“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” - Sven Goran Eriksson
Someone once told me the biggest thing holding me back from attaining my goals, was me - I was my biggest obstacle.
At first I didn’t quite understand. How was this possible? After really thinking about it, I came to a conclusion. I’m a perfectionist. There’s no doubt about it. Everything has to be done a certain way, in a certain order and all done to a certain set of expectations.
My fear is the fear of failure, which in turn is the fear of succeeding. They are one in the same. The fear of failure and the fear of success, are very common. No one likes to fail. The problem is that we get so consumed with what may not happen, we neglect to put our energy into what could happen if we set our mind to it. It’s difficult to see the silver lining, if all you’re seeing are the consequences of what will happen if you don’t succeed.
When you’re given a task, one has to be able to sit down and figure out a plan. List all the steps you must complete in order to finish the task at hand. Stick to that plan and you’ll be well on your way to succeeding. It’s when we doubt ourselves and our abilities, that we often tend to fall. We are the ones who sabotage our own success.
The fear of actually having to produce, of having to put your plan in motion is what stands in people’s way of succeeding. The ideas are there, but no action is being taken. Unfortunately, there are many people who get stuck at the starting line behind this invisible barrier, unwilling and unable to do anything.
There are people who have ideas that don’t necessarily work, people who’s ideas get turned down, but they keep pushing forward towards success. They are motivated and determined to follow through with their plan, from beginning to end.
Once you do succeed, it’s about maintaining that success - once you get there you have to stay there. Find out what you’re afraid of. Examine the situation. Figure out what’s keeping you from your goals. Are you afraid of change? Are you doubtful of yourself? Whatever it is, work through it or you’ll never be able to move forward.
Success isn’t something that happens overnight. On your journey, you’ll have to overcome many challenges, one being that of fear. If you’re in this game, you’re in this game to win it.Comments
“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.” - Buddha
When I initially read this quote, it made me think about doubt and the damage it can cause. We’ve all been doubtful at one time or another. It’s perfectly natural to be cautious. However, in business, doubt can be debillitating.
Doubt is a feeling of uncertainty - it’s a status of belief and disbelief. When we doubt ourselves, we are usually unsure of something. Doubt raises many questions and from one question comes another. Being inquisitive is a good thing. Asking questions produces answers.
In the business world, there is no room for doubt. It’s the cause of delay and confusion, which can result in mistakes or failures. When you doubt yourself in business, you become unsure of your business - unsure of your product or service. That in itself will drive away clients, customers and potential business relationships. It can drive a wedge between co-workers, business partners and even between the business and its clients.
We all have to take a chance in life, that’s the way life works. It’s about taking an opportunity and going with it. It’s about confidence. Believe in yourself, believe in what it is your are trying to sell and you’re bound to succeed.
No business is going to profit and become successful overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, determination, perseverance and the will to keep going no matter how many times you are knocked down or how many doors are slammed in your face. If you believe in yourself and your business, there’s no telling what you can do.
In the business world, doubt can be your worst enemy. This feeling of hesitation to believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, can and will hold you back. Taking your time to make a decision is wise, though.
Doubt is not always a bad thing, it can actually be good. How you ask? Well, for starters, you shouldn’t believe everything people tell you. You do have to protect yourself and your business in order to grow and become successful. So when you are doubtful or weary of something, try to find out what really is. Don’t just assume it’s right or wrong, do the legwork and research to come to a reasonable decision.
In order to overcome negative thinking, you must conquer your doubt or it will eat you alive. Your drive to make your business prosper must be strong enough to withstand anything. Keep in mind, that no one can make you stop doubting, you’re the only one who can will it away.
Instead of not trusting anyone or anything, deicide to trust. You can decide to doubt, but find the right information to help you get past your doubt. Don’t doubt yourself. Stand your ground. Believe in yourself. Be positive. And most of all - be confident.Comments
Communication is a vital tool. Good communication equals good business. How else can you expect to run a successful business if you don’t know how to talk to people?
I’ve always heard that your ideas are as good as your ability to communicate them, so it’s important to master the art of effective communication. Robert Kent, former dean of Harvard Business School, has said that “In business, communication is everything.”
You could have an excellent product, but if you’re unable to promote it and your services successfully, the possibilities of growing and expanding become limited.
Relaying accurate information is very important, so you have to know your product inside and out. But you also have to be passionate about what it is your doing. You have to believe in it, in order to get others to believe it too. Failure to communicate properly and effectively can result in loss of clients, sales and future business ventures.
How can a public speaker be expected to get up in front of his/her audience to deliver their message when they don’t know what it is they’re trying to inform people about? How can a sales person sell clothes when they don’t know anything about the design, the fabric, how to wear it, what to wear it with and where to wear it to?
We live in such an advanced technological time that communicating with people, either by written or oral communication, has become quite simple. We do it everyday, whether it’s through the use of social media, email, blogs, text messaging, or a simple phone call -- there are many ways to deliver a message. The key is not only being able to communicate your message, it’s about the deliverance, which will in turn bring in results.
Another part of good communication is knowing how to ask the right questions. You have to know your client’s needs before you can sell your product/services. Do your research, don’t go in blind. Once you know what their needs are, you can then offer them the services you think will benefit their business.
