The Fear Factor

By Justine Clay


“any idea that makes us nervous or scared that it won’t happen, we know we’re onto something.”

I came across this quote the other day and it got me thinking about the role fear plays in business when the buck starts and stops with you.

Let’s call a spade a spade – being an entrepreneur can be scary and fear can really do a number on you.  My experience is that fear can do one of 2 things – it can paralyze or it can motivate.  Depending upon the day, I can go either way, but here’s the key…..I have a choice in the matter.

So, how do you make sure that you use your fear for good instead of allowing it to reduce you to a skittish mess?  Here are a few tools I use: (Homer’s can be used if all else fails!)

1) Recognize the feeling
When I wake up with that feeling I go on the offense.  I give myself a little pep talk (you know entrepreneurs are suckers for self-help books) and work on setting a positive tone for my day.  It can be as simple as treating myself to a cappuccino and flowers for the office. 

2) Write a gratitude list
The last thing I want to do is sound all woo-woo, but I promise this works.  Before you start your work day, write a list of all the good things about your work and life.  I guarantee you that thing that was scaring you won’t seem nearly as big. 

3) Write a to-do list
Breaking things down into small tasks makes them more manageable and helps avoid that overwhelmed feeling

4) Lean on your champion
We all have someone who believes in us and a little pep talk (from someone other than yourself!) can work wonders.

5) Don’t be so hard on yourself
It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to blaze trails every day. Sometimes good is good enough.