Is Your Fear Dangerous to Your Success?

Business Coach

Feel the Heat, Feel the Fear

As a business coach, the #1 question I get asked the most is: “what is the most common denominator of successful six figure entrepreneurs?”. Is it resources, skill, certifications, experience, connections, marketing prowess, or just plain luck? While some successful business owners might have some of these assets, or a combination, they might not have any at all! The truth is that the most common indicator of success is how an entrepreneur handles fear.

My mom used to tell me to always listen to my “inner voice” because it would never steer me wrong. Did your mom give you the same advice? Our inner navigation system can be helpful when we’re trying to decide between doing something risky versus something safe. Should we cross the street when that car is not that far away? Should we speed to that meeting when we’re late and it’s raining?  Should we buy that $200 pair of jeans we’ve been coveting?

Being physically safe is important, and it’s crucial to follow our intuition when it leads to our highest good. The interesting thing is that success usually is found when we know the difference between being safe and playing safe.  Playing safe can be dangerous to our income levels and future growth.

We take out a mortgage to buy a home. Why? Because we need to have somewhere to live, sleep, cook and raise our families. Most people sign a lease or a car loan to purchase a car. Why? Because transportation is essential. Sure, some people rent homes and cars but it’s more cost effective usually to invest in a home or car than renting.

The most successful entrepreneurs invest in their businesses the same way they do in other areas of life. They don’t play it safe because it’s more comfortable, or tell themselves that “someday” will be a better time to invest in themselves.  Playing it safe is smart when it comes to staying alive, but when fear keeps us from taking risks that allow us to really live and grow, being “safe” is what should be feared.

What fears do you put aside because it’s more “comfortable” to play it safe, and what fears are you ready to face?  Please leave me a comment, I’d love to know.


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  1. Great article, Cheryl! I used to spend a lot of time tweaking my website, business cards, marketing material, etc. and realized that all of that “behind the scenes” work wasn’t taking me anywhere.

    Now I’ve moved to a new city (Atlanta- wicked holistic place), and am taking on new business ventures in the holistic health field.

    Thanks for an inspiring article! I’m catching up on all the older blogs! 😀

  2. Thanks for the insightful comment Dave! Staying stuck is usually a more fearful state than moving through it.

  3. A great insight, thank you. It is the first step in the process of moving forward, identifying that it is fear that is holding you back.

    Even more challenging is taking the great leap into the unknown despite the fear. Because the energetic charge of the fear of the unknown is so great, many will choose to stay stuck right where they are. This is why some people will not leave abusive relationships even though they know it could be different. It is all they know. And what is known can be very comfortable. The secret in moving forward is decreasing the energetic charge of the fear so that its hold over you is lessened. You are now free to more easily make a higher and better choice for yourself.

  4. Thanks for the comment luv Jodi. It’s great to networked with other Michigan entreprenuers! I’ll check out your website.

  5. Thanks for the comment and your warm words. It’s a pleasure to be connected to you Paula!

  6. Thanks Cheryl for such inspiring posts. As a nurse and patient advocate for over 16 years, I recently took the entrepreneurial plunge and have opened an online medical organizational company that focuses on organizing patient’s medical life and improving communication between doctors and patients. I always keep your emails and newsletters handy to make sure I am doing everything the CH way!!

  7. Jodi Alcock says:

    My husband and I put much of our livelihood on the line to start our company, It was my husband’s dream and we fought about it for a long time because I was AFRAID. Dennis is my opposite. He has no fear. He knew his idea was good and eventually he moved forward without my blessing. It was the first time he had ever made a really important decision without my consent, but I’m glad he did. Fear would have kept me from ever moving forward. I would have continued to say “someday” probably for the rest of our lives. Things are tough. We have put everything we have into this venture, but the product is good and I believe our sacrifice will pay off in the end. And if it doesn’t, at least we never have to look back on our careers and say “what if”. I’m still working my day job and we continue to make sacrifices, but someday I know our company will be a success. Thank you for reminding me that success and fear don’t mix.

  8. Thanks for the comment Michael! I’m sure your new business will be a great success. 🙂

  9. Switching from a government job plus my own business to relying only on my business over the past couple of years, I have found this to be very true. “They don’t play it safe because it’s more comfortable, or tell themselves that “someday” will be a better time to invest in themselves. Playing it safe is smart when it comes to staying alive, but when fear keeps us from taking risks that allow us to really live and grow, being “safe” is what should be feared.” As a government worker, there is job security or at least the illusion of security. As a sole business owner, that illusion is no longer there and at first it’s very scary. However, the more you learn to trust your inner voice, invest in yourself, and be willing to take risks; the business grows by leap and bounds.

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