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Why your business isn’t growing: What does your fear look like?

Lauren MacEwen dressed as a demon demonstrating fear of change

What does your fear look like?

Yesterday I talked about the Status Quo. So now that you  have decided that you don’t want to live there, what is stopping you from moving forward?

Fear of Change

I was recently at a seminar by Mari Smith at Blogworld Expo 2010.  She talked about fear.  Fear is the biggest enemy to growth.  It causes us to doubt ourselves and feel uncertain –  about our ability to do something, to truly be the same person we are when we present ourselves professionally, to value our skills or our knowledge.

A lack of certainty paralyses people, which is a primary form of procrastination.

So what are you afraid of?  The mother of all fear is that we won’t be able to handle it.  So stop taking it all in as a whole picture.  If you look at everything you need to do to get from A to Z, of course you will be overwhelmed. Of course you will be convinced that it is too much.  So stop looking at it like that. Identify what you need to do, step by step.

  1. What do I need to do right now?
  2. What makes me money today?
  3. What makes me money tomorrow?
  4. What makes me money next week?
  5. Do I need help?

You probably want to have a wildly successful blog that creates multiple sources of income and feeds your value as an expert in your field.  Of course you haven’t even created your blog yet.  Yeah, I would be freaked out too.

Lets break this down, because you don’t go from deciding to start a blog to being Brian Clark over night. So what do you have to do?

  1. Decide a host for your blog. wordpress? blogger?
  2. Set up your blog.
  3. Write something

Ok, so you are done!  Well, kind of.  You are done being started, but that is still a huge step. Now what?

  1. How many times a week are you going to write?
  2. Write some more
  3. Start promoting your blog on sites like twitter, digg and technorati

You will start to draw readers. Engage them. Talk to them.  Build an audience.  Before you know it you will be the next ProBlogger!

Just remember that everything starts with a single step.  Sometimes it is not good to look at the big picture because the big picture can overwhelm us. Create a list of 5 things. Small steps. As small as you wish to make them. Any movement forward is progress. What do you have to do first?  Now do it. Then go for #2.

Just be sure to make #5 on your list “write the next list”!

Am I living in the status quo?

hand holding a sign that says "I am living in the status quo"

I was talking to a friend of mine recently who is very smart and very talented.  She is getting ready to ramp up her business, and therefore her marketing strategy.  She said her biggest block to taking the next step forward was fear. Fear was filling her with self doubt – making her question herself, her skills and her professional status.

  • Am I good enough?
  • What makes me qualified?
  • Do I really know better than anyone else?
  • What makes me an expert?

These are question we often ask ourselves, especially when we are breaking out of our comfort zone. Are you are taking on a new project? Maybe a new client with a new challenge?  Expanding your business? Putting yourself out there? It boils down to breaking out of your comfort zone.

Living in the Status Quo

This is what we worked for, right? Being in a spot that’s comfortable, where we know what to expect.  The place where everyone knows our name and our routine works for us.  So how did we end up at Cheers?  CRAP! I am living in the status quo!

Living in the status quo is easy, but have you asked yourself if this is where you truly want to be?  Are you really happy? Really satisfied?  Should you, could you do more? Do better?  Never be afraid to question. It is when we question ourselves that we find our growth.

Status quo might be nice for a while, a respite after a period of growth, but probably not the place you want to settle into. Most of us still want to grow our businesses. We want more, bigger, different.   If more is on your horizon then what is stopping you and your inner entrepreneur?

Fear, most likely. Are you ready to face your fear of change? Are you afraid to move forward? What do you think you want? What do you really want?

Tomorrow’s post talks about challenging your fear!