Is Fear Stopping you From Scaling Your Business?
I’m going to talk about how your fears (your mind-monkeys!) might be stopping you from scaling, or grabbing success in your business.
Fear of failure has followed me all my life, it’s the one mind monkey that I just can’t seem to completely shift. I’ve broken the 7-figure mark and I just can’t shift it.
It’s like being in a bad marriage, and me and my mind monkey are not allowed to divorce!
In this episode I'll share my own experiences and then my tips of things you can do to work through your fears, banish the mind-monkeys and come out of the other side.
I’m thinking this is going to be a great therapy session for me so kick back, get a coffee, and enjoy!
What We Cover In This Episode:
In this episode I’m going to be talking about fear, and how fear can hold you back from scaling your business. I’m also going to be talking about things you can do to overcome this.
Hello, hello, hello!
I hope you’re all having a lovely week. We’ve got lots of sunshine here in the UK at the moment, which is great.
I wanted to talk to you this week about fear and is fear holding you back from scaling your business? Just picture the scene with me here for a minute.
Everything feels like it’s going right in your business, and you have a product that you’ve proven. You’re seeing consistent sales. Everything seems to be going great. You’re super busy spinning plates, and you last had a day off since well, you can’t remember when!
And you’re already worrying that if you step away from the daily grind of your business even for a day, actually it’s probably more like a few hours, then you’re feeling that everything’s going to grind to a halt. And that its going to take far more of your time to unpick the problems and get everything back onto an even keel. So, you don’t take time off.
Ok, I think I have another episode idea right there!
And you know that is going to take your time commitment, it’s going to take resources and organisation of people and an investment of money to make that happen in your business.
And then the mind monkeys start to set in ‘What if I fail?’ ‘What if I can’t successfully scale my business?’
And then we come a cropper.
I’m going to talk about how your fears might be stopping you from scaling or grabbing success in your business. I’m going to talk about my own experiences and then some of things you can do to work through, and push through your fears and come out of the other side.
I’m thinking this is going to be a great therapy session for me so kick back, get a coffee, and enjoy!
Fear of failure has followed me all my life, it’s the one mind monkey that I just can’t seem to completely shift. I’ve broken the 7-figure mark and I just can’t shift it. It’s like being in a bad marriage, and me and my mind monkey are not allowed to divorce!
I’m sat here right now with my fear monkey right next to me. And the reason my fear monkey and I are hanging out together today is because, I’ve being having some trouble with my speaking voice over the last few months. It’s hormonal (or lack of them) and my voice has been on a downward trajectory for some time. I think this is it for my voice. I’m going to have to get used to how I sound.
And I was thinking ‘thank god for batching’ because if I hadn’t created my last batch of podcast episodes then I’d be well and truly kippered. Well, I’m out of episodes now so that mindset clearly hasn’t worked, and I’m kippered!
And I’ve put off recording my episodes basically out of my fear of failing.
There, I’ve said it. I’ve got it out.
And I have this fear of my audience and my listeners hearing my croaky, my breaking voice and turning off. And that fear of losing my audience.
And it’s crazy, isn’t it?? Here I am talking to you today.
And you’re here because you want to hear what I have to say, and my croaky voice isn’t what matters to you today, because it’s the content that’s important.
Now I know I have a whole ton of limiting beliefs tucked away in my own fears, and if I allow them, they’re going to hold me back. So, I’m going to talk about some of the limiting beliefs and fears that we might hold around scaling our business.
Limiting beliefs are crazy because they keep you stuck and keep you from doing what you want to do. Our minds have this amazing ability to always come up with a ton of reasons why you can’t do something. And there’s a good chance you have limiting beliefs stopping you right now and you don’t even realize it.
Limiting beliefs always have a sneaky habit of hitting us when we’re about to scale.
They might be thoughts like:
And that’s probably one of the biggest fears right there. Trying to do it all usually means you’re fearful of letting go of the reigns and delegating to your people, you’re afraid of your teams making a mistake, or not putting in that same level of dedication as you’ve done over the years in your business.
And this fear also manifests itself when we’re scaling as a form of imposter syndrome as you’re thinking ‘how can I serve thousands of clients, lead my teams, see my friends and be a great partner at home when I’m trying to do it all?’
And that mindset usually stops (I would say) about 50% of people from scaling a really great business.
And it doesn’t have to be that way, as scaling your business will untangle those fears into a business that’s going to serve YOU, your people AND your clients.
So, your own limiting belief could be any negative recurring thought that stops you. It doesn’t matter what the thought is, but it’s this type of negative thinking that’s going to hold you back from achieving your goals.
To eliminate your mind monkeys and your fears, you first need to call them out! So, for me right now, my big one is fear of turning people off with my squeaky voice because if it goes up too high, it just disappears! And it’s not perfect, and I’ve been wanting it to be perfect.
And that could potentially stop me from growing if I let my fear hold me back. And you know I’m not going to do that, right?
The next fear that holds people back from scaling is being afraid of letting your team down and feeling fear of making mistakes. You worry that they’re going to see right through you, they’ll realise you don’t always have all the answers and also (this is a big one) that if you take time out of your business then you’re obviously on a jolly and you’re just workshy. Oh, and that’s an employee mindset there by the way!
You might also be hesitating on starting your scale journey for fear of letting your partner down or letting down the kids. What if you get even busier and they see less of you? Fear of resentment from your loved ones is BIG.
Now I don’t have a family of my own, but I remember an experience about 100 years ago that I had when I was a director in a Telco. That was back in the 90s. And the buck stopped with me, so basically, I could do what I wanted.
So, my younger self decided (in my wisdom) that it was a great idea to kick back and work in the pub…not drinking alcohol, just soft drinks and working and having meetings in there. Over a period of time, I noticed that my teams started doing that too...they were working in the pub, and they were drinking (alcohol) all day…ahhhh.
And there was me wanting to create a cool working culture and I did that, I achieved that, but I made a huge mistake because I built a drinking culture at work instead.
My fear of letting my people and my teams down made me want to be seen as a ‘cool’ leader but, I ultimately let them down anyway by letting my own fear dictate my leadership style.
So, if you are fear of letting people down is stopping you from scaling, then take some time out to think about why that is and what’s holding you back
The next fear is not scaling; because you’re afraid of failing, afraid of being seen as a failure or making a mistake that’s going to cost you somehow.
So, fear of failure is my biggest mind monkey. Its drives me to perfectionism, to over dot the I’s and double cross my Ts. It slows me down. It makes me risk averse when it comes to spending money and making decisions.
And when you couple that with my being an introvert and you’ve got someone here who moves quite slowly in business and through my own fear of failing, or making a mistake, I could actually miss some really great opportunities out there.
So, remember I said earlier about identifying where your fear comes from? Mine comes from people pleasing basically. Growing up as a neuro diverse person and an introvert meant I disappointed people a lot and that led to people pleasing to try and offset that.
My limiting belief is feeling as though I have to be perfect to make people happy with ‘me’. And this was my first step to combating my fears of scaling and making mistakes.
When I came out as being a trans entrepreneur I was absolutely petrified of it being a mistake, of not being accepted or not being seen as the same person, and potentially of losing clients.
And all those fears about needing to be perfect started to creep in. I also have chimerism which is also very misunderstood.
So, I was afraid that being ‘out’ would affect my business, or that people would focus on my trans-ness rather than the fact that I’m bloody good at helping entrepreneurs to scale.
It’s taken me a few years to be out and proud of who I am.
So, what keeps many of us from getting over this fear of making mistakes is this perceived pressure from the world around us. Maybe you yourself don’t think it’s such a big deal, but I worry often that others will judge me for being different.
I think the reality is YES, many transphobes are going to judge me BUT, the peeps I want to work with support the underdog, they want to build equity, they want to live in a better world. And they want authenticity. And those people will come are going to come and hang out with me because we share these values.
So, the only person judging me and has an opinion that really matters, is ME. I have a choice here to listen to my personal judgement of myself or reframe it and succeed.
It could be pressure from the outside world that’s making you feel as though you’re not ready to scale. And if that is, it might help to realise that no-one is judging you but you.
No-one that matters are judging you, other than you.
The reality is, those around you are more likely be impressed to see you taking a leap and scaling, even if you don’t master perfection the first time around.
So, once you’ve identified your fear and your limiting belief then ask yourself ‘what really is the worst that can happen here?’
Many people find it helpful to think about the worst that could happen if you try something and then you fail.
This helps to banish the fear because you realize the worst-case scenario is usually not so bad after all. Will it damage your business? How much money could you lose if you make a mistake? Will there be permanent damage if that mistake can’t be undone?
Once you consider the worst that could happen, get a Plan B in your back pocket for just in case, and then spend the bulk of your time visualizing the best that could happen to you.
And often by comparing these two scenarios together (the best-case scenario and the worst-case scenario), we can usually see that the potential opportunity far outweighs the risk we want to take.
Your inner critic (or your mind monkey) is the voice inside your head that drags you down before you even get started. Your inner critic simply stops you from taking action and it holds you stuck.
When you’re about to take a risk or try something new, your inner mind monkey stops you by focusing you on the mistakes you might make.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever lose my inner critic, I think it helps me find balance and I accept it and I will always have a relationship with my inner critic (whether it’s a good one or not) but you can lessen your inner critics voice by identifying it and calling it out. And so, you take its power away.
I think it’s important to recognise when you’re being risk averse as opposed to being catastrophic. And once you recognise this fear behaviour in yourself, you can tell yourself that whether you succeed or fail, you’ll learn something valuable in the process.
And then you can crack on and completely ignore the mind monkey!
One of the things I’ve learnt through my 30 odd years as an entrepreneur and a qualified business strategist, is that it’s a certainty you’re going to make mistakes so, accept it.
Mistakes and failure are an essential part of growing, and trust me, you’ll learn from it.
I’m fairly new in the online business world so I do feel imposter syndrome sometimes when I look at other online entrepreneurs and they seem so polished on camera and on their podcasts. It seems to come so easily to them.
But it’s important to remember that people who seem brave don’t have any more courage than you. They are just as afraid (maybe in different ways) and yet they leap ahead, and they take action anyway.
And you can do that too by shifting your fear into a positive a habit.
So, reframing becomes an important part of fighting our limiting mindsets and our mind monkeys when we start to scale. The language you use is very important in shaping how you think about what you do. Learn to reframe things using positive phrases rather than negative, and over time that will start to help you to change your attitudes and your beliefs as well.
I find writing out positive affirmations really help me at this stage to make that final push through any limiting mindset that I have.
Alright, let’s have a quick recap on this episode. So, if you’re feeling nervous about taking the next step to scale your business, these are my mindset tips to take the power out of that fear.
So, visualise positive outcomes, because the reward of what you try is usually well worth the leap. The worst that can happen is that you make a mistake. But a mistake is a great learning experience.
If you take onboard this simple approach, then you can defeat your inner mind monkeys and successfully start the work to scale your business.
Until next time,
I'm Lor Bradley 🏳️⚧🏳️🌈
No 'je ne sais quois' to be found here! I'm a qualified business strategist, author and I show entrepreneurs exactly what they need to DO to be brilliant in business.
I'm an 8-figure online business mentor & consultant, not a business coach, so unlike most coaches I have the practical experience and geek-ery to show you how to grow your business to 7-figures and beyond.
I'm a trans non-binary entrepreneur and I’m on a mission to uplevel entrepreneurs from 'spread too thin' and into the CEO of a biz they won't want to take a holiday from!
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