Facing Your Fears When It Comes to Business Growth
May 6, 2019
By Jason Eisenberg Community Program Manager for Office Depot
Many fears rise up in an entrepreneur when it comes time for business growth, but it really boils down to two segments – fear of failure and fear of success. The first fear is one we’re all accustomed to and probably recognize in our everyday lives. The second fear – success – seems counterintuitive but if you can recognize why and when you’re afraid of your own success, it suddenly won’t seem as scary.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson, Our Deepest Fear
Recurring #Workonomy chats guest Candy Barone – executive coach, leadership expert, international speaker and best-selling author – has seen her share of success. And while she helps entrepreneurs and executives tackle fears to instill healthy business growth, she admittedly was a bit scared when she decided to scale her business. So, I asked her to join us in #Workonomy to share her story of business growth and how fear of failure and success plays a role in our entrepreneurial journeys.
Why Success Can Seem Scary
“Fear of success, I think, is oftentimes a bigger issue than fear of failure. People always say they’re afraid to fail when actually they’re more afraid of success.” – Candy Barone, Candy Barone International
When you really try to think about it, fear of success begets a mix of fears like failure and judgement because your success often leads you to your next obstacle. And you didn’t work this hard to reach a new level of success only to watch the floor beneath you crumble!
Candy explains that with success comes more responsibility where we must hold ourselves accountable at a much higher level – as we grow, the spotlight grows too.
“Because when you have a bigger message and are allowing yourself to succeed at higher levels, you’re also triggering more people, creating more haters.”
And if you buy into those negative comments, which even Oprah Winfrey and Brené Brown recommend avoiding, you could end up dealing with imposter syndrome, asking yourself “who am I to stand up here and say x, y and z in front of people?”.
When to Look Ahead for Business Growth
Hopefully by now, you’ve thought about how fear of success (and failure) has affected your business growth or lack thereof because you’re afraid to pull the trigger! And if you read further, you’ll find an exercise to take yourself through when doubt creeps into your head.
“If you wait until you feel you’re ready, you’ve already missed an opportunity.” – Candy Barone
I feel like I’ve heard this tip regarding many facets of my life because I am a planner. I like to know every step, every potential pitfall, every consequence, every likely (and unlikely) scenario that could play out… sounds exhausting, right?
But that’s a major issue for many entrepreneurs. You want your hand in everything because it’s your business – that makes sense. But as your company becomes profitable and you’re seeing a rise in demand, that’s when you can ask yourself how you’re spending your time and what kind of impact you want to make.
Because most entrepreneurs don’t have real assets – they’re too involved in their business that there’s no system in place to remove themselves from the equation.
“You should feel pushed, a little uncomfortable, and then ask yourself how you’re going to scale and create something that’s operationally sustainable without you in the mix.”
How to Get (Fear) Out of Your Head
It’s probably safe to say we’ve all had moments of doubt and while it was maybe triggered by an external force (nasty online comment/review, a setback in your marketing strategy), it’s your internal dialogue highlighting the word ‘fear’ in your head. Candy has a great exercise to help you try to get out of your head when experiencing fear and doubt. It’s a ‘boot-in-the-butt-moment’ according to her, but it works.
“When you start to understand that you have a moral obligation as a human being to offer your gifts and insights, anytime you make it about you, you’re being self-absorbed and selfish.”
And when you find yourself in this mental state, there are three questions to ask yourself:
Who am I not serving in this moment?
Whose permission am I taking away?
Who am I not letting shine their light?
What you offer to the world is not about you. It’s about how your product, service or message can help others. Once you try to take on this mindset, you’ll be able to mute the haters – even the one in your own head.
About the Author Jason Eisenberg is the Community Program Manager for Office Depot, specializing in small business and entrepreneurship. Based out of one of the most exciting cities for startups – Austin, TX – Jason is plugged into the business community, often connecting with thought leaders, entrepreneurs and strategists to help identify and find solutions to common pain points all business owners share.
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All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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