There is no more true statement than this: the biggest risks come with the greatest rewards and those rewards are often presented in the experiences and memories that are fashioned along the way. We can all think back to a time (probably in our younger years) when we took major risks; we pursued a romantic interest or challenged an authority figure. Those experiences shaped you as a person; they helped you grow despite the outcomes.
This is also true in business. Come to terms that you just might fail. Understand and accept the worst-case scenario. Then move on with that knowledge; use it as a catalyst that propels you to do your best work. Above all else, “Fail Forward.”
The Reluctant Entrepreneur
Years ago, I met a business owner with a consumer product who seemed to be worried about anything that could make his business flourish. When I suggested he post the events he planned to exhibit at on his website he expressed concern that his competitors would find out where he was going to be and then also buy exhibit space to be there. So he never shared anything about where he was going to be with his customers. Essentially he was letting his competitors control his marketing message. I found this baffling because in what world was this business owner in to think that his list of events was so top secret? A few Google searches would turn up exhibitor lists with his company name on it anyway.
So I brought up the idea to begin public relations around his product because if he didn’t take a proactive approach he would not get any national exposure. There was always an excuse as to WHY he could not do it and never a plan to create a budget for next year. He was stuck in the same cycle year after year and making no headway to grow his business.
Man (or Woman) in the Mirror
Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, you are probably on an endless journey to “Roadblock City” and it’s a dark, scary place that will eat you and your business alive. You create roadblocks to pathways to your next level of success. Many people complain of feeling stuck in life. They say they are making no progress and feel their paths are blocked. Often this feeling occurs when a person is afraid of making a move in life, and so chooses to wait instead, sometimes for long periods, to do anything at all.
While considering your options is a good thing, neglecting to take action for prolonged periods of time can indicate you are stranded because you are afraid of making a mistake. Benjamin Franklin once said, “The man who does things makes mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all—doing nothing.”
Keep This In Mind
Dwelling for too long on the “what-if” scenarios will leave you paralyzed with fear. Recognize that this can manifest itself as over planning or excessive analysis and result in “paralysis by analysis” by which you convince yourself that you need an ever-increasing amount of data before you can make a decision.
Overcoming a fear of failure is a struggle that all small business owners face. Recognition is the first step in overcoming; evaluate your unique situation and what it would take to change it. Then ask yourself why you haven’t done it yet. Fear will always be there, but don’t allow it to be the reason or the excuse for failure.
Are you resisting change? And if you are, are you merely hanging on to the status quo because you fear the unknown? Asking yourself these questions and gaining the willingness to try and JUST DO IT should save your business for years to come.