"Fear is the raw material from which courage is manufactured. Without it, we wouldn't even know what it means to be brave."
~Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star
Entrepreneurs are not strangers to fear. We overcome it, on some level, almost every day. We all conquered it in a big way when we initially launched off on our own. Fear is natural. It is our body’s warning system that alerts us when we are contemplating something with an uncertain outcome. It’s important to pay attention to this inner voice that guides us, but, if we want to grow, it’s also important to be sure we don’t let fear keep us from taking action.
When it comes to marketing activities, many entrepreneurs routinely grapple with fear. Fear of "bothering" people. Fear of wasting time and money. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being "good enough." Fear of not knowing what to say. Fear of saying too much. The list goes on and on. For many of us, working in the business feels safer than trying to get the word out about what we are doing.
The quote above from Martha Beck is a powerful perspective for all entrepreneurs to consider. We can leverage our feelings of fear and use them to our advantage. Fear is our internal barometer telling us that something isn't comfortable. Sometimes, that thing could hurt us. Other times, that thing we are afraid of is exactly what we need to do in order to grow. Fear is a signal that we are pushing our limits. Leveraging fear as an indicator of impending growth and progress can give us the courage we need to experience unimaginable breakthroughs.
I'm not saying to ignore fear. We need to evaluate the source of our fears and determine if it is signaling an actual danger or simply a resistance to the unknown future. Remember, the people who are “bothered” or don’t think we’re “good enough” aren’t paying attention anyway. Our future clients are eager to learn about what we have to offer. When we leverage our fears to build the courage necessary to expose our unique vision to the world we’re ultimately able to do more of what we love.