Fear of missing out), is taking over your reasoning and actions. Whenever you say no, it means that you will not be a part of the thing that you said no to. But it also means that you are saying yes to something else.
Perhaps you really want to take some time off to regenerate yourself from all the stress that creating and running a business can cause. If you then say yes to go out with friends, you are simultaneously saying no to time off alone. However, depending on the nature of the social event, it might be just what you need to give you some energy. Or not. Be honest to yourself and your needs.
Being an entrepreneur
As entrepreneurs we are often high on adrenaline or filled with a million ideas on how to grow our business. Whether talking to friends or dreaming alone at night, business ideas are the constant theme. And so it should be. When you are passionate about something it will transmit to your surrounding and hopefully it can inspire and motivate others to work on their own projects as well. However, there is always a balance for everything.
It doesn’t matter how mentally strong you think you are. There will always be times when your confidence and self consciousness will wobble. Like our parents often say: Don’t forget that there are always two sides to a coin. Just as much energy it can give both you and those around you when you are high on your business ideas. Just as draining can it be when you’re feeling that your business is falling out of your control.
Fear of entrepreneurship
When you’re an artist, your emotional state will most likely influence the work you do, which makes us vulnerable in the world of entrepreneurship. Personally, this is one of the reasons why I think that entrepreneurship should be one of the main subjects in any creative education. Because if you want to make it with your creations you have to be aware and prepared of what it takes to run a business. It is not enough to just create art and to not think entrepreneurship. At least not for most of us.
This reality might not hit you until you are in the middle of it. You start out excited and say yes to everything that comes your way. Until one day, when you realised that your fear of saying no put you in positions where you are no longer in charge of your time or what you’re creating. Don’t fear entrepreneurship as a creator. Embrace it. Be in charge of your artistry and dare to say no.
Don’t work for free
Another concrete example, where the fear of missing out on opportunities becomes very concrete, is when large companies reach out to you for free collaborations. Unfortunately many artists are afraid to take charge and value their creations and thus accept to work for free. I don’t blame them. It is not easy to say no, when a large company with big influence sells their idea as “good exposure” for your art. Of course you want to say yes to the “opportunity” to be put in front of a potentially larger audience.
However, just be aware that if you have worked for free once, companies will expect you to work for free again. And for each yes, it will be more and more difficult to say no. This is where it is key to have the mindset that your artistry is a business. You are a creative entrepreneur with just as much value as any other business owner. Don’t sell yourself short!
Have an artist plan
To have an artist plan can greatly help you realise which opportunities to say yes to and which to say no to. With a concrete plan and idea of where you want to go with your artistry, you will also be able to identify what you need to get there. If you’re unsure of what an artist plan is, we talked about it in one of our podcast episodes “Get a real job“.
And for more thoughts on fear and anxiety listen to the podcast episode “Fear of not making it“. Fear an arrive in many different forms. Learn to tackle it and you will see how will regain the power of your business!