Fear is something every entrepreneur has to deal with from time to time.
For me it recently came in the form of interviewing a hero of mine. (Not in the superpowers from Krypton sense of the word, but in the successful online entrepreneur kind of way.)
When it comes to fear you can do one of two things.
- Let it in and give up.
- Punch it in the mouth.
In this post I’ll walk through how I almost gave in to fear and let a big opportunity slip through my hands. I’ll also cover a simple exercise you can do each time you’re afraid of doing something.
Interviewing Gary Vaynerchuk
Last week I had the honor of interviewing Gary Vaynerchuk for my podcast, but it almost didn’t happen because I almost gave into fear.
You see, I had submitted a request to interview him and my request was initially declined.
Then one afternoon I got a text message from one of his assistants out of the blue saying, “Do you want to speak with him tomorrow at 11am?”
I panicked a bit. I mean, Gary has a huge personality and following online, so I was intimidated to say the least.
- Would I have time to properly prepare?
- What if I majorly messed up?
- Could I push it back to a later date?
- Why did I want to do this in the first place?
I was making excuses. I was scrambling to find reasons why I couldn’t do it.
I even typed out a response that read:
I will be traveling at that time and can’t make it. Can we do early next week?
I stared at that message for a full minute and soaked in the potential ramifications of it.
- I probably wouldn’t get another chance to chat with him.
- I couldn’t ask him the questions that I’ve been dying to ask.
- I’d forever regret wussing out.
So what did I do?
I punched my fear square in the mouth.
I sucked it up and said “Absolutely. That time works for me.”
I got the chance to talk to him, it went well, and I got a boost in traffic and podcast downloads.
Now, that wasn’t so scary, was it?
That’s the thing about fear. Hindsight is 20/20. When you look back at why you were so afraid in the first place, it doesn’t compute.
What To Do When You’re Afraid
When you feel fear, here’s a simple exercise to go through.
- Let the fear in.
- Ask yourself: “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”
- Slowly count to five with your eyes closed.
- Let the fear go.
Let’s say you’re afraid of publishing something controversal on your site. So there it sits in draft form for months. You keep pushing it off.
“What will people think of me?”
Who cares. Have some guts. Show your personality. Be vulnerable. People will respect you for it.
What’s the worst that could really happen?
Everything is going to be okay.
What was a time when you were afraid and everything ended up being okay? Share your story in the comments below this post.