“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Nelson Mandela
This quote perfectly sums up what lurks in the mind of every entrepreneur I have ever met. After twenty-five years of working with entrepreneurs and business owners, presidents and chief executives of companies small and large, start-ups and fully formed businesses, I think I can speak with a bit of authority.
Before success comes, and even after it does, there is always Fear. Sometimes it’s a paralyzing fear, sometimes just a gnawing one.
Am I doing the right thing? Will I ultimately fail? Am I good enough? Will I be successful? If I am, then what?
Fear is a normal state of being. It never, ever goes away. Fear comes with two options:
- Forget Everything and Run
- Face Everything and Rise
You, the entrepreneur, hold the power over fear; it does not hold power over you. No matter how old you are or how many years you have been in business, the fear never fades. Whether you start your venture at twenty or sixty; whether you have been doing it for twenty years or sixty years – fear never, ever goes away.
So why on earth would a person who specializes in increasing profits and raising personal productivity write a blog about fear? Because with every client there eventually comes a point when the conversation comes down to four words: ”I am afraid about…” Every single conversation is reduced to those four words. Seriously. And then I am asked: “What is the best way to manage fear?’’
Let me be brutally honest and tell you I only get asked this question after people get to know me and trust me and then they only whisper it – in a corner. I think this is because we have been conditioned to be ashamed of being fearful; or maybe we are ashamed of simply admitting we are afraid.
I am not a licensed psychologist and I certainly do not have a degree in any kind of woo-woo thinking. I can only share with you what I have seen that works and what doesn’t. So here are the straight goods.
MAKE FEAR YOUR FRIEND.
Accept the fact fear is your new BFF. Talk about it, meditate, push it down. Tell yourself that you CAN deal with it because you ARE incredibly strong. In fact, put yellow sticky notes around your house, your office and in your car affirming how damn strong and amazing you are. Believe those notes. Make those messages your mantra and change them four times a day.
HIRE PEOPLE SMARTER THAN YOU ARE AND THEN STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY.
Make solid plans of action and execute those plans. Schedule time to go on a date with your spouse. Forgive yourself if your kids don’t wear clean underwear or have a popcorn dinner once a week. Nobody is perfect. If you think someone is, ask them how much help they have compared to you.
FORGET ABOUT THE BOOZE AND THE DRUGS AND THE OCCASIONAL DALLIANCES ON THE SIDE.
Nothing good comes from any of that. Trust me on this.
NEVER EVER, EVER FORGET WHY YOU WANTED TO BECOME YOUR OWN BOSS.
Why did you get into this life? Write down those reasons. Read them every time you feel that fear thing roiling up in your belly. Whatever the reason was, it wasn’t about money. It was about making a difference, having an impact and making sure others had a better life. Believe in your idea. Believe it with all your heart. Believe in what you are and what you are doing.
HERE IS MY ABSOLUTE BEST ADVICE FOR MANAGING YOUR FEAR.
You already believe in yourself and you already believe in the difference that your products and/or services make in the lives of others. Those two things make you impossible to stop. On the days you feel less than 100%, imagine me saying this to you: “I believe in you and I believe in your business. Tel me again how your products and services change lives. Now tell me why you believe passionately in them!”
To your success!