The big list of running-your-own-business fears (+ how to do scary shit anyway)

By Brittany Taylor

The big list of running-your-own-business fears

and a guide to doing scary shit, anyway


by brittany taylor | Oct. 17, 2016

Truth: Most bosses are scared to death 97.2 percent of the time. This blog post is loaded with 99 absolutely normal business fears plus the resources you need to conquer each and every one of them. How boss is that?!

Also: According to the Bureau of Made Up Statistics, 93 percent of all quoted statistics are made up on the spot. File that under #funfact with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, please.

What the fudge is fear, anyway?

Fear is unpleasant—that’s what Oxford and Merriam-Webster say. It intimately entwined with anxiety. The difference between the two is that fear is rooted in a present situation or stimulus, while anxiety deals with the future—something that hasn’t happened yet and may, indeed, never happen (thanks, New York Times!).

Fear is what protects us from danger. It’s an evolutionary emotional response that keeps us safe. Except, as bosses, we tend to experience fear about situations that are more awkward or uncomfortable than physically harmful.

The fear we feel as bosses doesn't protect us; it hurts us. It prevents us from doing the hard work.

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So, why are we scared of things that aren’t a legitimate threat? Often, it’s a result of past trauma, according to Psychology Today. It might seem trivial to our ancestors, but dealing with a bad boss or an online troll sticks in our psyches far longer than the physical fall-out.

The line between the two is hairline thin and wayyy too easy to cross. For online bosses like you and me, the digital world is so essential and our relationships with the people we meet there are so vibrant that the Internet feels tangible. Our anxieties over these online what-ifs are very real. They are true-blue fears.

Needless to say, fear is a big-time bitch. But bitches are everywhere. It’s time to confront this B and persevere in spite of her.

Most bosses are scared to death 97.2 percent of the time. Here are 99 absolutely normal business fears plus the resources you need to conquer each and every one of them.

Your last great idea was really your last great idea. That’s it. No more.

action plan

Pick a scary thing and do it. Here's how.

Just do it. Sure, you could do that. But since I procrastinate my way to hell and back before I do the scary thing, I figured I’d tell you what I do, instead. It’s pretty simple.

First, you pick your scary thing. Let’s go with No. 57: writing your about page.

Second, you break that big, scary thing into baby steps. (I know, baby steps. I told you it was simple.) For No. 57, your baby steps might look like this:

  1. Craft a mission statement. (For more on that, click here)
  2. Brainstorm all the qualifications you have to do whatever it is you do. What are your pluses? What can you do that other people can’t? Be a braggart. Go on, do it.
  3. Write a one-paragraph biography that includes a few quirky, endearing details about you as a person, outside of your business. If you intend to get personal on your business’ Instagram account, try to incorporate a few themes you’ll share there, too. Consistency is key. I, for example, am “Brittany, the writer with the Goldendoodle from Charleston, S.C.”
  4. Put it all together. Write your about page. Do that shiz.

Third, you add baby step No. 1 to your to-do list today. And you do it. And you feel good about doing it.

Fourth, you add baby step No. 2 to your to-do list sometime in the next week. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next Monday. I vote for sooner rather than later. “Just do it” does have its uses, after all.

Fifth, keep working your way down the list of baby steps until you reach the very last one.

Sixth, cross this fear off your list. Move forward. Good work, boss!

P.S. There's a worksheet for that! And it's free—bet you didn't see that coming.

This worksheet will walk you through the steps in the last section. In one page, I’ll take you from terrified to pretty much OK about things. And if not quite OK, strong enough and ready enough to move forward anyway.

I know bossing it out is scary. But come on. Let’s do it together.

Start working through your fears instead of running from them. Sound good?

Download this worksheet and use it alongside the Big List of Business Fears in this post to get a head start on the hard work of being a boss, fears and all.

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I see you, boss. I see you here, on this website, and I see you on social. If this post touched you, helped you, landed in your bookmarks, please consider sharing it with your friends and followers. Pay it forward!

- Brittany Taylor

99 fears and working through 'em ain't one. Learn how to get 'er done in 3 steps.

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When it comes to being the boss you need to be to grow your biz, what scares you the most?

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You are 1 worksheet + 6 steps away from working w/ your fears to get shit done. Let's do this, boss.

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