I’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 what was the owner obstacle!Turtle in yard

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

Often I don’t deliver that message eloquently. But, most 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 with these owner obstacles. The commonality in every case was one thing – FEAR!!!

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

Fear – Owner Obstacle that 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 when the obstacle holding the company back is really an owner obstacle, and it’s usually some sort of fear.

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 their 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. A classic case of owner obstacle.

What’s Your Owner Obstacle?

I’ve seen this owner obstacle 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 conscience 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, then subconsciously you don’t want your business to become a big corporation!  As a result fear takes over and you sabotage the very growth you say that you want.

In the cases of my clients it’s not too different.  Their reason isn’t exactly the same, but their owner obstacle is that they are “driver” personality types.  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 more.  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.  Only the owners can make a change to themselves. I cannot change who they believe they are at their core! Only the individual can chose to make the change themself.

Can you see the FEAR?  This is owner obstacle to nth power!  Losing who we believe we are at our core is a huge fear for all of us.  Even I have resisted changes I know I needed because of the fear of the unknown.

Making Personal Growth a Priority

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, then 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 I 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. Our BGS Business Accelerator Masterclass is also a good place to find others that are in a similar situation as you and trying to build a self-sustaining business.

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!