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Your Business Success - Stress And Fear Undermine It

Sep 5, 2008
As a business owner, I know you read business books, which is good. However, you have to be able to read what's relevant and skim over what is crap. What I mean to say is that too many books paint a way-too-flowery picture of business ownership and entrepreneurship. They never really describe or do justice to how difficult and stressful it is to own, run, and grow a business. I want to talk about the impact of stress and fear on your success.

I was listening to a Robert Johnson song (for those of you who don't know, Mr. Johnson is one of the early, and great, blues players of the last century) and he wrote a song that talks about trouble, fear and stress. For entrepreneurs and sales and marketing folks, it can ring very true.

"I got stones in my passway and my road seems dark at night.
I got stones in my passway and my road seems dark at night.
I have pains in my heart, they have taken my appetite."

I think stress and fear grow even heavier once you go above $500,000 to $1,000,000 in revenue and have 5+ employees. That's when you start to have headaches. That's why when I read a business advice book, I prefer books written by people who have actually run companies and who give you the harsh reality of having a business with all the gruesome details.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that owning your business has an upside. You can, if done correctly, have a business that makes you wealthy (which is the idea) or at the very least, something that provides you with a great income.

My mentor, Dan Kennedy, has been very straight with me about stress. Basically he says: If you want the four-car garage, the vacation home in Maui (insert your favorite vacation spot), the office building, etc., you have to learn to manage stress.

The question to ask yourself - Do I want a job that is low-to-stress-free? Or, do I want to become rich? If you want no stress, you might work a counter job for Starbucks or McDonalds. There's nothing wrong with those jobs - it's just that your level of success and income is dependent on the level of stress you can take and/or learn to manage.

The key is *learn to manage* the stress - and what causes it, fear.

If you can manage a lot of stress, then building up a company is for you. It's just a fact of life. The reward of ownership comes with more stress and you have to simply learn to carry more than most. I wish I could tell you that's not the case. It would be nice to be as flowery as so many business books. However, I'd rather be up front with you.

Fear of failure stops *most* of us from achieving what we are capable of. And I did say most of us. I am absolutely certain that everyone is capable of being a successful entrepreneur or a sales rep if they consistently make 20% or more above goal each month and year. However, it is the fear of failure that stops most of us. The fear is wicked.

How does one "manage" stress and the fear that causes it?

What I do is look directly at the fear I'm feeling, stare it in the eye, see what I'm stressing about - and then I push it away, eliminate it. There is no other way around it. If you want to succeed at anything you have to rid yourself of this terrible pattern. As regularly as it tries to show up, just as regularly push it away. It surfaces? Push it away (manage it). I'm sure you get the picture.
About the Author
Ramon provides more marketing information, especially created for the IT VAR industry but also applies to everyone who wants to improve their sales. Stay up-to-date at StreetSmartVAR.com and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for Ramon's popular, no-cost online marketing course!
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