Fear is often viewed in a negative light, but the benefits of fear should not be overlooked. Let’s look at some simple examples: Fear of being run over by a car will cause you to look both ways before you cross the road; fear of being struck by lightening will cause you to avoid sheltering under a tree.
For many small business owners whether online or offline, fear of failure is a living, breathing thing. It can affect not only new business owners but can rear its ugly head and snake its way into your mind even if you’re an experienced marketer who has established yourself in your market or niche.
In Are Your Fears Causing You to Procrastinate? I wrote that you must identify the fear and its source so that you can view the consequences of giving in. On the other hand, it’s important to view the fear and its cause objectively . In the book, subtitled “Business Secrets From the Ultimate Street-Smart Entrepreneur” Jake Steinfeld noted that he’s seen fear ‘paralyze very smart and otherwise successful people.’ This includes ‘a wealthy and popular Hollywood executive, who was suddenly overcome with the sense that he was a failure…went into a depression and refused to get out of bed for an entire year!’ Happily for him he ‘finally got out of bed and went back to work’ ‘knocking out a whole string of more hits for both television and the movies.’
As small business owners we do not have the luxury of allowing ourselves to become paralyzed by fear for lengthy periods of time. Our livelihood is involved, our customers are involved, and our reputation is involved. Although it may appear to be real, understanding what to do if one experiences failure and how to view it make a huge difference.
Failure in some aspect of business is almost inevitable. I’ve experienced the fear of failure as well. “What if I’ve done my research, created a product that lots of people seem to be interested in but no one buys?” “What if no one shows up on my teleseminar?” “What if …” We can create lots of what ifs in our mind.
Here is one more “What if.” What if you understand that one failure in an area of your business does not mean that YOU are a failure? It means that you examine the product or service that was not successful, analyze what you did and if you could have done it better. Use it as a learning tool. Maybe you did not market it enough, maybe you did not speak the language of your ideal clients.
Allow yourself a 15-minute Pitty Party, then get back to work! Your customers and clients are waiting for you to provide an alternative for solving their pain.
What is one fear of failure you have or have had to overcome, or think that is common to many small business owners?