The Fear Is Real

The Fear Is Real

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as teh bold”
~ Helen Keller

There are a number of ways and places that fear shows up for solo business owners. As micro business owners, we’re not just responsible for the creation and delivery of products and services but we’re also the face of the business, the marketing team, the message bearer and the sales team.

For anyone this would be a daunting affair and yet, what I’ve noticed lately is that many business owners (the kind, thoughtful and sensitive types I work with) aren’t fully acknowledging that this is a very real and totally natural fear.

I’m hearing talented, accomplished women describe their fear as silly or stupid. I’ve heard them express how vulnerable it feels to even admit that there is fear or anxiety and as you might imagine, I have something to say about this.

First though let’s look at two of the most common situations where fear might come up for solopreneurs.

Sharing your point of view or opinion on the internet

Let’s take my business as an example. When I first started to understand that there was a more ethical way of doing business, in order to share that point of view, it meant saying things that go against much of the mainstream marketing advice out there in the online business world.

When everyone was shouting about using opt-ins and freebies to get subscribers, I was encouraging my audience to ditch them. When most business coaches tell their clients to raise their prices, it’s not uncommon for me to tell my clients and audience to lower their prices.

When everyone is telling you to focus on closing the sale, I’m teaching people to slow down the sale and put people first.

I’ve been going against the grain long enough in my business not to feel fearful anymore about sharing my opinion but back when I hadn’t done it before, I still remember the fear well. A very real fear of judgement, criticism, ridicule or rejection.

In fact, when feeling the need to speak out about war crimes in Gaza, I once again, felt a very real fear of being judged, attacked and misunderstood for sharing my thoughts and have witnessed many people being criticised for sharing theirs.

Sharing your point of view (especially as women) has always been hard, but in these times where people don’t think twice about bullying and attacking others online, the fear is even more present.

The problem, however is that sharing your point of view is precisely how your ideal clients find you. It’s how you stand out from the crowd without using pushy and manipulative sales tactics. Learning to overcome the fear of sharing your opinion is, therefore, extremely important.

Fear of launching

Another area where fear is often present and equally as unacknowledged is when we are launching a new product or service. For me launching carries with it a particular flavour of fear. We’ve created something, more than likely put our heart and soul into it. We want to let the world know it exists and invite people to buy it.

For many of my clients this looks like a workshop or a group program, something with a set number of people who need to sign up before a designated start date. Talk about pressure!

In business there’s few things more scary than putting out an offer that you can only hope will be well received.

I often hear comments from clients like “what if nobody signs up??” or “I’ve only got 1 person signed up, what if nobody else does? What will I tell the person who already paid?” or “what will people think about me and my business if I have a failed launch?” Totally understandable worries and fears to have, right?

Yet so many of the people I work with beat themselves up for having these fears or worse still, avoid launching new things because these fears feel too big to face.

What I want to share here is what I said in one of my group programs recently.

First and foremost the fear is real.

It’s not silly or stupid. It doesn’t make you less than or incapable. It says nothing about your level in business. People with 10 years in business still have failed launches. Fact.

It’s absolutely to be expected and therefore should be acknowledged and seen.

Second of all.

You, who are already out in the world forging your own path, building and growing your own business and living and breathing your calling are the brave minority.

Before I stepped out of my former life to create my own business, I lived in a world where I spent my days wishing for Friday to arrive, my weekday evenings numbing out with crap TV, my Friday nights drinking to release the stress of not living my purpose, my Saturdays nursing a hangover, my Sundays dreading Monday mornings and my Monday’s starting the whole sorry cycle over again.

Sounds crazy right? But this is the mainstream. This is what the vast majority of people in the Western world do.

But not you.

You are the brave and courageous. You’ve stepped out and decided to do something to make this world a better place.

You feel fear because you are out in the arena. You are putting yourself out there and risking it all to make a difference.

So, here’s the thing. I want you to honour the fear you feel. I want you to know that you feel the fear, not because you are silly or flawed.

You feel that fear because you are going against the grain. Stepping out of the comfort zone most people live in and your fear is merely a testament to that fact.

Finally, if you deny, supress or downplay your fear, it wins. It stops you from taking bold action. So, for today, acknowledge and celebrate your fear and know that she’s here because you’re ready to show up and shine.



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