Fears and Fobia's are what keeps us from achieving greatness. Fears are something we all have. Big or small, they exist in one form or another. Will this person like me? Will they think I am something I'm not? What If I'm not good enough? What if they say no? What if they say yes? These common fears are what holds us back, not just in business but can sometimes spill over to other aspects of our lives. Our speaker at last nights event, Lou Diamond of FOBIA, talked about those fears and showed us how we can turn them around into something positive... or what he called 'Finding the gift in each fear'. Rather than saying to yourself 'what if I fail', turn it on it's head and instead, say to yourself 'What if I succeed?'. Or, 'What if the client thinks I"m too pushy?' can be looked at as 'I'm trying to close a deal, the client knows I want the business, I might as well ask for it'. Which leads me to a great point. If you don't ask for the business (a very common fear for sales people), then chances are, you aren't going to get it.
One of my biggest fears was leaving a business I had spent the past 12 years trying to build and to go out on my own, start all over again doing something completely different. Everyday I had a new fear and I still have them. While sitting through an all day FOBIA seminar with Lou a few months ago, I made a list of all my fears and as directed, I flipped them to something positive and rewrote them. Stepping out of our comfort zone and tackling them is what we all need to do to make ourselves and our businesses stronger.
In the room last night was a perfect example of embracing fear. One of the women I work with, who was a big part of the reason I started Foster Inc., had started a business a few years ago. We met back then and I helped her with marketing materials and gave some business advice. When I checked back with her back this past December, she was ready to hand in the towel and had just put her resume back together to seek full time employment. When I asked her how she felt about going back to the corporate world, she said it made her feel physically sick. We talked about what she needed to do in order to make her business a success. I shared with her how Foster Inc. would be able give her the support and guidance she needed in order to deal with the stresses and fears that come with growing your own business and reaching those goals.
Nine months later, her business has flourished and she has far surpassed where she had hoped to be in such a short time. No matter what direction she wanted to take - remain an Entrepreneur or go back to Corporate - I would have supported her either way. Having played in the corporate world for years, I know first hand the stresses that come with both. My goal is to support women in any way that I can. In this particular case, her desire was to stay put - make her business a success and so that is where we decided to direct our energy.
After we talked about fears, Lou moved on to the WHY. Why do we do what we do? Everyone has a WHY and when you're in sales or any position at a company, when you truly understand WHY you do what you do, it changes how people perceive you and engages them to connect with you (and what you are selling) at a much deeper level. Talking about your business or product from a position of passion gives you authenticity and authenticity drives sales. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, delves deep into some of the most successful Entrepreneurs and Corporations that Start and Sell from WHY. If you haven't watched his TEDTalk, I encourage you to take a few minutes and do so. It's incredibley provocative.
Whether you're an entrepreneur, a small business or work at a company, the take aways from last nights Fostering Sales event were:
- Figure out your WHY and when you sell, sell from WHY, rather than What and How.
- Fears are what you see when you take your eyes off of your goals. Understand what your fears are and flip them on their head. Turn them into positive statements that will empower you.
- Surround yourself with women (people) that lift you up, empower you, believe in you and support you and rid yourself of those that don't.
Thank you all for coming out and supporting me but mostly, be proud of yourselves for taking the time away from your day to day lives, your busineses, and your families to do something for yourselves. You are all amazing women.
All the best,
If you're interested in connecting with Lou and learning more about FOBIA workshops, you can reach him at (646) 808-9101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon Sinek - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE