So you have decided to take the plunge and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. You are most likely feeling excited, eager, uncertain and petrified all at once. Trust me, most people in your position feel the same way. The start-up phase of any business is often the most exhilarating, but for many, it is also the most trying. Fear of failure often stops would-be entrepreneurs before they even have a chance to bring their ideas to life. The following are some items that may help you to stay focused on your objectives and will hopefully give you the extra confidence to pursue your venture1. Research the need for your product or service. If there are already 8 dry cleaning services in your town of 1,200 people, chances are your dry cleaning business will not succeed. If you are still determined to open your business when the demand isn’t great, consider adding some creative or innovative products or services that the competition doesn’t offer. Look into your local small business service centre for information on demand in your industry. Knowing that a service is in demand will give you the extra confidence that your business has potential.2. Once you have decided that your business venture is viable, surround yourself with positive people. An encouraging word from a friend or family member can go a long way. Confidence and positivity go hand in hand. Conversely, negative thoughts bring self-doubt, and self-doubt almost certainly leads to failure. If someone in your life is negative concerning your business, try to discuss it with them as little as possible. This doesn’t mean don’t talk to them, just stay away from the subject of your business. Only talk about your business with positive people. This will help to leave you feeling excited at the end of your conversation instead of defeated.3. Stay involved in the lives of your family and friends. A start-up business can be all encompassing. It takes over your thoughts sometimes night and day. Don’t forget to put things into perspective. The most important things in life are your friends and family. Don’t neglect them. You need to have a healthy balance between work and family and friends in order to be happy in your life. Remember that happiness is your ultimate goal. If you are not happy, then what is it all for?4. Read as many books as you can find. Read books on your industry, opening a business in this industry and business in general. Many online bookstores allow you to read reviews of books before buying them. These reviews will most likely be from people like yourself, looking for the same kind of information as you are. They will let you know if the book is worth purchasing. Learning as much as you possibly can about your industry and opening a business, is a sure way to gain confidence.5. Get involved. Join trade associations if they exist for your industry. The advice and insight you will receive from the individuals already working in your field can be even more valuable than the information you can read in a book.6. Don’t listen to the inner negative voice. Self doubt and fear of failure are what stops many would-be entrepreneurs from realizing their dreams. Whenever you realize that your inner dialogue is turning negative, change it immediately. You control your thoughts. Positive thinking is a powerful tool that will contribute greatly to your success.7. Love what you do. If you are planning on opening a home cleaning service, but can’t stand cleaning your own home, you are in all likelihood doomed to failure. Choose something that excites you and that you feel passionate about. You need to feel motivated in order to continue to build your business years down the line.Remember what your goal is and stay focused on that. Don’t let fear of failure defeat you. Regrets are one thing you certainly don’t want in life. Once you’ve researched your venture and know it has potential, keep the next steps in mind. Learn, stay positive and enjoy this exciting phase of your life. Good luck.