As business owners, one of the most daunting obstacles to reaching our Biggest Vision for our business are our very unique personal fears. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we’re deciding not to pursue a great opportunity or try something new or different in our business because of fear. We get locked into an idea of how we should market, sell, manage, or structure our day. We hesitate to change, and when we get mediocre or even poor results, we still refuse to abandon our approach.
I was always a very determined person (okay, stubborn!) who used to stick with an idea, strategy or plan, even if it felt like I was batting my head against a brick wall until it bled. This way of doing things is like continuing to head the wrong way on a one way street despite the signs that are telling you you’re headed in the wrong direction. It was actually deep reflection on, of all things, the Serenity Prayer (see below) that turned me around. Now, whenever I get that “running into a brick wall” feeling, I know this is a signal that I need to change direction.
Fear of change is a big vision buster. Recently I’ve run into several retail business owners who truly fear technology. Even though adding some simple technology solutions to their businesses could increase profit and put some functions on auto pilot, they are afraid that the change might temporarily disrupt business or that it would be too difficult for them to implement. They can come up with lots of unsubstantiated excuses why they shouldn’t change the way they’re doing things. Yet, they work hard and really would like to grow their businesses and have more free time. They don’t recognize their hesitancy as fear, and try to camouflage it as a legitimate business decision. While clinging to outmoded or inefficient systems or strategies simply because you’re afraid of change might maintain the status quo, it will ultimately block you from achieving your biggest goals.
Don’t we all do this from time to time? I love the saying, “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got” so much, I think it’s become my motto. Every time I start getting a headache from the brick wall I repeat it like a mantra.
Getting honest with yourself might hurt a little. After all, you might have to admit you made some decisions that didn’t work out the way you’d hoped they would. So what! Big deal! It’s a right of passage for seasoned entrepreneurs. Cut your losses and make some changes.
How do you know where fear is bogging you down. Sit comfortably in a quiet place for fifteen minutes, close your eyes and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Let the stress and worry of the day leave you. Now ask yourself: