Fear is that ever-present nagging voice in the back of our minds; it's the one that tells us to stay close to the shore and to avoid risk at a certain cost. Now, more than ever, fear has become a daily constant in our lives -- fear of losing your job, fear of losing a client, or worse, fear of not being "good enough" to offer value. In a constant stream of seemingly petty anxiety and uneasiness, I have to beg the question, Why are we afraid? What benefit do we accrue by letting our fears take the reins? This led me to wonder how our fear of failure is diminishing our ability to properly serve our customers and give them the experience they not only deserve, but also expect.What would happen if, in our business world, we were wholly untouched by fear? If we let go of the weight we carry in fear and dedicate our focus and energy solely to the positive aspects of serving our customers? By eliminating the time we spend afraid of losing a customer, we could then use our time to offer innovative ways to serve that customer, to become a more valuable part of their organization, and to truly understand their needs. If you take just a minute to become your own potential customer, ask yourself what it would be like connecting with your brand. You may find that looking at your business more objectively can quell your fear of trying different ways of serving your customer.
When it comes to your business, giving in to your fear of failure breeds mediocrity. Making safe decisions simply because they have been proven to work by everyone else may allow you to float, but it won't allow you to swim. Take a look at any majorly successful company: Apple, redefining technology; Boeing, making aerospace engineering a little more human; Nike, harnessing the true spirit of the athlete; Twitter, changing the way we communicate -- the list goes on and on. Each of these companies has redefined a norm. They opened their eyes to what was missing in their industry, imagined a difference, and threw a little caution to the wind. These days, in a market that demands to be engaged, it is precisely this type of innovation, creativity, courage, and foresight that makes a company notable.
These examples show that fear never complemented success; it only allows you to blend in with the pack. Fear works to undermine our confidence and unleash doubt. Courage is what it takes to start a business, to save a business, or to offer a truly unique customer experience. Success in serving your customers and enhancing their experience is about lowering your guard and getting fear out of the way. Run your business from the top line, not the bottom line and watch how the pieces fall into place. Adopting this attitude will continually drive your brand, your company, and your message toward differentiation and allow you to advance among the competition.
The topic of eliminating fear in business has been a great point of inspiration for me. If letting go of your fear has opened up any opportunities for success I'd like to hear your story in the comment section below.
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About the Author: Frank Defino Jr.
is vice president and managing director