<![CDATA[How do you as a business owner in the pet industry use your fear factor to propel you forward? Do you use your fear of the unknown or ‘what ifs’ to move forward and take the leap? Or do you sit still in paralyzing fear of failure; fear of rejection; or are you afraid that taking that leap of faith will not come with a parachute? Putting yourself, your business, your products or your ideas out into the world can scare the you know what out of any level headed, confident person. If they tell you otherwise, they may not be telling you the truth! But if you have always dreamed of owning your own business – or growing your business beyond your wildest dreams – using your fear as fuel to ignite your dreams, in my opinion is the only way to go. When you do, you get to revel in seeing your own success happen, (no matter how big or small), and it is an incredible feeling. At every event I host whether it’s an in-person networking event, an educational webinar, a bigger trade event – to speaking at industry event – I always have that fear and anxiety. Will the event be good? Will people show up? Will they like the event/webinar/speech/speaker? I have these thoughts – EVERY-SINGLE-TIME! (Some of you may notice me having a lovely glass of red wine before the event, hello that is to calm my nerves! 2 drink minimum is a good tip for you if imbibe!) But I don’t let those fears stop me from hosting events, from reaching out to event organizers that I want to be involved with, speak at, help grow my company, etc. If I did let them stop me – what would be the point of moving forward and all this hard work? The fear factor is there. The self doubt can easily creep in – for example, I just spoke at BarkWorld in Atlanta, (on Applying Journalism Ethics to Blogging), and I just assumed I would be in one of the breakout rooms being that it was my first time speaking there. I was very much looking forward to this topic, for one it is a topic I pitched to speak about, am passionate about, and thought is relevant and important to fellow bloggers and writers. While at the opening night at BarkWorld I took the schedule and was asking the organizers a few questions – and then I looked at the schedule and saw my session was in the main ballroom (the big room!), and there were NO other sessions happening at the same time. OMD! Generally at conferences there are multiple sessions happening at the same time so I was thinking maybe 20 people would come to mine. When I realized I was the only session AND in the bigger room – a little panic, and a lot of fear and self-doubt were rearing their rather ugly annoying heads. So what did I do? I went back to my hotel room early that night to go over my slides, added some fun pet pictures to it, cleaned it up and went through my presentation once or twice. I used that fear to my advantage – and felt much better about it. The next day I was a little nervous prior to my session, but I was looking forward to it at the same time. There were between 40-60 people in the room. So instead of freaking out, I welcomed everyone, asked them if there were having a great conference and went around the room and handed them all treat bags, (cute bags I made with candy and my business cards in them), it was on Halloween day after all! So an icebreaker, a treat for the audience and it didn’t feel so scary any more. I thought the session went pretty well, I asked the attendees questions, made sure I didn’t go to fast, and answered their questions and there was even laughter along the way. Whew! (And to boot I got a lot of great feedback from attendees right afterwards and the next day too – that they thought the session was really good and got a lot of information!). Planning and preparation is key – but you never know how something is going to turn out, no matter how much you plan for it. You have roll with the punches, make the best of it, and use your fear to motivate you. If I can do it, you can – I used to be paranoid speaking in front of a crowd – or the 6 people that were in my speech class in college way back when – that terrified me! And this is coming from someone who has hosted over 60 in-person networking events in the past 5+ years and over 100 responsible dog ownership classes to people only in a 5 year period. Now get out there and go for it, I know you can do it! I would love to hear about what you have done to use your fear to fuel your success – tell us in the comment section below!]]>
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