Embrace the fear

As entrepreneurs we know that one of the biggest things holding us back from our own success is our fear. Fear of being rejected and judged. Fear of not knowing enough. Fear of not making enough money. Fear of things not working out how and when we want it to. Fear. Fear. Fear. The fear is real.

Many ‘professionals’ talk to us about fear and they encourage us to move past it or forget it and just believe in ourselves. I know as a coach that is easier said than done because for many entrepreneurs that fear is so real that it has a name and sleeps next to us in bed every night. I am talking about the type of fear that cripples us from sending an email or making a phone call. Fear that prevents you from speaking up so you shrink behind the scenes and still hope that people will buy from you.

THE FEAR IS REAL!

And while I totally agree that we cannot give our fear ‘life’ by focusing on it all day everyday, as a coach I encourage my clients to address their fear. Because they need to understand where it came from so it would not manifest itself down the road when this journey gets a bit harder. What brings about the fear? Where did it stem from? What is the worst that could happen to them or their business in this stated of fear? And if they had no fear what would their life and business look like? This is something I wrote about just a few short months ago in an old blog called- The Fear Factor

Fear is not something that you brush aside or step over on your way to entrepreneurial success. It must be confronted head on. Shaken by the shoulders and spoken to. It must be broken down and then dusted out the door. It must be acknowledged and it must be embraced. How?

BY FORMING NEW HABITS

It is not as simple as getting up in the morning and saying- ‘Well I am not afraid anymore.’ If it were that simple then less people would have fear. But it does start by systematically creating new habits that will help you move past your fear. Acknowledge what the fear is, why the fear exist and consciously get into action to remove or get past it. This comes in different forms.

  1. Some people start with affirmations, or talking themselves out of the fear. Validating themselves and their existence daily.
  2. Others get an accountability partner/coach who pushes and encourages them to keep moving and do the things they fear the most.
  3. Still others start by setting a goal or making a list of the things they need/want to get done and get into execution one by one, ticking each thing off their list.
  4. Journalling is another way many use to propel themselves forward by writing what they want and desire into existence.
  5. Surrounding yourself with like minded people is also a great way to confront your fear head on. When a group of people with a similar vision and goal come together, they give each other energy to move forward and in many instances work through their own fears. It confronts the notion that you are alone on your journey.

The point is that in order to get over or move past this fear, you have to make a conscious decision to do it. You have to decide that the habit has to be broken. You have to decide if and how much help you may need. You have to form new habits that will replace your old habits of hiding behind our fear.

Do not ignore the fear, but do not use it as an excuse not to move forward in life or in business. If you are ready to work past the fear that has been holding you back then let’s get on a call and work on moving past this fear asap!

The importance of engagement to grow your business

Everyday more businesses are popping up and it is getting even more competitive to get in front of your ideal clients. It is no longer about who has the biggest budget or who has the loudest voice or even the most creative. Going into 2017, it is all about engagement.

If you pay close attention to the brands and personalities on twitter and instagram for example, you can instantly see that ones who are rocking and making great strides by the amount of engagement they have. Nowadays, to make your business stand out-

You have to speak directly to your clients

You have to retweet them, quote them, ask them questions and respond to them. You have to become an active member of their lives and their community and you also have to build a community around your brand.

Whether you business is big or small; just a service or a brick and mortar establishment, if you have not been mastering the art of engagement then your sales will lag behind and you may find yourself struggling to grow a sustainable business. Clients want to know what you think and feel. They want their questions answered. They want to know that you care about them and not just making a sale.

Over the last year, some of my best clients have come simply from my engagement on Instagram. Not just liking a picture but commenting and providing feedback on a thought or a question and inviting them to message me if they want to talk further on the topic.

On twitter, you have to not only retweet but respond, follow and interact with your clients so you become part of their inner circle as well.

Likes mean nothing if there is no engagement

Some businesses still are of the believe that they need to get as many likes as possible but the truth is a business could have 10k likes and still get no sales. The end result should be to increase engagement so you can close the sale.

Even as a brick and mortar establishment, getting people through the door is not enough if no one is buying. How are you engaging them as they enter your store? How are they greeted? Do they feel welcomed? What are they offered? How are you engaging in your community or with your past clients?

How do you build engagement?

By asking questions. By getting involved and not just sitting by the sideline. By doing more than just liking posts but by actively commenting and giving feedback. By showing up consistently and giving value everyday. And like everything in business, you must have a strategy behind your engagement so that you do not get burnt out. Your engagement must be strategic and measurable as well.

And engagement does not begin and stop online. It must be extended beyond the computer. Through your community or charity. Through your local associations and alumni. Volunteer, speak up, sponsor an event or part of it. Through your media houses by doing interviews and reviews and opinion pieces.

Engagement is the heart and soul of your business and in 2017, every entrepreneur should make it a top priority in their long list of things to be accomplished.

If you are ready to build your engagement and make 2017 the year you really connect with your clients and close more sales than ever before then hook up with me for a FREE discovery call and let’s make a plan for 2017.