Sooner or later every solopreneur runs up against some emotional roadblocks to growth that threaten to hold their business back. Two common roadblocks are not feeling like you’re ready to make a big change or give up control over part of their business’s operations, and feeling like you don’t have the money (or aren’t comfortable taking out a loan) to invest in products or services that their business’s future will rely on. Even if you know that both steps are necessary to keep your business growing and thriving they are HUGE mental and emotional humps to get over. So what’s a solopreneur to do?

The Top Five Emotional Roadblocks to Growth

In working with artists, makers, and small businesses run by one or two people there are five common emotional roadblocks to growth that I see time and time again: Getting Stuck Before You Start, Problem Fixation, the Info Tornado, Misunderestimation, and Letting Go is Hard.

Emotional Roadblock #1: Getting Stuck Before You Start

Ironically, this emotional roadblock to growth tends to happen to the solopreneurs with the best intentions and iron-clad organization skills. It comes from trying to make the perfect plan. A detailed plan and timeline are excellent things to have when you’re starting a new project, but the key is knowing when to stop planning. Otherwise you keep thinking of that one extra loose end you really need to get figured out before you can get started, or that contingency that you haven’t 100%, totally, completely planned and accounted for.The solution here is to just get started. Break the first step down into as many small pieces as you need to in order to get to a first step that feels like something you can accomplish right now. Then do it. And after that, do the next step. And the one after that. And before you know it, you are building momentum, working on your project!

If you find yourself feeling stuck again, overwhelmed by all the things you think you need to get ready in order to keep going, hit reset and break your next step down again until you’ve gotten to a task that you can do right now, and then do what comes after that, and after that. Just watch out for your perfectionist streak (I know you have one)!

Emotional Roadblock #2: Problem Fixation

This is the pessimistic twin of Getting Stuck Before You Start. A solopreneur suffering from Problem Fixation can’t see beyond the problem that they are trying to solve; it becomes so omnipresent and overwhelming that there’s no room for any thought of a solution.Problem Fixation is a way of framing the issue that leads you to the point where all you can see is things that are wrong. But instead of looking at the situation as a problem to be fixed, try turning it around. Why do you want to solve this problem? What is the positive result you want to receive? Then, instead of framing the challenge as a problem to be solved, you are framing it as an achievement to work toward.

It might sound overly simplistic, but the very act of changing the task from undoing a negative to achieving a positive will make the job seem more exciting and less hopeless.

Emotional Roadblock #3: The Info Tornado

This one is the internet’s fault. And as someone who publishes advice online I should take some of the blame.It’s so easy to do research and find how-to guides, webinars, courses, and podcasts to teach you how to do anything and save you from the top 17 deadly mistakes that you can spend your entire life doing nothing but learning different ways of doing things. Before long you have fallen down so many rabbit holes and gotten so much conflicting information that you’re not even sure what it was you set out to do in the first place. And if you can remember, how are you going to decide which voices to listen to?

The best way to break out of the Info Tornado is to not get sucked into it in the first place. When you have a question don’t just hit up Google and read everything that comes up. Go back to the sources of information that you’ve found useful in the past, be they blogs, forums, podcasts, or actual people(!). If you’re already in the Info Tornado, you need to hit reset. Make sure that the answers you’re looking for are still the same ones you started out with. Then hit up your trusted sources, and trust your instincts.

Quite often the difference between one source and another is that way that content is presented and not so much the information itself. So find sources that make sense for you, and don’t get caught up in Fear of Missing Out on Info. You’ve got plenty!

Emotional Roadblock #4: Misunderestimation

The 43rd President of the United States did make some positive contributions to our culture, and one of those was the invention of the word “misunderestimate”.Misunderestimation is a potent and complex emotional roadblock to growth. When you Misunderestimate yourself or your business, you misunderstand the costs and benefits of committing to a course of action, and you underestimate your ability to commit, whether it’s the skill, time, or money involved.

Many people running a business of their own are apt to play things safe—they don’t want to become one of those stories in which the entrepreneur bet everything on their business and then lost it.

But I’m going to make a bet with you: you aren’t considering anything for your business right now that will make or break you. And if you’re already running a business, you are proving every day that you have what it takes.

The core fear here is of making a short-term investment that might involve financial debt or extra work in order to achieve a long-term benefit of more profit and growth. So how can you overcome this fear of risk?

First, you need to do your homework (while avoiding the first three Emotional Roadblocks to Growth). Second, you need to go into the project with someone you trust, whether its your partner in life, partner in business, or the expert who is working with you to achieve your goals. Fixate on the positive outcome, not the current problem. And don’t underestimate yourself: you are running a business, and you have what it takes.

Emotional Roadblock #5: Letting Go is Hard

You’ve all heard of helicopter parents, right? Our last emotional roadblock to growth is kind of like that. It’s the solopreneur who has been doing everything for so long that they just can’t bear the idea of delegating anything. Maybe they’re still in bootstrap mode and think that they can’t afford to hire any help, even an outside consultant. Or maybe it’s simply a question of giving up control.Either way, getting over this emotional roadblock to growth requires some perspective. You can get it yourself by taking a break from your business and looking at your current processes from a short distance. Even better, you can find someone to help you out—a trusted colleague who runs a similar business, or a consultant who works with people in your field. Whoever it is, be sure that you trust them enough to actually take their advice!

Don’t Bust those Roadblocks Alone

I know that the biggest challenge I face in running my business is myself. For one thing, there are only so many hours in a day and so much of me to go around, and the business doesn’t get to take all of either. For another, I have my own emotional roadblocks to growth that sometimes stand in my way. Just remember: there is no reason why any solopreneur needs to, or should want to, go it alone. Breaking through these roadblocks is a lot easier with some trusted help, so build your network and keep on rolling down that road.