Halloween seems to be an appropriate time to ask this question: Does anything scare you? For most of the business owners, and frankly even myself, I believe the biggest fear we have is losing our business. We fear that we will do something wrong or make a bad decision and then face a challenge that is insurmountable — causing the failure of what we fought so hard to build.
In Napoleon Hill’s "Think and Grow Rich," he describes six basic fears in order of their common appearance:
1. The fear of poverty;
2. The fear of criticism;
3. The fear of ill health;
4. The fear of loss of love of someone;
5. The fear of old age; and
6. The fear of death.
He notes that fear is nothing more than a state of mind. One’s state of mind is subject to control and direction.
Which of these fears are you subject to? What have you done to control fears that you have? We may feel when times are good that we have no fears, yet it only takes a bump in the stock market, downturn in business, a disgruntled customer or an insufficient payment to cause us shiver like a child confronted by a scary, costumed creature on Halloween night.
How can you control fear? The answer is commitment.
You can’t practice being committed. You can not fake it either — you’re either committed or you’re not. So the question is: What are you committed to? Perhaps it’s time to take a look at your vision and strategy and develop a commitment to that. We believe your business is a tool to give you more life. If your business isn’t providing more life, it is only natural that you would question your commitment to it.
So what does someone who perhaps has been in business for some time do when they feel they are running out of the energy it takes to continue doing it?
Think of the most capable leaders you know. Leaders are distinguished by their ability to forge ahead in face of obstacles, opposition, uncertainty and risk. The greatest leaders are those we admire for their persistence in face of the trials and tribulations when others would give up. Test your commitment by testing your vision.
Commitment is like a temperature gauge. It measures the genuineness of your vision and strategy. Do you have a true mission for your life, a purpose, a Primary Aim as we offer you to create? If you do, it may be that your strategy is off target with your vision. It may be whether you have identified your Primary Aim or not, that you feel that your vision is not on target with your core values and beliefs.
Test your commitment. If your commitment to achieve a desired result isn’t sufficient to overcome the obstacles, opposition, uncertainty and risks you see ahead, then it’s time to change the vision.
Reaching any goal requires energy. Building a business that works requires the greatest energy possible. If your emotions don’t "fire" you with the energy to make your business dreams possible, you need to adjust them. Instead of a three-, five- or seven-year goal, maybe you need a one- or two-year goal. Instead of targeting $15 million in revenue, target $5 million or less.
Moving forward with a weak sense of commitment or a plan you are not fully committed to is a recipe for disaster. How much are you prepared to endure to get the results you want? If you decide your commitment is not real, don’t do it. Find a vision you can commit to and do it. Your commitment will overrule your fear. Happy Halloween.