In this 3-minute read, I’ll explain how a few little tweaks can make fear your best friend. By owning your fears, they will drive your business forward, not under.
Whether you are a small business leader, entrepreneur or sales pro, we all get scared sometimes. All of us have days where we’d rather pull the duvet over our heads and hide. It affects each and every one of us: negativity is like gravity. A powerful force with one aim: to hold you down. But with dedication, it can be overcome, I promise you.
- Look your doubts in the eye and do the exact opposite
Self-doubt is one of the biggest de-motivators around. Deep down inside, most people are more likely to feel de-motivated than they are motivated. You might feel that because you started your own business, you are one of the motivated ones. But even you will have doubts that are stopping your business from growing.
Whatever those doubts are, you need to look yourself in the mirror and confront them. You may feel by doing whatever is safe, you have more security. But if every play you make is super safe, you will just be treading water – and you never know when the water is going to get choppy. So face your fears, because progress will probably turn out to be easier than you originally thought, just as long as you can keep up your enthusiasm.
And where does that enthusiasm come from? By telling yourself that self-doubts are a natural part of change, and change is what you are afraid of, not not being ‘good’ enough. Of course you are good enough – the only deciding factor is can you remain enthusiastic enough to inspire all of those around you?
- Keep a physical picture of success on hand
When negativity is dragging you down, one of the best things to do is have a visual aid; a reminder why you get out of bed every morning. A picture in your wallet of whatever you’re really working for, be it a villa in the sun, a flash sports car…for me, it’s a picture of my children.
Whenever doubt creeps in, look at your special picture and think about what you’re really, really working towards. If it’s making a bright future for your kids, then you can bet that the fear of not making that happen will be much stronger than whatever stands in your way.
- Learn the nuances of “no”, and react accordingly
Getting a ‘no’ can cripple your ability to sell yourself or your company: hearing that one little word can kick the fear in and ruin your performance. But mature salespeople know that “no” can mean anything from SLOW DOWN A BIT, to EXPLAIN YOURSELF BETTER to YOU HAVEN’T TOUCHED ON THE ASPECTS I’M MOST INTERESTED IN YET to ASK MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT MY LIKES AND DISLIKES or even I DON’T WANT TO PART WITH QUITE SO MUCH MONEY RIGHT NOW.
If fear is pushing you from behind, you’ll be more scared of a proper no – along the lines of getting booted out of the building – than of accepting one disheartening little word at face value. Think of “no” as a junction, rather than a cul-de-sac.
- Ask for feedback Always (AFFA)
One of the worst situations for an entrepreneur or anyone trying to do any sort of deal is when you get zero negative feedback, and your target appears to love your offer, but ultimately decides not to buy.
This can leave you asking yourself what you did wrong, which turns into self-doubt, eating away at you and making you feel like taking to your mattress for a week! To avoid setting yourself for that sinking feeling, always ask for detailed feedback – then you can keep focussing on what you did right, which will stand you in good stead for your next meeting.
- Have a plan for dealing with ‘failure.’
Even the proper ‘nos’ don’t mean long term failure. They might sting a bit at the time, but in the grand scheme of things they are another step towards getting that big yes. Think of inventors, like James Dyson who built 5127 not-quite-right prototypes before perfecting his truly world class vacuum cleaner. Now, if you’re selling stuff or courting potential clients or partners, remember the more doors you’re knocking on, the more likely you are to get a no. But not everyone will say no – around one in ten will yes, at least.
Probably the very best way to conquer fear in business is to have someone to talk to who’s been through it all…if you want to set up a chat – no obligation, no pressure -drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8476511@N03/15632071285″>October 2014 Loot Crate Magazine</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>