The Biggest Obstacle to Success for Every Business Owners – Fear!

The Biggest Obstacle to Success for Every Business Owners – Fear!

Turtle in yardI’ve had a number of clients and prospect lately pull back into their hard shell.  So, I decided to take a step back and try to determine why!

First, one thing you have to know about my style is that I don’t shy away from the truth.  If a business owner needs to hear something I tell them.

I may not deliver things as eloquent as it could. But, most real entrepreneurs don’t want things “sugarcoated.”  They want you to tell them straight up what they need to hear.

So, I went back and took a look at some of the “turtle-like” responses I’ve been getting.  I can relate the responses in every case to one thing – FEAR!!!

I’ve talked about this before.  So, I thought this isn’t a new topic.  But, when I went back and reviewed what I have written on this topic it has been over a years.  So, it’s probably time to revisit the subject.  Here goes.

Fear Kills Dreams

Fear is that thing that stand in front of you like a 10-foot, big hairy monster waiting to eat you!  The frightening thing is YOU MAY NOT EVEN BE AWARE OF IT.  And guess what, that’s when it eats you!!!

Big Hairy MosterThat’s right, sometime fear lurks in the shadows of your mind.  It’s there in your subconscious even if you don’t see it!

This happens more times than you might think.  In an advisory role as a business coach or an executive consultant my job is to point out when the business owner’s fear is holding them and ultimately the company back.

Here is a good case of fear in action.  A good friend was hired by a local technology company to make them the largest integrator in the southeast for a specific type of technology.  He put a pretty solid foundation in place and then went searching for money to scale the business.

After failing in the final stages of closing on the financing 3 times a colleague approached my friend and told him the owner was sabotaging the deal.  When he confronted the owner, she began to see what was apparent to others.  As they dug deeper, my friend found that she really didn’t want all the additional risk and work that would come with growing her company.  At this point my friend put in his resignation and left the company.  Without the goal for growth there wasn’t any real purpose for him there.

I’ve seen this more times than I care to count.  Many business owners started their businesses to get away from the corporate grind.  When you get to the self-sustainability stage you have to make a decision to grow the company into a big corporation or just let it stay where it is.

If you’re reason for starting the business was to get out of the corporate grind, subconsciously you don’t want your business to become a big corporation.  As a result fear takes over and you sabotage the very growth that you profess to want.

In the cases of my clients it’s not too different.  Their reason isn’t exactly the same, but their personalities are that of a “drivers.”  They don’t think they can make money unless they’re working their ass off!  This is because they don’t understand how to put systems in place and delegate.  As I try to teach them how to do it, then resistance raises its ugly head.

Then as I put a little more pressure to make the necessary changes they dig in even deeper.  As we look a little deeper it becomes a little more apparent that they draw their self-esteem and gratification from working hard.  It is hard to change that!  It’s possible, but I can’t change it. If you try to change that in them, you’re changing who they believe they are at their core!  Only the individual can chose to make the change themselves.

Can you see the FEAR?  Losing who we are is a huge fear for all of us.  Even I have resisted changes I know I needed because of the fear of the unknown.

The Road Less TraveledThis is one of the reasons that personal growth is important as you try to grow your business.  If you don’t understand what makes you tick, you don’t understand what holds you back and you can’t make forward progress.

A good place to start is by reading a couple of books that I highly recommend.  The first is very timeless book called The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck the father of modern psychotherapy. I’ve read this book several times and discover something different about myself every time.

BizSuccess Through Self-KnowledgeThe second book is call Business Success Through Self-Knowledge by William Anton.  Bill is a good friend and member of a mastermind group which I belong.  In his book he explores how self-discovery by those at the top of a company can dramatically influence the growth of the company.  This is something that I have believed for many years.  Bill has taken his many years of psychology and research to show why this is the case.

Finally, you need a good support system.  Your trusted advisors and friends can provide this support.  A business coach is another good support system.  In some instances you might even need to seek the help of a professional therapist.

So now I am curious to ask you, what fear is holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams?  Have you ever discovered a fear and taken action anyway?  What was the result in that case?  Share your story so that others can benefit from your courage!

 

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