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Life Health > Running Your Business

Fear…Not, Part 1

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Franklin Roosevelt made history when he commented that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” With tough economic times made worse daily by the bombardment of stats and data of doom, no wonder we may be fearful to get outside our comfort zones and pitch somebody. But we needn’t fall victim to the negative mass hysteria or the fear of being rejected. We needn’t worry.

Think of it this way: Worry is prepaid interest on debt that hasn’t yet come due. Of course, it’s easy for us to convince ourselves we ought to worry. We sit at our desk, conjuring all of the things that could go wrong and what we will do to earn a living when the bottom finally falls out. We work on our hypothetical playbook and end up spending most of our time on the sidelines instead of in the game. Time’s up; practice is over.

It’s time you really put yourself out there, with the energy and commitment necessary to succeed. Forget fear. Here’s how to defeat fear and its paralyzing, energy-robbing force and kill the anxiety of the unknown:

What’s the worst that could happen? “Why do I fear rejection, and what could happen that’s so devastating it’s not even worth trying?” Ninety-eight percent of the time you ask for an order, if the other party declines, he or she will be polite and professional. So what’s so bad about that? Big deal, they said no (and most of the time that’s what you will hear.) But not all of the time.

And it’s those one or perhaps two times a day that will make the big difference in your career and in your life. You can make a hugely successful business and career with those one or two daily yes answers. It’s simply a numbers game. Just keep asking the question you want answered to enough people each day, and you’ll succeed in finding your next client and business opportunity. You won’t get hurt or damaged. Be brave, you can do this.

Listen, most people you ask for help, an appointment or an order to buy will actually be flattered that you made the attempt (although they may not show it). But don’t take my word for it; get a handle on this cognitive disconnect by getting out there and proving it to yourself. Start now or first thing in the morning and connect with a few of your target prospects. Do something easy first: an email that begins asking for their help or input and ends with your promise to call them tomorrow to follow up. For example: “Mr. Jones, I am getting a lot of requests from my clients wanting information about (fill in the blank) and was hoping you might know a few friends or neighbors who also would like free information about this subject.”

Or just go straight for the close and ask to meet your prospect at Starbucks, the mall, their office or home but always follow up with a phone call and get an in-person, face-to-face meeting.

That’s right. Start approaching those who can help you reach your goals—in person—and as often as you can. Besides the fact that nothing improves performance like practice, all of this real-world evidence about what really happens will become a brand-new reality to you.

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Michael Ham is a financial planning expert and personal budget coach. He is the founder and president of My Money Track and founder of J. Michaels Advisors in Dallas. For more information, go to


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