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Four Entrepreneurs on Overcoming Fear

Entrepreneurs have their own ways of pushing forward, but a new study finds that a steely will changes over time—in ways that are different for men and women. Four founders at different stages of their careers tell us how they have tackled fear.

Fear of failure among people exploring entrepreneurship:


Male: 37.3%
Female: 28.3%

"We eased into it by going to Meetups, meeting people who had done it before. Being able to relate to someone made it a lot easier for us."
—Tanya Menendez, 25, Cofounder, Maker's Row


Male: 41.5%
Female: 36.4%

"Life up until now has been very predictable. But a lack of control can become your norm. If you love your idea and you believe in it, it becomes the norm you thrive on."
—Sarika Doshi, 34, Cofounder, Rank & Style


Male: 28.6%
Female: 38.7%

"My wife is eight months pregnant. I am in the middle of closing a second seed round. You must make daily progress, no matter how minor. At night, I recommend Xanax."
—Jeff Koyen, 44, Founder, Assignmint


Male: 20.1%
Female: 28.2%

"Fear comes when you look at the past or launch yourself out into the future—dealing with your memories or your fantasies. I'd rather deal with the present."
—John Daly, 57, Cofounder, Contract Room

[Illustration by Ward Sutton]

A version of this article appeared in the September 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.