Running a business can be scary. There are hundreds of things that can trip you up every day. But, if you let the fear of failure snake its way into your heart, it’s guaranteed to damage your company. Self-doubt paralyzes your decisions and actions, and only those who beat it win. So is it possible to overcome the sweaty palms and trepidation, and let go of fear’s icy grip on your company? Absolutely, and here are a few ways how.
When you start to get that panicky feeling, realize you are not alone. Fear is as natural in business as payroll taxes and customers. So accept that you are afraid—like just about everyone else on the planet—and get moving. Nothing gets rid of the jitters faster than action. You’ll be too busy focusing on the win to think about the fail.
What’s one of the biggest enemies of fear? Options. When you have choices, you can continue on despite a blow to your business. So if you lose your biggest client or vendor who supplies an essential component, you’re not trapped. If you don’t have enough options, focus on finding more.
What do Dave Ramsey, Henry Ford, R.H. Macy and Bill Gates all have in common? At some point, they have all failed. But they all picked themselves up, chalked it up to great lessons learned, and tried again. And you can too. Celebrate your mistakes as proof that you are human. These teachable moments might be the greatest gifts you’ll ever receive business-wise.
One of the best ways to look fear right in the face is to write down the absolute worst-case scenario and realize it is not going to kill you. Then, create a plan to overcome it. When you know something is survivable, it’s easy to move forward.
Being a leader can be one of the loneliest jobs on the planet, and if you’re scared of something, it’s even more isolating. In addition to your spouse, find a mentor who has gone through what you are currently experiencing, or join a local entrepreneurial group so you can talk it out or get advice. Knowing that others have successfully survived gives courage and strength. It’s therapy for the soul.
When the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke the famous words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was trying to calm a nation freaked out over the Great Depression. But more than 75 years later, his message still rings true. By having a plan, surrounding yourself with those who can help, and realizing that we all screw up sometimes, you’ll soon see your self-doubt disappear. And becoming a strong, confident business person is nothing to be scared about.
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