Backbone- Conquering the Fear
NOT FOR THE SPINELESS
They say that one of the sure signs of your friends aging is the choice of small talk- the more it’s about bodily ailments, the more advanced in years the friends are. One of my aging friends said to me recently, Getting old is not for the spineless! It takes a lot of backbone to boldly move ahead when uncertainty is certain.
Not only does aging take fortitude, but so does building a business. Modern days have taught us that our resources are to be sourced from a nine-to-five with a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks. But that may not be the case if one ventures out on his or her own, especially in the early stages of building. And it becomes quite scary to think of that paycheck coming solely out of a kiln instead of from a boss. When it comes down it, Growing a business is not for the spineless!
So how do you get past the fear and grow a backbone? Let give you four things to do to conquer fear. We will do it using the word PAID as our guide. I chose that word as our acronym specifically because overcoming the fear of growth is essential to getting to a new kind of paycheck.
No athlete ever walks up to the starting line, steps out on the field, or bounces a ball on the court and expects to win without putting some prep time. That preparation is measured in years and calories. But if she hopes to win, then she must be willing to prepare herself for the game.
If you are anything like me, then you want the win without the battle. Of course I’d love to play like a concert pianist, to surf the world’s biggest waves, and so on. The only reason I don’t is because of the lack of willingness to prepare. In business one must be willing to put in the boring part. You and I both have to be willing to put in the preparation time to get the win.
Recently someone came to me looked around to be sure all ears were far enough away, and told me in a hushed voice her plans were for growing her business. After listening to her plan (which was not original, but would be very effective), I told her that she had no need to whisper. What she thought was a million dollar idea that needed protecting from people that may want to take the idea and run with it was worthless. “Ideas are a dime a dozen,” I told her. “What you really need is action.”
There are no million dollar ideas, only million dollar actions. Once you have the will to prepare, you need to actually make a move. Research is learning, but implementation is action. Talking about your plans gives you a rush, but doing your plans moves you towards success. Don’t dream about people buying from you online, buy a domain name and set up a website. If I could be so bold as to tweak a quote from Albert Einstein, “(Business) is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Becoming a person of action will move you in the direction of a win.
May I refer to my whispering friend once again? There are three reasons, I feel, that she
whispered. The first we discussed above (a fear someone will steal her idea), but the other two reasons are a little bit more insidious. The next is the fear of criticism and the final one is the fear of imperfection. Both of which are absolutes.
In business there is a cycle of repulsion and attractions that is going on all the time. The flavor of your work is not universal. Some will dislike and others will hate it. You just have to be okay with that. Because there will be others still that like and love what you do. That is your target audience. Serve them first, and give a nod to the critics. But by all means, don’t let the critics silence your voice.
One last thought about those critics, which helps me hit my main point here, is that many times they are right. I may not be good enough, bright enough, and I will have many other short comings. I am inept... especially in the early stages. Couple this truth with my fear of imperfection and we have the perfect combination to kill our dreams.
Be willing to be inept. If Microsoft only wanted to put out the perfect program, then there would be no Microsoft. Every new launch sucks. They get blasted by the critics and then they improve (never to perfection, but better). You have to be willing to step out and be awful for a time. Let your website suck and your marketing plan flop. Get dirty and fail. Then improve.
Next time you look in a mirror, pause for just a moment and get a good look at your competition. When it comes right down to you are the only person that can really stop you from succeeding. Yes, there will be obstacles and challenges and critics and skills that need to be sharpened, but you have to make the choice to go for it and make it happen.
Once you’ve got the will to start, and you are in the trenches doing the work, and you’ve embraced being incompetent so you can improve, next comes the long haul. Determination. Though there are times when you really gotta get your hustle on, this is not a sprint. There will be late nights followed by early mornings. Yes, things will breakdown and messages may get mixed up.
Someone put it this way, Devote yourself to an idea. Go make it happen. Struggle on it. Overcome your fears. Smile. Don't forget: This is your dream. This will take be a struggle and a joy. Courage and determination will help you pull through. Growing a business, after all, is not for the spineless.
Photo Credit: Public Domain