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Overcoming Business Fears | 3 Critical Steps

In the spirit of Halloween, we’re talking about business fears and how to overcome them 👻

Running a small business can be, quite frankly, scary. There’s fear of rejection, fear of putting yourself out there, fear of failure, fear of your head exploding 🤯

If we don’t learn how to feel the fear and do it anyway, our businesses can stall. So in this video we’re going to teach you three tactics that we use ourselves to get over those business fears.

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In the spirit of Halloween, we’re talking about business fears and how to overcome them 👻

Running a small business can be, quite frankly, scary. There’s fear of rejection, fear of putting yourself out there, fear of failure, fear of your head exploding 🤯

If we don’t learn how to feel the fear and do it anyway, our businesses can stall. So in this video we’re going to teach you three tactics that we use ourselves to get over those business fears.

Fear is good!

When you face your fears and do it anyway, it usually means that you’re doing something good.

Operating just in your comfort zone is the quickest way to plateau, so we’ve got in the mindset of thinking that if we’re doing something that scares us a bit, maybe that’s good. Maybe fear is something that we should all welcome because, often, our biggest successes have come when we’ve either pushed ourselves or been pushed by someone else.

But even then fear is fear so how do we overcome this?

We do three things whenever we have to make a decision that scares the living daylights out of us.

Here’s the biggest thing that scared us recently and what we did.

We recently took the decision to move our conference ATOMICON from the original venue that holds 350 people (at a squeeze), to The Sage, which holds 1640 people comfortably. This was a really scary decision. There’s a financial risk here, there’s a reputation risk and there’s even a workload risk.

We started thinking about making this big, scary decision back in October 2018, straight after Atomicon 19 had sold out in record time. So how did we get over our fear of making this huge decision?

Step One – Find encouragement by sharing your plans

If you’re going to push yourself out of your comfort zone then you can’t go it alone. You need other people around you who can support you in getting yourself out of that comfort zone. We have each other, which is great, but this decision was big, so even having each other, we couldn’t make this decision alone. So what did we do? We went to our friends, we went to our network.

We’ve built up great relationships and friendships with people in our industry who can mentor us when we need it and, basically, we put this question to them. We asked them; are we crazy to think we can do this, or do you think we can do this?

You see, self belief is a tough nut to crack so we all need someone literally screaming at our faces and telling us that we can achieve it if we’re ever to go out there and actually do it.

So that’s Step One; make sure you’re part of a community, or you’ve built a network around you, of people who you trust to give you honest feedback and spur you on when you need it. Online communities like ATOMIC are great for this but we even encourage our members to build a personal offline relationships with other business owners too that can give them that deeper moral support.

Now, hearing someone say that they believe in you is nice but it’s only Step One.

Step Two – Take out the emotion

We talked about emotional versus logical decision making over in this video, so go check that out, because fear is an emotion that holds us back, it makes us procrastinate and if we need to overcome this then we need to replace that emotional decision making with more logical decision making.

The easiest way to add logic back into business decisions, we find, is to run the numbers. For any big decision that you make you need to be working out what effect it might have on your bottom line. The big fear that we had with hiring The Sage is that it was going to put our event costs through the roof, so the fear of financial failure started to creep in.

So what did we do? We ran the numbers. We did a full budget breakdown of how much it was going to cost us and how much we could potentially make or lose. We ran best case scenarios, worst case scenarios, middle scenarios, all multiple times. We ran all the scenarios you could possibly think of.

Here’s what the worst case scenario told us:

We’ll break even if we sell even just a third of the capacity of The Sage and stick to our generous cost budget.

So suddenly the fear of failure didn’t seem so scary anymore because it was grounded in logic. The data, i.e. the logic, was basically telling us that all we had to do was sell a few more tickets than ATOMICON 2019 and we had twice as long to do it… and the worst case scenario was that we would literally break even and still put on an amazing event.

It’s not always possible to relay big scary business decisions back to numbers, back to profit, we know, so if you can’t do that, just ask yourself this: what’s the worst that can happen? If you decide to do that scary thing and it fails or goes wrong or the worst happens, what would actually happen to you and your business and, more importantly, what would you do about it?

Having that plan, again, puts some more logic back into it to take out some of that fear and chances are it’s probably not as bad as you’re making out in your head.

But if you want to really kill fear dead in the face, then Step Three is to take a small step.

Step Three – Take a small step

When it comes to overcoming business fears, if you’re not 100% confident that an idea’s going to work out, then you need to take a small step first just to try it out and prove the concept. There’s always going to be the fear of the unknown until the unknown is known.

Say you want to put up your prices across all of your clients but you’re scared of losing them.

Why not just do it with one client first and see what the reaction is.

Or say you want to start a YouTube channel but you’re scared of the thought of seeing yourself on video.

Well then don’t start a whole channel, just do one video and see how it goes.

Or say you want to launch a new product or a new service but you’re scared no-one will buy it.

Can you pre-sell it to just one person first to give you the confidence that this is actually something people want?

For ATOMICON 19 we didn’t have the guts to hire out The Sage but after seeing the crazy demand for the first event, and dipping our toe in the event market, it gave us the courage to actually go for it and hire out The Sage.

Don’t get scared of big decisions this Halloween or, in fact, at any point in your business journey. Surround yourself with positive people, try to take out the emotion, and remember, big scary steps can be boiled down to smaller, less scary steps.

So, how do you feel about overcoming business fears now? What’s that one big scary business decision that you’re just putting off, procrastinating, not getting done? If you’re stalling on a big decision at the moment, let us know in the comments and we can give you some moral support 🙌