How To FIGHT FEAR in Business!

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Original Picture ©2015 pattharp.com

Have you ever been afraid of launching out and doing something you love to do? Have you ever been paralyzed by the “what-if’s” and the “maybe’s?” Sometimes our past personal failures haunt us, our present situation perplexes us, and the future un-answered questions frighten us. If you are honest you are somewhere in between 3 of these places. I have been there…a lot.

I need to fight fear in many ways and every day.

But I have learned that fear can be fought in 2 ways. In community and in conversation. Most of us in business or pursuing a new venture get stuck in our own heads and our own spaces. It seems nobody understands us and we don’t have a sounding board to bounce stuff off of people. We don’t know where to start and we don’t know where to go. It can be frustrating and draining. We think, “nobody understands,” and “I’m the only one going through this!” We can get so discouraged that we let our dreams die and we just give up and settle for “the hand that’s been dealt us,” like a bad take out order that got messed up and you don’t have time to return it because you’re running late…so you just “eat it!”

“Fear can be fought in 2 ways…
community and conversation.”

You don’t have to just “eat it,” you can fight it! You need to be in “community.” People in Churches, support groups, recovery programs, and vocational industries all know this. We need others to help us and we can help others get to where they are going. it might be a simple tip, a resource, or a special word of encouragement. We need to talk to somebody who isn’t there to “sell us something,” but to serve us, so we can serve others. In those communities you can have a “conversation.” You can ask for advice, seek counsel, listen to other perspectives, and learn and grow. None of us have all of the “tools,” but all of us have some of them, and we can build each other up with them.

I have been blessed to have many close friends who are mentors, life coaches, and business owners who have helped me get further along in  my business, and I joyfully have been able to serve them in the same way. But I’ve recently discovered a community of gifted and generous business owners who are having a conversation that I’ve found in my brief interaction with them, both refreshing and empowering.

They are called SCORE. Their website describes them as a “nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years. Founded in 1964, SCORE is headquartered in Herndon, VA and has 364 chapters throughout the United States and its territories, with over 13,000 volunteers nationwide.

The also have great resources and a great Blog full of helpful and FREE information. I’m only into my 3rd class but with great instructors and mentors like Tamara MacDuff, I am receiving a full plate of helpful and critical business insights that I would never have “drifted into.” I hope to be able to help others along their way also.

There is an old Proverb that says, “A wise person will hear and increase learning, And a person of understanding will attain wise counsel,”Proverbs 1:5. Once you decide to stop learning, you stop growing. When you entrench yourself in your own perspectives and plans, you will miss out on a community and a conversation you need more than you realize! When you let others speak into your life, even when it is hard to hear, you will always be the better for it.

If you truly want to “fight fear,” find a community and have a conversation that will give you the wind you’ll need to launch out and  sail on successfully. There never will be smooth sailing, but having others on board with you makes all the difference in the world!

How have you fought fear? Let us know…

Pat Tharp

©2015 Pat Tharp

 

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The Hardest Part of Business

IMG_2882Its almost 2015. We all have a lot of things we may be considering changing, habits we may want to leave behind, things we may want to begin. But no matter what the item or issue is the hardest thing will be to simply “start.”

That’s true in life and it’s true in business. Ideas are easy and cheap; and if you are a typical entrepreneur and business owner you got lots of them. You have so many that you don’t even know where to begin. Ideas are easy, the hard part is “starting.” Depending on your personality style, you will handle this in many different ways. Personally, I have the NASCAR attitude, “Let it rip and it will go or blow!” That’s great when it go’s, but the wreckage from the implosion because I didn’t think through some important details is often painful.

There are many great books from insightful and sage counselors that can help you along the way. Jon Acuff has a great Book called, “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters.”  Michael Hyatt has a plethora of tools, tips, and resources to help you scale and plan your “start.” Chris Guillebeau’s “The $100 Startup” was amazing. Dan Miller for me, has also been a digital mentor who has helped me immensely through his 48 days Podcasts. We have no excuse with all of the is helpful and available resources.

With over 1 million results from Google on “How to start your own business,” that alone may cause you to tremble in your shoes. I’d like to suggest one thing…

“Start with small steps.”

Don’t worry about your Facebook, your Twitter, your Pinterest, your Google analytics, or your global community platform that you are trying to build. It can wait. Right now…what small steps can you take to get you going in the right direction? Big changes always start with small steps.

For me while starting our Chai Business, it was getting our D.B.A., going to the Bank to open an account, and making a phone call as a Vendor at our local Public Market. It was all small and simple things, but the hardest part was taking the first step. How about you?

Maybe you need to simply take a personal inventory. Spiritually, financially, relationally, vocationally.

Maybe you need to simply right down all those things bouncing around your head and list them in priority.

Maybe you need to stop saying “yes” to everything and start saying “no” so that you can begin the things that are most important to you.

Maybe you need to sit down with a mentor or trusted advisor, not a “yes” man, but somebody who will ask you the hard questions that lead to self discovery.

What is it for you? Stop talking and start walking.

Big changes always start with one step…just start walking.

Setting Your Sails

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(C)2014pattharp.com

    I just started a new journey. I became my own boss and started my own business. I didn’t get here over night and the journey is far from over, in fact, I’ve just begun. I’m excited, scared, hopeful, and passionate about the possibilities. I’ve wrestled for over a year with the “what am I supposed to do with my life” question.

 “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

I believe that. No matter what season in life you may be at, there is always time to start a new journey and set a new goal, and dream a new dream. For me it was a process and discovering that a divine discontent led me to ask questions, seek counsel, take personal and spiritual inventory, and make a plan with attainable goals and action items.

I prayed, sought wise spiritual and business counsel, I spoke to trusted friends, spoke with people who asked me hard questions, and considered the future and where I wanted to be at the end of the journey. I tried to look at life with the long view in mind and choose to set my sails rather than stand on the deck always looking forward but never going anywhere.

I listened to a lot of wise counsel from leading business and thought leaders like Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership, Matt Perman, and Chris Guillebeau. I’ve been inspired by their books,blogs, resources, and podcasts. They were and still are my “digital mentors.”

“The hardest part of the journey is the first step.”

Maybe you are in the same position. Longing to do something different, wishing you could launch out and follow your dreams, hoping that some day you will do something that matters or helps someone, or makes a difference. Dreaming is free and easy and you may come up with a million and one business ideas, but the hardest part of the journey is always the first step. When the “ideal” becomes “real” it can paralyze you with fear and second guessing.

There are a lot of other smarter and more savvy business people out there that you can follow and glean from. I’m not here to reinvent the wheel. I simply desire to gather a few of the nuggets I have found as well as share some common but often overlooked business tips and insights that would be beneficial to you.

Somebody once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

If you are considering starting a new business journey, recently launched one , or maybe you’ve lost your way in the process, I hope this blog will be a source of blessings, encouragement, and equipping as you travel on the way.

Thank you for joining me!

Pat Tharp