Banish Your Business Gremlins!
Halloween – a tradition originating in pagan times – involved rituals to banish evil spirits from the earth. With this in mind, I think of Halloween as a time to cast out the ghosts and goblins in my business – those things that hold me back from my fullest potential for success. As a wellness practitioner, do you have fears or anxiety about the business of running a business?Many of us in the healing professions have limited business skills. Being skilled as a practitioner is not enough to become a highly successful business owner. Most schools don’t teach business and marketing, so those of us in private practice often have some fears or reluctance about getting started and moving forward into professional and financial success.
The good news is those goblins and gremlins really are “all in your mind,” meaning you have control over them. They are not coming from an outside source over which you have no influence. Most fears are only bad habits! We continue fearing certain things out of habit – habits of thought that can be changed. Fears about success and money are often based on old or imagined beliefs that aren’t relevant to our present situation. We can banish these gremlins by distinguishing between old worn-out tapes replaying in our head and a truly risky course of action.
Once you unlock your ability to take action in spite of fear, you become more confident in other areas of your life. You see opportunities arise where once you saw limitations. You see open doors, not closed ones. You begin to think and act like a creator of your experience, not someone waiting for the experience to arrive, then coping with it the best you can.
What are you afraid of in the business world? Is it financial issues? Schedules? Dealing with clients? What about marketing?
Me – I’m terrified of technology! So launching an internet-based business has been a huge hurdle for me to jump. I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to need to psych myself up every day for something so simple that 6-year-olds could do it with ease – use Facebook! I made mistakes… and guess what – I survived! I learned what not to do! I finally learned to do the thing I feared. And I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment that came from overcoming this obstacle. This small victory gave me the confidence to tackle other fears that were holding me back. Both my business and I got stronger! And it gives me something positive to write in my Success Journal every night!
Every day do something in your business that scares you! Whatever the result, it won’t really hurt you! Approach it like exercise. We may procrastinate on starting to exercise because we fear the pain it causes until the muscles adjust. But we know it’s good for us, so we push ourselves to work out despite fear of pain. And one of three things happens: either it doesn’t hurt as much as we expected; or we feel worse before we feel better; or we find out we’re stronger/weaker than we realized.
Either way, it doesn’t destroy you, and you come out better in the end for having faced your fear and living to tell the tale! With exercise, you start out with light weights, progress to heavier ones and become stronger in the process. When exercising your courage muscles in business, start with small fears and work up to the bigger ones.
Ask successful people what they fear and how they get over it. Most of them will say the only way out is through! They may tell you they don’t completely overcome fear – fear of failure, stage fright, technophobia or whatever. But they don’t let it stop them. In fact, fear motivates them to bust through in spite of it! Fear is a tactic of that master manipulator, the ego, trying to keep us stuck in our comfort zone. These manipulations come out as procrastination, glitches, mistakes and distractions – things that keep us stuck from moving forward, ways that we self-sabotage our success.
Feel the fear and do it anyway! Here’s a simple step-by-step process to banish your business goblins:
1. Make a list of your business fears – such as fear of failure, of marketing, of talking with people about your work, of selling your services, fear of success, of overwhelm, of speaking in public, of writing a newsletter, bookkeeping, pricing, paperwork, networking, and so forth. Write down everything you can think of. Don’t hold back – no one else will see it!
2. Start with the least scary thing on your list and do it today, or if you’re really terrified, take a baby step in doing it. For instance, if you know that networking would help your business, but you’re intimidated about attending a meeting where you don’t know anyone, start out with simply finding out the location and meeting time of a networking group; then the next day, call the contact person and ask about attending as a guest and what you should bring with you, and write it on your calendar; do a little research on the organization you’re considering; invite a friend or colleague to go with you. By the day of the meeting, your confidence will be high from all this advance prep, making your networking successful and fun! With each specific fear, write down the activities you did to move through the fear. Learn
3. Rinse and repeat! Do it again tomorrow, with another of your scary thoughts or activities. Do one per day, ideally at the same pre-set time each day – for consistency and follow-up.
4. Continue going through your list until you have dealt with everything listed. If new fears pop up, add them to the list. It could take weeks or months to go through all of them, but with persistence you will get there. And in the process, you will be building your business and your self-confidence.
If you have trouble moving through this exercise on your own, find an Accountability Partner – a coach, mentor, friend, family or colleague. Talk with this person once a day, preferably at the end of the day, report on your progress for that day’s task and tell them your task for the next day. This empowering process will help you develop confidence from facing your fears and taking action to minimize or overcome them!
Banish your biz fears forever! Once you have these ghosts and gremlins out of your way or under control, you will be able to move smoothly and quickly to success in your practice and your lifestyle!