Be sure to address any problems. If a client is unhappy, ask them why and what you can do to help find a solution. Your willingness to address the issue and face the problem, allows your clients to see that you care and are serious about them and their business.
Be confident, shake hands firmly, smile and make eye contact when communicating with your clients. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, find what works best for you and own it. Don’t be afraid, relax and be yourself.Comments
Having tools such as social media and the Internet available at your fingertips, are an asset for anyone owning a business today. The key, is in knowing how to use them.
Social media is a fabulous networking tool, an amazing way to get your brand out there. But if you don’t know how to market yourself professionally, then what’s the point?
Things like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great venues to let the people in your network know about specials, events you may be having, any news relating to your business, and more. It’s also a great way to introduce new products, or new services you may be taking on.
Whether you’re working in the food, travel, hotel, legal, finance or even the entertainment - you should be keeping your network up-to-date on things that would interest them concerning your business.
Though social media is a great marketing tool, you also have to know where to draw the line in terms of what you are posting. Remember that even if you have separate accounts, one for your business and one for pleasure, that it’s important not to post anything that will tarnish your reputation. Keep it simple.
Image is everything. The way you talk, the way you walk and the way you put yourself together says a lot about the type of business person you are. The same can be applied to your business’ interior and exterior look and feel. If your place is a mess, it’s doubtful folks will want to do business with you.
Marketing can be simple if you have a little inspiration and a creative mindset. You need to know what your business’ strengths are and learn how to make an engaging display. Look at the neighbourhood you’re in. Are there other businesses like yours? Have they been the local hot spot for years? What do they offer that you don’t? Do they offer excellent legal services? Do they offer the best travel deals? Do they offer unbelievable customer service? Or is it a delicious pizza or pasta dish?
Welcome your competitors into your business. Greet them with a smile, and ask them for their advice. They’re successful for a reason, so why not pick their brains for tips and ideas?
Some business owners get intimidated and want to run their competition into the ground. Think the opposite. You want your competitor to succeed. Having that competition will keep you on your toes, keep you fighting to reach the top.
Know your clientele. Figure out who you want to target and pull them in again and again. If people don’t keep coming back, then your business will fade and shut down like many others.
When it comes to marketing, social media can only take you so far. You need the skill, experience, knowledge, and most importantly, you need to produce results. With these know-hows, the options of what you can do are limitless. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re pizza isn’t the best - so long as you know how to make it look amazing and taste amazing, people will keep coming back for more. That’s the magic of marketing.
Word of mouth, it worked great back in the day, but today? A new business can’t survive in this economy on word of mouth alone.
Times have changed since the days of the old Faberge ads, where two friends told two friends and so on and so on. Now, just phoning up a friend doesn’t work. Everyone has thousands of people at their finger tips via social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, blogs - everyone has an opportunity to broadcast their point of view.
Since the dawn of time, people have had a need to get their message out, to communicate to others - either through cave paintings on walls, graffiti on walls, or posting a rant or comment on someone’s Facebook wall.
But, we’re also a nosey society, we also need to know what others are doing. Now, gossip has gone from mouth to ear, to tweeting about who’s going out with who or what your Facebook status is. People want to hear, people want to receive. They want to give opinions, hear opinions and criticize opinions.
Picture this: a young upstart moves in next door to your established business, pushing the same product. They get on social media networks and with a few simple strokes on the keyboard, they can now potentially reach a larger clientele with a simple post or tweet. In a shorter span of time than what it took for many established businesses to build a rapport in their industry and/or community by reputation of word of mouth, this young business has now done within minutes.
The Internet is not a fad that’s simply going to go away. Just like colour television, the Internet and new social networks are here to stay. They may change in the future, but pandora’s box has been open and there’s no way to close it. So learn to use it, you don’t have to love it. But realize that there is the potential to broadcast all the good things that your business has to offer.Comments
Owning a business must be an exciting venture, but can be intimidating at the same time. What makes some businesses so successful, while others barely last a year, let a lone a few months? What are these long-lasting companies doing that enables them to survive?
It’s amazing to me how long the process is for a new business to open up, and how quickly it takes for them to shut down. Launching your own business is a challenge, a risk many people take without realizing what it involves. And in today’s struggling economy, if your business doesn’t flop, the you are one of the fortunate few that rise to the top - there is no in-between.
So that brings me back to my original question - what makes some businesses so successful? Well, for one, they definitely do a good job in their research. That means knowing the ins and outs of the area you are about to open a brand new business in. You have to know your community, and your new potential clientele. What do they like? What don’t they like? What types of things do they want to see in their neighbourhood? What are their needs and wants? Can you cater to this demographic?
Then you have to ask yourself a few questions - what are you bringing to the table? What can you offer these residents that they haven’t already seen before? What makes you so unique? Why should they let you into their neighbourhood? Is your product or services worth it? Does it fit with your new surroundings? Who is your target audience? What are you willing to do to ensure your business’ doors stay open longer than opening week?
Research is critical to any business - whether you’re just starting out, or trying to stay on top of your competition. If you want to be the best, you have to walk the walk and believe that you are the best! Because if you don’t trust that you’re worth it, why should anyone else?Comments
Sassy in the biz. Explore the sassy side of business with the sassiest writer in town, Sandy Caetano.
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