In life, you don't get anywhere by playing it safe. FEAR has been defined as "False Evidence Appearing Real". I have noticed that the greater the risk you take in life, the greater the potential for failure but also the greater the potential for reward. It makes sense. Do nothing and nothing will happen, or worse, things will happen but it will be what other people want, not what you want. Of course there are ways to minimize potential risks.
Considered why you are feeling the anxiety you have expressed. Is it really that you don't want to risk going into debt or could it be that you aren't sure if your product or service will sell? If you had an abundance of cash coming into your life right now, how would that change your perception of your project and the choices you make? As long as you don't give up, you are amongst the 4% of people who actually succeed. However you may want to consider that there might be issues you need to deal with and resolve before you will be comfortable in moving forward with what you want to accomplish. Your first client will always be the most expensive as there is a lot of work that has to go into preparing to have your product or service available to them. In addition to what you plan to offer your clients, you may need to have an agreement, a website, have the ability to take on-line payments. Depending on your business, you may want to incorporate (LLC in the US) and make arrangements for shipping. Depending on where you live, you may also need to collect taxes. Will you need transportation, office space, telephone, a computer and Internet access? Are there any special skills or tools you will need? If you don't have any experience in marketing, spending 90 days learning about it will dramatically increase your chances of success while reducing your risk.
Take the time to build up your business support team. Even if you are a solopreneur, you will have a team which may includes a lawyer, an accountant, your banker, a mentor, a coach, your web services provider, financial advisor, teachers and friends and family who support you and want to see you succeed. Some people have even told me that their massage therapist is critical to their success.
One way of looking at this is that you are investing all this time, effort and money into your first client. However keep in mind that this cost will actually be amortised (spread) across potentially thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of future clients. Another way to look at it though is that, although your first client will cost you a lot in time, effort and money, the cost of doing business will drop dramatically for subsequent clients.
Remember that you are the one who is learning the ropes and starting a business. YOU are the one who is taking action and making it happen. That is more than 80% of people are willing to do in order to achieve their dreams. If you don't keep working at it and learning until you actually succeed, you will be amongst the 96% of people who achieve the results they really want.
The choices you make and the actions you take today will trigger a chain of events will change your life more than you can imagine over the years to come. Not only will you affect your life, you will enrich the lives of those around you and possibly even inspire a few. As you embark on this journey, you are actually moving yourself towards the authentic you, the person you were meant to be.
Everyone has their own gifts (strengths) and we serve no one by living small.