Can You Use Fear to Fuel Your Business?

There’s a lot of talk lately about being fearless – in your business, in your relationships, in the world at large.
 
Cosmo magazine has a Fun, Fearless, Female.  There’s Fearless Chocolate. Heck, I’m the creator of a program with the word in the title!
 
But what does being fearless really mean when it comes to starting and running a business?
 
Are we supposed to completely remove fear in order to boldly follow our passions, create the life we want, and build businesses that make a difference? Do we have to ignore the drop in our stomachs as we send that first “real” offer email out to the world? Should we invest in a full scale launch of a product without worrying about the small size of our list?
 
The way I see it, fear is a necessary precursor to building a strong business.
 
Hear me out.
 
 

 How fear CAN fuel your business:


 

  • Fear steers us in the right direction when we’re not quite sure what to do – do we stick to an internal launch of our new service, or orchestrate a launch on a massive scale, with social media ads, jv partners and affiliates?
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  • Fear can teach us all the right lessons – reminding us of what has happened in the past and warns us that it COULD happen again.  Fear encourages us to stop, breathe, think…before we act.
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  • Fear guarantees we make the most informed decisions about our business – by asking for more proof about the value of what we offer and making sure we remember every detail of past similar experiences.
     
     
     

    When Fear Needs To Get The Funk Out

    I do, however, think there’s a time and a place to kick fear to the curb and tell it politely to bugger off.
     
    Irrational fears like fear of failure, rejection or the fear that no one cares can hold us back from doing things we are completely capable of doing – simply because it has no information to tell us otherwise. Fear tells us that the unknown is a bad thing.
     
    Fear also crops up when we’re making decisions. But again, if there’s no logical reason for the fear, then it can prevent us from being able to clearly decide to do something or not.
     
    This is getting confusing – is fear hurting or helping our business? Do we love fear or hate it?
     
    The short answer.
     
    We love it but we should remain cautious, I say (and what I’ll be telling my daughter if she brings home the motorcycle bad boy in high school).
     

    1. If you start feeling fear or apprehension before you do something completely new–like writing a blog post that feels outside your normal topic, or starting a new business that your family just doesn’t get, or offering a new service that’s slightly off what people expect of you–and there’s no evidence that anyone perished doing what you want to do… IGNORE fear and get ‘er done.
    2.  

    1. If you’re worrying about an outcome that has never happened to anyone anywhere and even if it did happen it wouldn’t cause irreparable damage… IGNORE fear and get ‘er done.

     

    1. And if you’ve put in the time on a project, know in your heart it’s something you want to do, promote, build, offer… then you absolutely must IGNORE the fear and get ‘er done.

     
     
     

    How It Works In Real Life

    Fear has a place in your business and your life.  It fuels you to leave that job that you fear will eat your soul.  It can completely change the direction of your business for the better – and your only job…is to listen to it.
     
    Without fear I wouldn’t have had the courage to change some pretty frustrating situations in my life.
     
    I’d still be producing animation and dreading every second of it, working at the pilates studio that gave me hives (not joking), and creating a never-ending outline for the program I FINALLY got over myself to release.
     
    Listen to fear. Decide if it’s giving you informed information.  If it is, stop and think before taking action. If it’s not, get a move on.
     
     

    Now it’s your turn. Do you let fear stop you from taking action in your business or do you use it to push through those moments when you’re jumping into the unknown?

     

    Anne Samoilov

    My mission is to teach you one thing. It's this: You have a message you want to share with the world, a piece of art you want to create, a business you want to start...get out of your own way and do it. Make room for your revolution and then launch it.

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13 Comments

  1. Lynne

    Very nice post. Fear is very common on us but we should not prevent on doing what we want because of FEAR.

    Reply
  2. tisha

    I was no nervous and scared to join a local startup/entreprenuer network in Indianapolis. I sew and quilt and many of the members are more techy. Plus, I am not great at always meeting new people professionally. My husband really encouraged me and I have been accepted.

    Now I’m over my fear and excited to be a new member. Can’t wait to see where this helps take my Web site, Etsy store and the business.

    Reply
    • Anne

      Please keep us posting on where it takes you and what you learn from joining the group. Masterminds and networking groups can be great – especially if you feel a bit alone or like your building in a vacuum. Enjoy it and look for ways you too can support the other members!

      Reply
  3. Margaret Ciuzelis

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article – thank you! 🙂
    I am conquering my fear every day and I must say that reading articles like yours inspires me every time. It is so easy to give up or no longer try but so very hard to remain positive at times when that little thing called the ‘mind’ takes over. You are given one life but many opportunities – it’s all up to me. I choose to make a go of it with whatever hurdles keep jumping in my path (I have a big boot to knock them out of the way!). I’m so wonderfully glad there are people like you that give hope to others – again ‘Thank you’ ~ X

    Reply
    • Anne

      Oh Margaret! Your comment totally made my afternoon! Glad I could give you that little bit of hope and inspiration. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Lauren Forest - The Word Perfectionist

    Great post Anne!
    I agree with you. Sometimes fear is vilified unnecessarily. Fear is actually a part of us – it’s not separate from us. It’s just one facet of ourselves trying to protect us. Once we sort through “why” it’s there and what it’s related to, then we can move into new places of insight and progress.

    Reply
    • Anne

      I love this Lauren – Fear is actually a part of us – it’s not separate from us.

      I’ve been learning so much from you lately!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  5. Wendy

    Anne, enjoyed your post. Sometimes sorting out which kind of fear is which takes a little bit of work (kind of like examining my motives for doing things–awareness coming with glacial speed). I know if I’m experiencing fear and it’s just because it’s something outside my comfort zone, I just move forward anyway. I guess the real danger in fear is not acknowledging it.

    Reply
    • Anne

      Absolutely. I think the figuring out the fear’s there in the first place – and your main driver in not acting – that’s the tough part. I consistently push myself outside my comfort zone…

      Reply
  6. Joyce M Washington

    Feel the fear and do it anyway… just get’er done! Great post, Anne.

    Reply
    • Anne

      That’s right!

      Reply
  7. Natasha, a.k.a. Systems Chick

    Thank you for a wonderful post, Anne! I admit, when I am really scared of doing something, I would rationalize it why it is not wise to do it :). For the most cases, though, I just keep going. Especially, if someone expresses his/her doubts if I can do something. That’s my time to shine and prove them wrong :).

    Reply
    • Anne

      I do the same thing Natasha! So funny – I like getting the challenge – it seems to wipe away all fear.

      Reply

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