-->

9.7.13

Being a Woman in Business - Who Feels the Fear and Does it Anyway

King's Daughters - Being a Woman Business - Angela De Souza
Let me just say, right from the start, if you are in business and you don’t have fear, then you are probably not really in business but more likely have a hobby that generates a bit of income.  Seriously!  Business is risky and fear is a normal part of everyday business life.  Having fear is not a weakness but giving in to fear is. 
    Courage is the opposite of fear.  Why?  - Because it takes courage to go ahead even when you are afraid.  There are two trains of thought on this subject.   Some say that courage is not the opposite of fear because fear is a state and courage is an action.  Those that think this way see peace as the opposite of fear.  Other however, says that courage is the opposite of fear because you feel the fear and do it anyway.  I say it is both.  I also say that it is different in each situation.  Some situations require that you calm your fears and attain a state of peace before proceeding.  Other situations means that you are terrified out of your wits but you still go ahead because somewhere deep down inside you know (or think) that it is the right way to go.  Or, perhaps you just close your eyes and hope for the best!  No matter what situation you face, you will know that you are either the ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ sort of person or you feel the fear and hold back.  I can almost guarantee you that those that hold back are in still in hobby business or small business stage or are still planning a business that they might never actually start while those that feel the fear and do it anyway are much further ahead.  I can also almost guarantee that if you interviewed any multi-millionaire business woman that they will share their stories of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  If you want to get ahead in business you must be comfortable with facing and pushing through your fears. 
 
The dictionary describes fear as “An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”   Well if that’s the case, I face fear every week of my life.  There is always a time in my week when I get a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach because of something someone has said or done.   This is the most basic and most common fear, the fear of not being liked.  As I said, I face this one every week and every week I can either shrink back and quit or put it behind me and move on despite the fear.  This is probably one of the most common fears that we have to face.  People say mean things, people threaten us, and people dislike us or want to threaten legal action of something silly.  No matter how many people like us and enjoy doing business with us, it is the ones that don’t that can affect everything. 

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  - Psalm 119:105

Facing your fear here means that you don’t care about the opinion of every single person that you encounter, because opinions vary.  The only opinion that counts is God’s.  If He is pleased you have done well and if not then best say sorry and try again.  You cannot lose if your motivation is to please God.  How do you know if you are pleasing God?  You use the Bible as your plumb line.  The Bible is your standard and if you know you have failed that standard then you need to ask for forgiveness and change.  If your accuser says something that is not true, as long as you have maintained standards of God to the best of your ability, then you don’t have to fear.  As long as you keep your life and your business life (which should be the same thing anyway) in line with the word of God then you have nothing to fear and you should not allow what you accuser has to say to take root in your heart.  
    Other fears can include risks, financial decisions, people decisions, changes and so much more.  They can range from small every day fears like the one mentioned, to fear or failure to huge fears such as total destruction.  No matter how ‘huge’ you deem the fear to be, they are all the same really as they all occur in your mind and can be controlled in your mind.  Fear is the emotion but what counts is that action that you choose to take despite the fear.  Many people are ruled by their emotions but we cannot afford to allow our emotions to run our businesses.  Fear can help us take caution and at time help us to think carefully about what we intend to do, but fear is not the decision maker, you are! 

“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  - Psalm 118:6

The dictionary describes courage as “The ability to do something that frightens one.”  One way to have more courage is to let less frighten you.  If you keep things in perspective, nine times out of ten you will realise that there is less to fear that you think.  The most important thing in business is not to hold back because you are too scared to move forward.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   - Joshua 1:9   

Fears That Can Be Avoided 
There are some fears that you can avoid most of the time.  Here are a few examples but you need to consider your own life and business and create your own list:

1)    Financial Fears

Do you have a clear financial plan?  Do you have a savings account for your business?  Are you careful in keeping your income more than your expenses?  Are you avoiding debt?  If you answered no to any of these questions then you are probably suffering with a dose of financial fear.  Your business can fail if you don’t know how to manage your money.  Don’t live in the clouds thinking that you can live on faith and not have to worry about where the money comes or where it goes to.  You need to become excellent in financial planning and management to eliminate unnecessary fears in this area.

2)    Sales Fears

Do you get out and meet people?  Do you network?  Do you have a good marketing strategy?  Do you make phone calls and ask for business?  Do you advertise?  If you answered no to any of these questions then you are probably suffering with a dose of sales fear.  This is when you love the work you do but no one knows you do it and no one is buying your products or services.  Again, your business can fail if you don’t actually sell what you have to offer.  Take time to invest in your business by learning to sell.  Sales, marketing and advertising are all different but all achieve the same thing – they grow your business.  You need all three in place so that you can get the most out of your business.  Don’t be a fool and think that because you are good at what you do you will automatically succeed.   Sales is nothing to fear, it is simply telling people what you do and how what you do can help them solve their problem.   Why would anyone not use what you have to offer?

3)    Time Fears

Do you manage your time?  Do you have a clear focus for what you need to achieve in each day?  Do you set boundaries for your time?  Do you stop work at a particular time and enjoy a social life?  If you answered no to any of these questions then you are probably suffering with a dose of time fear.  Your business can fail if you don’t know how to manage your time.  Small business burnout is common these days, that is because a small business owner has to be good at everything from making the tea, to bookkeeping, to sales and marketing, to deliveries, to training and so much more in addition to actually doing the work itself.  It’s easy to feel like you are too busy, have too little time and never get anything done.  It’s a small miracle that business owners can even survive the early days.  The great news is that you don’t have to live in fear that you will run out of time.  You can control time.  You can decide what you do and when you do it.  You can fit everything that you need to into each and every day.  It’s your choice and if you are running around like a chicken without a head it is because you are not choosing what to do with your time.  Invest in some time management or some mentoring to learn how to make better use of your time.

All in all, there is little that we actually have to fear in business.  It’s best to sort out the unnecessary fears so that they don’t exist and then for the rest, have courage, feel the fear and do it anyway!

Find out more about Being a Woman in Business here or host your own Girl's Night.  We also have a monthly business networking event called Women in Business, find our more here

No comments:

Post a Comment