Business Breakthrough Series - Part 7

Student Business Center & Business Incubator

February 6, 2014

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Leaders who are stuck in Phase Three tend to be steeped in fear.  First, there is financial fear.  You have a lot riding on the success of your business.  Your company is your livelihood, your retirement and your most important investment.  You are likely personally responsible for the repayment of significant business loans. You are afraid to make a bad decision that will add risk to an already tenuous situation.

Second, there is the fear that you will somehow breach your fiduciary responsibility to partners, family and employees.  You are afraid to make a decision that could adversely impact stakeholders.

Third, there is the fear of leadership.  You are afraid to assert yourself or do anything that might make a key employee upset or quit.  You fear you cannot keep your house of cards standing without them. (You may be correct).

Fear forces many leaders into a state of catatonic inaction.  It feels safer to do nothing than make a move that might not work.  However, for Phase Three companies, inaction is also a decision.  Inaction means you are willing to let random circumstances control the destiny of your business.

Key Points to Keep in Mind:

  • Fear is a common emotion that is acknowledged by manner entrepreneurs.  You are not alone.
  • Inaction caused by fear is also an action.  Doing nothing is a choice.
  • Events, competitive forces, and changing customer needs continue with or without you as the business owner.  It's not about you.

Discussion Questions:

  1.  Have you ever experienced fear as a business owner?
  2. What were you afraid of?  Who were you afraid to disappoint?
  3. How have you worked past that fear in the past? 

Here are some suggestions for combatting business related fear:

  • Join a business support group where you can share experiences, feel less isolated, and commiserate with fellow entrepreneurs.
  • Engage a business coach or advisor.
  • Read books, or watch interviews of famous and successful people who all seem to tell a similar story of hard work, perseverance in the face of failure, etc.


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