Positive Vibes — Are You Stuck?
John: Goldfarb recently posted a piece in the Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices about Fear and Longing in Clinical Research. He was at a recent conference talking about how the clinical research industry was doing regarding adopting new processes and technologies. The question he asked in the piece was, “why is the clinical research enterprise so slow to innovate?”
That is a valid question for anyone in any industry to ask themselves, and not just clinical research. Maybe where people are slow to innovate is because they know their processes work, and if they change there is a chance that impacts their results. A totally valid point.
But at the same time, people deserve to fail if they fail to read and keep up with their industry; fail to improve their skill sets, fail to get better in anything they are doing. And let’s be honest, business is hard. People want to start businesses because they don’t want to work for someone else, but many don’t have the capital to keep up with changing timelines of how long something will take or the ideas to keep it going either.
I don’t necessarily think it is about fear as much as it is skill-set. Coach Corey Wayne says that ““Human beings have two primary fears. Fear that we aren’t enough, or in other words, fear that we don’t have what it takes to succeed, and fear that we won’t be loved and accepted by our friends, family or peer group.
Fear only exists in the mind. Fear is a false story that we tell ourselves to protect our ego from rejection, heartbreak, pain and the consequences of failure. However, in order to reach your full potential, you have to accept that failure is simply a necessary stepping-stone to accomplishing your grandest goals and dreams. You’re going to fail more than you succeed and get rejected more than you are accepted and celebrated, and it’s going to take longer than you think to succeed. Think in terms of decades. Great things take decades, not weeks, months or years. When you embark on your journey and take action towards what you want, you are going to encounter resistance and haters who try to discourage you, because those same people don’t have the courage, determination and resolve that you do, for their own dreams. You are not responsible for the opinions that others have of you. You’re only responsible for what you do, what you allow and how you show up in life.”
Sandy, you have your own business, and a mighty successful one, but how do you manage your entrepreneurial fear? I am sure it is more than an inspirational quote. It is a business plan, investing in your skills or a combination of the two?
Sandy: My goodness John!!! So many points!
Let’s start with the avoidance of change. Once you are in your comfort zone, which means you have done something for a long time and feel confident about your ability to do it, it’s incredibly threatening to be given something new that you know nothing about. If your self-esteem isn’t strong, and your self-image comes from being successful at what you do, this could shake your whole world. So, of course people avoid change whenever they can.
Also, with big changes (and even some small ones), we go through the grief process, which is sometimes very difficult.
You are right, fear is just your self-talk, which is the little voice in your head that seems to run all the time. It tells you what’s going on, and predicts what will happen, etc. Each person has the power to choose how you talk to yourself. You can say, “Oh no, this is going to be terrible and I’m going to look like a fool and lose my job!”, or you can say, “This is new to me, but I’ve spent a lifetime successfully dealing with new things, so I believe I can do this!” One message creates fear (we have to remember that feelings come from self-talk), and the other creates optimism and confidence.
About owning your own business: It’s appealing to many people because they don’t want to answer to a boss, they want to set their own hours, and usually do something they love. However, I’ve seen so many people (they often become my clients), who have an idea or a skill and decide to just open a business around it. They think that if they love art they should open an art store, of if they like furniture they should sell it.
The problem comes when they don’t educate themselves about what it takes to actually run the business. All the legalities, dealing with staff, marketing to get customers/clients, etc. I’ve seen this often with professionals like dentists or attorneys. They are really good at what they do, but don’t know how to create the business that supports them doing it.
You asked about how to manage your entrepreneurial fear. The first thing to do is pay attention to your self-talk. Then create a business plan (you can find guidance for this online), which should cover all aspects (including finances, marketing, etc.) of what your business will look like. This will give you a road map of where you’re going and what needs to happen to get you there.
Then find good professionals like an attorney and accountant to make sure you have the legal and financial bases covered. Also learn all you can about marketing and advertising. It doesn’t matter how good your business is, if people don’t know about it or want to come into your place you won’t succeed.
Finding a mentor or coach who understands business and is willing to guide you as you move ahead would also be a huge help. It’s always wonderful to have someone else, who is knowledgeable about what you’re doing, in your corner.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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