Fear is a beast, but so what?


Running a business is both scary and overwhelming. It brings on all of the feels that you weren’t even prepared for. Branding doesn’t prepare you for the fact that there will be people out there who hate your brand. And building the perfect sales page won’t prepare you for the feeling of defeat that may come from a failed launch.

When we (as entrepreneurs) are exhausted from doing everything “right” and not getting results, there are three common reactions:

1)   We wallow in self-pity, check our marketing techniques multiple times and then vow to never sell anything again because we must suck at marketing.

2)   We take a break and set aside some “research” time. This is time where we put off doing the next thing and kid ourselves that we need to research every last thing so that the next launch makes us all of the money.

Tips to help you move beyond the fear and grow your business anyway. - Iterate Social

3)   We move on. We may binge on Netflix for an afternoon, but then we wake up the next morning and move the fuck on. We dust off, sit at the computer and say, Okay, what’s next? What does the universe need from me now?

This third reaction is what I will call “action.” Sure, the other two reactions require some sort of action, but it’s more of a “reactive inaction” that won’t help you move forward. We use reactive inaction to feel like we are taking action, but we really aren’t. We aren’t doing a damn thing. The cause of reactive inaction is usually FEAR.  When we put ourselves out there, it feels really scary. Then, putting yourself out there results in a failure (perceived of course), and jumping back in the ring feels even scarier. Because we now know what it feels like. It’s like when you’re young and you think bees are the coolest, but then you get stung and all of a sudden they turn into the scariest little beasts in your garden. We now know that terrible feeling could happen again so we try to avoid it. The truth is it WILL happen again (and again and again.). Know this: Feelings are fleeting, but your ability to take action is not. Your willingness might come and go, but your ability to act is always there.

I have been following the “action plan,” and my hope was that it would eventually get easier to dust myself off when things went wrong. It hasn’t gotten easier. As my business is growing, the action becomes more and more scary because it’s starting to mean something. Not just for me, but for both my readers and clients as well. People are watching and listening. So no, it doesn’t get easier, and it probably never will. But you know what does get easier? Getting comfortable with fear being around. I treat it like that annoying person on the train. You let them annoy you for a minute, and then you tune them out and refuse eye contact.

Why do you do this? Because you are stuck on a train and if you let it get to you your train ride is going to be insufferable. Fear is the same way. It doesn’t go away. Sink into that thought and know that it will always be there. Sometimes it will be a whisper, and sometimes it will be a mariachi band. But overcome that nagging fear and do the thing that scares you anyway. Taking action will make you successful. Not perfection, not succeeding at everything, not the best marketing strategy and not thinking about it. So when you are stuck in your own head, channel Ludacris and serenade your fear. “Move bitch, get out the way. Get out the way bitch, get out the way…”

Take this moment (yes, this moment right now) to get out of your own way and do something that has been scaring you.