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3 Common Business Owner Fears and How to Overcome them

Halloween is just around the corner.

It’s the scariest time of the year, which makes it a great time to explore some of the biggest fears that business owners have.

And, believe me, I understand these fears – I’ve experienced every single one of them myself.

But when you push past those fears to really understand what’s going on with your business, and to take positive action to optimize it, you’ll be glad you did.

There’s a lot of success waiting on the other side.

So, let’s dive into the scary spaces.

The 3 biggest fears every business owner faces

In my experience, there are three common fears that tend to pop up at some point for every business owner. Here they are:

  • Looking at the numbers
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Admitting having problems

Let’s look at how each one of these fears shows up – and what you can do to push past them and make your business healthier and more profitable than ever.

Fear #1: Looking at the numbers

When you’re working 80-hour weeks to get everything done, it’s easy to convince yourself of just about anything when it comes to your finances.

You can imagine the worst – that you’re in terrible financial shape and on the precipice of disaster at any moment. Or you can imagine that you’re doing better financially than you really are, creating a false sense of confidence.

But at some point, you need to take a good, hard, objective look at where your money is and how you’re performing financially.

I know it’s not fun – but I promise you that worrying about your financial situation and making up your own stories about the shape you’re in is much worse.

You need to find great financial advisors both for your business (accountant) and personally (financial planner).

Understanding your business numbers is important for all of the obvious reasons. Are you profitable? Will you make payroll next month? Should you invest in that new software or cool toy you really want?

Getting a grip on your personal finances will allow you to understand what your business is really doing for you. Is it doing enough? Or do you need more from it?

Find advisors that you trust and go through this process with them.

One of the most valuable things I’ve ever done in my adult life was to work with an advisor to create a financial plan. Because it gave me options.

Push past the fear.

I can tell you from experience that it’s highly unlikely they will tell you anything worse than what you’re already imagining. And even if what they tell you is your worst-case scenario, at least there are actions you can take once you understand the situation.

A good financial partner can help you identify where your assets are, articulate how you’re spending money (both personally and professionally), and assign a current value to your business.

Armed with this information, you then can take necessary steps to increase your business’ value – and ultimately make it attractive for someone else to buy. (Or equally attractive for you to keep running!)

Remember that having knowledge makes you powerful, and it helps you identify your options. It’s just like turning a light on in that dark, scary corner.

Fear #2: Having difficult conversations

No one relishes having uncomfortable or difficult conversations – but the most successful business owners understand that they’re sometimes necessary for the overall health of your business – and the health of your relationships with your team.

Just like avoiding your numbers, walking around with the weight of a necessary conversation can be so much more stressful than having the discussion.

When you know you need to broach a difficult subject with someone, take the time to prepare.

Think through what you need to say, and even practice it if that’s helpful.

And then do it.

It might be awful. It might be just as hard as you expect, even.

But then it will be over, and you’ll no longer carry around the ball of anxiety related to it. Best-case scenario, you might even come to a resolution that’s good for both parties.

Ultimately, having the courage to initiate a hard conversation is a sign of leadership.

When you avoid those conversations and let issues fester within your team, you’re unintentionally creating an unhealthy and unhappy culture for your business. Don’t be that leader.

Fear #3: Admitting having problems

There is a nagging and completely unfounded fear most leaders hold – and it’s the fear of acknowledging that there are problems with your business.

It makes us feel like we’re not smart enough or not good enough to lead.

Too many leaders view any kind of admission like this as a failure when it absolutely isn’t.

It’s simply a byproduct of participating in the marketplace – and it shouldn’t isolate us or make us feel we have to figure out everything on our own.

Just like the proverbial skeleton in the closet, all business leaders face problems and have to course-correct.

Keeping the closet door shut only gives those skeletons more power – when you bring your problems out into the open, whether with a business advisor or a group of fellow leaders, they lose their ability to frighten you.

If my experience is any indicator, you’ll find that other leaders are struggling with the same things – or at least with challenges that are similar.

Being a business owner and good leader isn’t for the faint of heart

It takes courage to face the challenges of the marketplace while also nurturing a supportive environment for your team.

So it’s a good thing you don’t have to do it alone.

I’m here to help – set up a consultation call today, and I’ll help you shine a light into the scary spaces of your business.

You can book a call here: Book a Strategy Call with Dawn.

Want to sell your business or get ready to sell? Start here.

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