Has it ever happened to you?
You’re about to do something important, and suddenly you’re struck with this sickening, pounding feeling just above your stomach?
It’s nauseating. You can’t breathe; you just can’t get enough air. Pressure sits on your shoulders and you just don’t know where it is coming from.
Or do you?
This paralyzing fear appears every time you plan on doing something outside of your comfort zone or if you’re not sure what will happen, no matter how banal the task may be.
But mostly, you’re afraid you’re wrong about yourself.
Maybe that entrepreneurial aspiration of yours is the fruit of an illusion that you can succeed. Maybe your ideas are ridiculous, and everyone is waiting for you to crash. Maybe you’re just a fool, and this fantasy of being an entrepreneur is just that, a fantasy.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
You are afraid to fail, and this fear suffocates you, has control over your life, and threatens your business success.
What if I revealed a few ways to take back control of your life? What if I told you that proven strategies could turn your fear of failure straight into business success? Isn’t that exactly what you need?
But before we look into those strategies, let’s see where your fear of failure comes from.
Of course you have a fear of failure. You went to school, right?
We usually fear failure when we’re about to do something for the first time or when we get different results each time we try, like when you call someone. We normally don’t fear failing at tasks we’re well accustomed to.
Please be aware; you’re not born with low confidence or fear of failure. Your fear of failure is an acquired emotion, acquired in your early youth and especially your school years.
What is the only thing that is rewarded in school? Giving the right answer the first time.
Giving the wrong answer is certain to lead to punishment and humiliation from peers, teacher’s disapproval, discipline, and possibly lower grades. Consequently, at the end of your schooling years, you’re effectively trained to be afraid to fail.
Yet, acquiring your fear of failure is actually a good thing. It does not belong to you like your eye color; this means you can lose it again!
With fear of failure, you get more than you bargained for. Humans have many fears to cope with. Depending on who you ask, you will get a list of 15 to 20 types of fear.
The fear of failure is a nasty thing because it actually combines a variety of different fears.
The most common fears found within fear of failure are the following:
1) Fear of embarrassment
This is the fear of failing in front of others.
2) Fear of being judged
This fear is based on our need for approval, which we developed in our childhood.
3) Fear of rejection
This fear is based on personalizing what others do or say about us.
4) Fear of vulnerability
This fear is based on our fear of getting hurt if we open up to others and expose our true inner selves.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
The combination of these fears can paralyze you. It makes you hesitant to take action. But it doesn’t have to.
Use your fear of failure to become super successful.
No matter what your intention is, maybe it’s to complete a challenging project at work or start your own business. Fear of failure can paralyze you, hold you back, and put your emotions in control.
But you can take back control by embracing fear as a growth tool.
Top professional athletes and entrepreneurs are not immune to the paralyzing effects of fear of failure, but they have learned to handle it with a little outside help.
Even better, the strategies used to battle fear of failure also have a direct positive impact on how you approach your professional life.
They make you amazingly focused and help you do business feeling supercharged.
In my career of over 10 years coaching top professionals in Europe and North America, I have used a variety of strategies to help my clients overcome their fear of failure.
So let me show you how you can overcome it too.
Combine the following six strategies to create your own strategic success plan:
1. Get crystal clear on your goals
Write down your goals and what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, but sub-divide them into smaller, easier, achievable goals, and be as precise as you can be.
If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t know how to get there. That will confuse you and make you fearful.
But knowing where you should go gives you confidence.
Every goal achieved is a success and makes you feel successful.
2. Identify the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goals
Contrary to most beliefs, obstacles are not a bad thing as long as you can identify them. If you know what your obstacles are, then you know how to remove them; e.g., you have more to do than you have time.
One possible solution would be outsourcing.
Eliminating that obstacle between you and your goal means clearing the way toward your goal and therefore toward success. Knowing your enemy (obstacle) gives you confidence.
So make a list of your obstacles, and your fear of failure will decrease significantly.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
3. Plan how to overcome your obstacles
Write out exactly how and when you will overcome your obstacles. Not only does this create a plan to follow, but it puts you into a positive emotional state.
Since your brain cannot attend to opposite signals simultaneously, it cannot maintain fear of failure any longer.
This puts you back in control.
Your fear will have passed by now.
Plus you have a blueprint that leads directly to success (which should be part of any good business plan anyway).
4. Embrace choices
If something doesn’t work out as expected, don’t see it as a failure, see it as a conclusion to shift into a different direction that offers another opportunity for a successful outcome.
Business means constant change, and adapting is not a sign of failure but rather good business sense.
Celebrate not only big, but small achievements.
Again, you focus on the positive the success you just experienced and your brain cannot attend to opposite signals.
So you will face your next task less fearful. Plus, if you can’t have fun working, what’s the point of doing it.
And if you should run into sudden obstacles, don’t panic.
When you’re about to enter a situation you fear, you tend to draw shallow breaths.
Deep breathing will reduce your anxiety.
It also increases blood circulation and oxygen to the heart and brain. It removes muscle tension too, which allows you to move easier and gain confidence.
Deep breathing releases endorphins that create natural highs and easy sleep.
You will be calmer, and a calm mind moves toward control.
Yes, you CAN turn your fear of failure into business success. Aren’t you tired of being a slave to your anxiety attacks?
Isn’t it exhausting to feel defenseless, hopeless, and afraid of failure for no reason? Don’t allow your fear and anxiety to hold you back and render you paralyzed in your business affairs.
This is not you. You know that you can do better than that!
You can take back control of your life, and your days of unexplained anxieties can end today.
Set big goals, chase your dream, be happy, and celebrate. Create your own success story.
What are you waiting for?
The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.
I spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.
I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.
People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.
This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.
I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.
I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.
That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.
Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.
I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.
They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.
All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.
Your clients tell you every day that you suck.
I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.
Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.
The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.
That wasn’t it.
You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.
I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.
Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.
The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.
They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.
“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.
I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.
The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.
It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.
The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.
You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.
A good business solves a problem.
That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.
This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.
Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.
Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.
Solving only your problem will make you poor.
The problem still wasn’t their website or product.
Creating more problems.
Everything this business owner sold created more problems.
They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.
They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.
They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.
Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.
If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.
The heart of the problem.
It’s the business owner.
The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.
The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.
You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.
Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.
Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.
Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.
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Everyone Wants Sales Leads But No One Wants To Sell
Sales leads are the lifeblood of any business.
Without leads, your business doesn’t make money. That’s why many businesses treat leads like the most valuable resource in existence. Leads are a topic that never goes away and you can never have enough.
Sales leads are the cause of so many disputes in business.
We have it all wrong, though.
Having something to sell is the real answer.
Knowing what you’re selling.
Many companies don’t know what they are selling.
They think they’re selling products or services that magically turn into revenue and light up your accounting software with lots of green, shiny graphs.
Until you know what you’re selling, sales leads won’t help. Getting more sales leads, increasing your Adwords spend, buying more Facebook ads, doing more networking events, printing more t-shirts and producing more ‘content’ for your blog will not help.
You’re not getting enough leads or closing the leads you have because you’re not sure what you’re selling.
Are you selling to humans?
Go and Google ten company websites. Pick any ten.
You’ll notice one thing: more than half the websites don’t sound like they are selling to humans.
There’s no human language, very little content created by the people that work at the company, zero compassion and not a lot of humility.
Most websites are designed to sell to robots that can’t stop looking at their smartphone. That’s not us. We’re human despite our phones changing the way we live.
Humans look for thoughtful businesses.
Humans look for solutions to problems that are not being solved.
Humans like a business to stand for something human.
How you sell matters.
Selling like you’re in the office with The Wolf Of Wall Street Jordan Belfort will not help you sell.
How you sell matters just as much as what you sell.
The process you put a client through has to be simple, thoughtful and in their best interests (not yours).
That last point is crucial. Many businesses exist to serve the board or shareholders, but they do very little to help people like you and I live a better life and do our best work.
The values of your company and what you stand for effect the leads. Before anyone ever becomes a lead in your sales funnel they are a person or a group of persons (a business) with a problem.
Many people never make it into your sales funnel because how you sell what you do is wrong.
Paying for more leads is not nearly as powerful as changing how you sell to the leads you have.
Loving the people who do the selling.
Leads are only half the puzzle.
The bigger question is who is selling to the leads? Does your business treat those people who call your leads well? Do the people who call your leads even care or are they after nothing more than a pay cheque?
These are the unanswered questions that get lost in conversations about why your business needs more leads.
More leads won’t help if your salespeople burn them or don’t know how to convert each lead into a customer that becomes a raving fan and introduces more people (leads) for free.
Treat one lead really well.
I had a sales guy that used to work for me. He treated one lead in Queensland, Australia really well. He spoke to him every day. He knew a lot about the persons family. He even went to the leads barbecue.
That lead was so impressed that he referred several hundred (that we could track) leads to our business. Treating one lead really well is far more powerful than buying more leads who don’t care about what you do.
Digital marketing has become a drug that every business thinks they need.
If only the business world knew the power of one lead.
The good cause factor.
Your business may do something simple like mow lawns.
That may not sound like a life-changing business that can take this lead advice I’m giving onboard. “My business is simple,” you say to me.
Well, I’d challenge that. Any business can have what I call the ‘Good Cause Factor.”
Let be give you an example. The local butcher down the road from me has a BBQ every Saturday afternoon where they invite the community to come and eat some food for free. Everyone is welcome including the few homeless people in the area that never buy any meat from their business.
People stand out the front of that butcher and talk about things that are happening in the community. This Saturday ritual has become a place where business ideas have flourished, homeless issues have been discussed and people who were lonely and possibly suicidal, decided to live for a bit longer.
The last part is the most interesting. In my community here in suburban Melbourne, there is a large group of people that suffer from mental illness. When I went through my own battle with mental illness, I went to the local town hall where people gathered who suffered from the same condition.
It was that event every Wednesday that helped me become a different person.The loneliness and the isolation I felt were cured by the simple act of connecting with other people and having the guts to talk about the demons I was facing.
These same people go to our local butcher on Saturday and eat at the free BBQ. The butcher is thoughtful and they know that they are doing something far more important than selling meat; they’re selling connection to the community, and a possible solution for isolation and loneliness that leads to mental illness.
So back to the point of this post, the community butcher is selling a good cause — an X Factor as some people would call it.
What your business does with its resources to help a worthy cause that affects humans like you and I is just as important as sales funnels, lead generation and your product roadmap.
Link your business to a worthy cause no matter how simple it is.
I lose my mind when people talk about lead quality.
The quality of leads comes down to the quality of people talking to those leads and what you have to offer. Even the coldest lead can buy from you if you know how to find their problem — which they may not know they have — and use your product or service to enhance their life.
Quality of leads is a myth. All leads are equal.
No matter what stage of the sales funnel someone is in, they can be converted by the right business, with the right message and the right intentions to serve rather than take.
More leads are not the answer.
I know you want more leads. We all do.
I’m telling you to think much wider and deeper than that. If all we had to do was get more leads and we’d become the next Bill Gates, we’d be all billionaires.
I could go and set up a business that does nothing more than generate leads and call my business the ‘Billionaire Factory.’ One, two, lead, wham, bam and now you’re rich.
Refine your business down to helping one lead.
Make that lead believe in you.
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