Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Are Your Fears Undermining Your Business Growth?

I had one of my quotes on Twitter retweeted many times this morning and it reminded me of one of the most significant challenges in starting and growing a business -- managing trust...or rather managing the lack of it.

The Tweet
"One of the most significant blocks to rapidly growing a #business is TRUST. Almost every decision related to growth involves trusting something or someone to do something."
#Founders #Entrepreneurs #BusinessOwners

Lesson: The faster you can trust, the faster you can grow.

So, I wanted to park on this concept for a moment. As I continue to grow my business, watch my husband battle the day to day challenges of running his own, I wanted to consider the following question.

Q: How is the lack of trust slowing down or undermining what you're trying to accomplish?

As I think about that question, I realize that a lack of trust is born out of fear.  So really the question should be how is fear undermining, slowing or handicapping your operations or growth.

Fear makes it's presence known loudly and subtly when making decisions. Decisions are the heart of running a business. So its important once in a while to conduct a fear audit in this context.

Has anyone ever encouraged you to do a fear audit? It's a good leadership practice.

How do you do that? Simply ask yourself...
> related to running my business what am I afraid of?
> related to growing my business, what am I afraid of?

I've answered those questions in the following ways:

__ There are things I don't know so, I'd need to hire/contract help...afraid that who I hire or engage for a project won't deliver and I'm afraid that I'll waste precious time and money.

__ Which leads to... I'm afraid to go through another perpetual cycle of trial and error related to purchasing recourses to help me grow my business.

__ I'm afraid that my dreams won't come true.

__ I'm afraid that what I'm currently trying won't work.

I won't even address if these fears are legitimate or rational. All I really need to know is related to the answer to the next question:

How have any of these fears undermine the very goals I'm trying to achieve? Well, I have to admit, I could be scaling faster if I found someone to help me in certain areas and I'm realizing that  fear is causing me to put off taking action to search for help.

What's interesting is I know and tell my clients that delayed action delays dreams realized. Clearly in this specific instance, I'm not practicing what I preach...sigh.

I decided to write this post because I wanted to address my own fears - it's a bit therapeutic and I  hope it serves my fellow entrepreneurs as well.

It takes a lot of courage of be a business owner. You ride on hope and vision laced with fear. The key is not letting the fear win.

Here is a great quote regarding fear: "Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there." -  Chuck Palahniuk 

I once heard of FEAR as this acronym: Fantasied Events Appearing Real. Perhaps the theme of this post should be "manage your fantasies."

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