5 Very Specific Ways Fear Negatively Affects Your Business (and how to Reverse them)
I believe that fear is the ultimate reason businesses fail. Think about it — you're afraid you're not worthy of what you want to charge so you lowball yourself. You are afraid you won't keep up with the competition so you force a persona that doesn't quite feel 100% like you. You are afraid of failing so you work night and day to "hustle" your way to success and eventually hit burnout.
Decisions made in fear will only cultivate more fear, and it becomes a spiral down to the bitter end.
You may not even realize that fear has a hold of you and your business right this minute. You might be thinking "no way, I work hard, I think positively, and I'm optimistic." But are you really?
Fear has strong roots – all the way back to our childhood and it can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. Let’s talk about five very specific situations I've dealt with on my own, and have had the privilege of helping others through, and a simple way to help manage them.
You Don't Niche Down (The Fear of "Not Enough")
There's a way of thinking that says you have to be able to talk to everyone in order to make enough money. The fear that talking to fewer people means that you won't be successful. That you don't have enough followers to make a difference. That you aren't getting enough email subscribers to sell your course or coaching program. That right now you don't have "enough" of an audience to make a difference.
So you work harder, you "hustle" and you go out of your way to generate followers and subscribers and traffic to your website but not everyone is the right kind of person for you to be talking to. Not everyone has the problem you're solving. And so you've amassed a larger audience but they still aren't buying. So you repeat the cycle.
The not enough-ness prevents you from getting specific — niching down — to speak to a specific type of person with a specific type of problem that only you can solve in a specific way. What niching down is really doing, is allowing you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Which would you rather have: 100 people that are insanely inspired and motivated to take action on what you're selling (and they do), or 10,000 people that are only halfway invested in your message (and it shows in their purchasing habits)?
Me? I'd rather have 100 passionately invested customers I can count on. Because they KNOW they can count on me to help them and I know exactly how to do so. Me and these 100 people get each other on a deep level. We're connected. We understand each other. This is the goal. This is how you find fulfillment AND success.
Reverse It: The best way to deeply connect with your audience is to provide them with content, products, and services that are relevant to their needs, challenges, and values. The way you can provide that relevance is by niching down to a specific subset of a market. For example, I focus specifically on digital entrepreneurs that create online courses, coaching programs, or membership sites. These entrepreneurs have a specific set of challenges that I can help them through whereas small businesses in general (online and brick and mortar) have a totally different set of needs that I don’t cover. This ensures that my audience always gets the most relevant and specific information possible.
You Devalue Yourself (Fear of Being Unworthy)
If you think that the world is about to figure out that you have no idea what you're talking about and are a total fraud, then you have a case of imposter syndrome. I can't think of a single entrepreneur that I've worked with that hasn't felt this at one time or another.
Imposter syndrome, or the fear of being unworthy, is the main reason why digital entrepreneurs don't value themselves appropriately. And I'm not just talking about the price for your services — it's also about the price of your time, your effort, and your attention. Here's the thing though — you have a skill, gift, or talent that is uniquely yours. There may be a million coaches out there, but the way YOU coach and the way your clients feel when working with YOU is unique to you.
Your courses, your coaching sessions, your guidance helps transform people's lives. You are changing lives every single day with what you know and what you share. And it's not about how you stack up and compare to anyone else — because no one else comes to the table with what you bring. So your prices, and the life-changing effects of what you teach, has value and you are worthy of that value because of how you transform the people you work with.
Reverse It: Unworthiness really is about mindset, and once you shift that, you'll unlock so much confidence in the value you're bringing to the world. Watch the video below and download the Abundance Alchemist guide (FREE) to help you make the shift.
You Don't Ask For the Sale (Fear of Shame)
Humans have a complicated relationship with money. We give it so much power over our lives and think that if we have more of it, we'll be happy. That it can buy a way of life that feels easy, that's fulfilling, that provides us with our deepest desires. Those that have it are powerful and those that don't are less so. We fear being "poor" but are afraid to ask for what we want because it feels like we're "asking for a handout."
And when it comes to sales, we don't want to seem pushy, or put any pressure on our customer in fear of driving them away. We don't want to upset them and make them feel like they can't trust us, or that we're "all about the money" ... even though, most of the time (if we're being honest), it really is all about the money because we think it'll make us happy.
But there's an alternative way to think about this.
Once you niche down (to deeply connect with your customers) and put a price tag on your services that feels good (because you know your value), you can feel good about asking for the sale because you understand you're helping others. There's no shame in exchanging money for a valuable transformation. You don't think twice about paying your stylist for a killer cut when it makes you feel invincible afterwards, so why would you discount your price for improving someone's life in your unique way?
Reverse It: My free Abundance Alchemist guide goes deeper into the formula to make this mindset shift from shame to one of pride and asking for the sale in a way that feels comfortable and conversational. You can get it free here!
You Obsess Over the Wrong Things (Fear of Missing Out)
How many times have you checked your Instagram feed today for comments or follows? How many times have you refreshed your browser to see if you got another email subscriber or video view or how much traffic your website has gotten in the last few hours? How many times have you scrolled in your feed to see what other people are doing that you aren't? I'm going to guess a few times.
What is all that stress and obsession getting you? Is it getting you new subscribers or followers or traffic? No. You know what does drive traffic and subscribers and views? Connection and relevance.
Reverse It: Shift your focus from the numbers you're hoping to achieve and focus on the connections you're making with your audience instead. Not superficially, but honestly. Once you know exactly who your audience is, you'll be able to connect with them on a deeper level; You'll know their problems, their struggles, their emotional state, and you'll be able to help transform them in incredible ways.
This has nothing to do with how many followers you have but the messages you're putting out there for the right person to see.
There's Not Enough Success For Everyone (Fear of Scarcity)
When you see another entrepreneur's success, do you find yourself picking them apart, comparing yourself, judging them, or getting anxious about what you're NOT doing? This is a scarcity mindset — you feel there's not enough [money/business/fame/success/clients] to go around. You then dive into panic mode around planning and figuring out what to do to "grow faster" or "be better than them."
Or, you go in the opposite direction and feel like a failure and decide to give up because you're not good enough and you'll "never make it."
The thing is, there's more than enough success for everyone. Just because one person is experiencing success doesn't mean there is less opportunity for you. The kind of energy you are creating is where the difference will be made. Will you panic and create chaos because you believe you need to work harder, or will you ease into making meaningful connections with your audience that will drive change and positivity? The choice is yours.
Reverse It: The ability to ease into your business with the mindset of knowing there is enough success and abundance to go around is the key to managing these kinds of fear. Fear (and emotion in general) is based on your thoughts and your thoughts control your outcomes. Simply recognizing your fear-filled and negative thoughts around scarcity is a good first step. The more aware you are of your thought process, the easier it will be to move past those thoughts into a more positive and abundant mindset.