What Does Fear Have To Do With Running Your Business?

Covid has changed our relationship with fear in many, many ways.

Several years ago, I attended a local networking meeting. I was delighted when my name was called to be in a hot seat for some coaching from the participants. I always have a topic I could use advice on, so I asked the group: “How should I market my new tools that help women entrepreneurs deal with the fears that come up in the running of their businesses?”

What was interesting is I got eager comments about fear from all of the *men* in the room. The women just stood silent (except for two later in the conversation).

Well, that’s telling, I thought.

I’ve had similar brush-offs at the networking meeting with a couple of the women who I know just had to lay off staff. Come on, now, who isn’t scared when something as dramatic as a layoff rips through the company you created with your bare hands?

So, what’s going on here?

The only thing I can think of is that some women are too afraid to admit they’re afraid. Perhaps because some people perceive it as a weakness to display fear, they aren’t willing to admit it in public.

Whether you are willing to admit it in public or not, I want you to know right now that fear is normal, especially this year (the lack of fear is abnormal, that’s for sure). What’s important is that you admit it to yourself.

A majority of the more than 100 women I was around in the pressure-packed, high-growth coaching, training, and mastermind programs I participated in were all freely, openly scared to death. They were also growing like mad, taking on astounding business opportunities including TV, keynote speaking on a big stage, running their own events, and connecting with celebrities and millionaire business owners that were past the stage they’re at.

This year has given many entrepreneurs the opening to admit publicly that they are afraid for their business. Michelle Obama took it a step further in her new podcast when she openly admitted to experiencing low-grade depression. We need to be able to talk about our feelings, even the negative ones.

So, what does fear have to do with running your business? The short answer is, just about everything.
Fear is a sign of growth in both yourself and your business. If you’re not afraid, you’re stuck, and so is your business.

When we can recognize and talk about our fears, we won’t feel so alone. We’ll realize other people are going through the same things. We can then support each other through the experience.

In future newsletters we’ll provide some tools for dealing with the fears every woman has in running her business. But the first step is to acknowledge that it’s there, if not in public, at least to yourself.