Ohhh boy. Woke up yesterday morning knowing that I had to do a fear blog because…. well… today is Friday! I had no clue what to do. I have enough fears, I suppose. But none of them (except for one) are paralyzing fears.
My friends who have known me for at least a couple of years – or those who have had the privilege of living with me – know this fear to be my biggest. Their funniest, but my absolute nightmare.
I think I developed this fear when I was around 12 or 13 years old. The movie Arachnophobia came out. My neighbor was scared senseless. I was bound and determined that i was going to show her what I was made of. I was one brave chick! So I watched it over…. and over…. and over… and over again. Until I fully understood EXACTLY why she was so afraid. And it stuck.
So yesterday morning, I decided. I know my fears may be puny – but these silly Friday blogs aren’t really just about me. They’re also about my readers. I want you guys and gals to take steps outside of your comfort zone to meet your fears .
In my case, last night wasn’t so much about overcoming any fear because I think a fear of spiders is something of a rational fear. In this case, it’s more about not letting anything get in the way of your dreams and your passion. Not a little spider, not a big snake, not fear of failure and not even yourself.
You’ll have to excuse my appearance. My hair had been under a scrub cap all day and I had to consume 2 glasses of wine and eat a Rice Krispie ® Treat the size of Texas before I even worked up the gumption to walk out the door. When I got to the place (which will remain nameless due to their less than ethical purchasing strategies… hey, it’s the only place around that had a tarantula. Back off. I didn’t buy anything.) the associate was with another customer and I had another 30 minutes of pure hell waiting around to hold a creature that I’m fairly certain was spewed from the mouth of Satan himself. My. Nerves. Were. Shot.
I told the associate of my plight to face my fear of spiders. I told him I wanted to hold one of the tarantulas at which he said, “on one condition. When I put this on you, you can NOT throw it if you get freaked out.” Done. The mission had begun. I began to feel my nerves actually calm knowing this venture was coming to a close. That is, until he opened the first container and said, “Ummm no. That one won’t work. Any time they pull their fangs up like that – I’m not messing with them.” I’m sorry… THEIR WHAT?! It’s ok. It’s clearly for the best that I didn’t do proper research before I had an 8-legged hairy monster crawling on my arm.
The second monster seems less peeved. Up and over… and…. ohmygoditsonmyarm!!!!!!!!!!! Breathing. Be very still. Don’t let the monster know you’re scared. They sense fear. They like the taste of fear. The monster most surely is going to bite me. Ok, you may now remove the monster from my arm.
As it turns out, the monster liked me. It’s when it had to trade hands to the associate that it decided to bite… him. Poor sucka.
Go do something that makes you grow!!!
Have you ever said, “I wish (fill in the blank).” “I hope I …..” “One day I’ll _________.”
While all of those things are nice thoughts, that’s all they are. Thoughts involve no action. If you want something badly enough, bust through whatever is holding you back (often fear of failure or rejection) and make that first step. A step, on the other hand… that’s action.
About 3 years ago, I had gone through two cars, both lemons and was on my way to my third. My aunt always talked about how she loved driving her car that was a manual transmission. I secretly always admired the fact that she was coordinated (and cool) enough to drive one. From the time I was around 23, each time I went car hunting, I thought about manual – but always ended up with an automatic. Self-doubt.
“You’ll never be able to get this thing all the way home.” “You’ll kill it 20 times, cause an accident and a traffic jam. You’ll be all over the news, be a complete embarrassment.” “You’ll get stuck on a hill, under compensate on the clutch and wind up eating someone’s bumper.”
All of these were possibilities. But I did one thing that most people don’t or won’t do. I asked for help. My cousin went with me to get that third car. A red, 2003 Mazda Protege 5. She took me to a parking lot a few miles away, spent about an hour with me going through the basics and… voilà!! Three years later, I stalled in traffic approximately 10 times. I rolled backward down 5-6 hills before learning how to work the clutch perfectly. I even …. blew the transmission. It’s true. But I did it. I made something happen that I’d wanted for 10+ years. Now it’s mine. And no matter how old my Bella gets (yes, that’s her name. No, she’s not named after the Twilight character.) – she’s my girl.
I’m well aware that taking thought and turning it into action involves the mind more than anything physical, but I think a particular law of physics applies here.
Newton’s First Law of Motion states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Objects tend to “keep on doing what they’re doing.” In fact, it is the natural tendency of objects to resist changes in their state of motion.
So do SOMETHING. If you don’t think you can do it alone, ask for help! You’ll be surprised how happy people are to help you. Even if it doesn’t work, you’re moving. You’re taking action. Maybe that unbalanced force Newton spoke of will be enough of a force to push you in the right direction. You won’t know until you do (not try.)
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
If you aren’t blogging, would you please tell me why? Probably the #1 issue is time if you’re like most small business owners. I usually find myself rush, rush, rushing through my day, doing all the “must dos” and then right before bed (no matter how late) – I find my inspiration… and I write.
Now comes the time issue. We’re all well aware of the time crunch. Do you have employees? Do you value them and what they have to say? Some of them will likely have creative writing talents, maybe some paint, some may be in bands. Have them volunteer to do more for the business. Maybe some have music they would be willing to have you share in the restaurant. Perhaps the artist would like his or her work displayed on your walls. And that writer – maybe they would like to be scheduled an extra hour a week to come in and do your weekly or bi-weekly blog. Let them know that you’re particularly looking to start paying your blog more attention and are looking to hand that responsibility over. Do a writing audition. Maybe more than one employee gets the part.
Give your blogger an assignment once a week or once a month. Give them specific parameters that you’d like them to blog about and let them work their magic. Make sure you give them the credit! Involving employees in different parts of your business not only builds strong morale among your employees, but it also lets your customers know each one of your staff members a little bit better.
What are you waiting for? Don’t you have some writing to do?? Go, write. But have fun with it!
“I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” – Herbert Bayard Swope, American editor and journalist; first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize
And this, ladies and gentlemen is the truth. There will be clients that want the world from you. Once they get the world – they’ll want the sun… and the moon. And the truth is that you’ll want to provide it for them to your own detriment and to the detriment of your other clients. There will always be someone that you just can’t please no matter the hours you spend with/for them, no matter the effort put forth, no matter the amount of sleep lost. Now there will be two possible outcomes. Outcome #1 – You continue trying to please said client, suffer inordinate amounts of stress, possibly lose other (quality) clients due to time spent on this one – OR – Outcome #2 – You fire your client. Yes. YOU are the one in control of your stress level and you are the one responsible for keeping it at a safe and tolerable level.
Do the right thing by everyone, always. Yourself included. To conclude, a little ditty: “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, Know when to walk away, know when to run.” – Kenny Rogers
Hey you. Yes… You. You said you wanted to grow your business, right? Here’s the thing: You’re never going to do it hiding behind a computer. That’s right. I said it.
Our culture is on social media overload. One of the reasons I hear multiple people say they veer away from social sites is that we have lost the art of truly connecting with each other – and to an extent, these people are right. Social media is just one of many avenues to get and stay connected.
Networking in person is still a completely viable way to grow your contacts – and in turn your business. The difference now is that you use social sites to help you at your networking events. That’s right. I’m telling you to do some social stalking. *Disclaimer* – I’m not really telling you to stalk people.
But what you CAN do is join local meetups. On these sites, you can actually see who will be there. Decide on a handful of people you’d like to meet there by checking out what they do. Google their names to find out businesses they’re in – or even better sometimes – is who THEY know.
Information is gold and it’s now at your fingertips. Let your fingers do the walking, but get your body there in person. I promise that the extra effort will be worth it.