April 25, 2014

Is Fear Holding you Back?

Recently, our refrigerator quit working. I sighed as I thought of having to replace my refrigerator. After sitting on the phone for 30 minutes with my appliance manufacturer, and getting to the wrong department, I finally asked for a referral from one of my neighbors, and called a local appliance repair company, who was able to set up the appointment for the next day.

The repairperson, also the owner of the company, came out to my house, analyzed our refrigerator and repaired it without a problem. During the process, we started talking about the future. I asked him how his business was faring this year. He said it was doing pretty well, and we talked about how with the economy, more people were repairing what they have instead of replacing their appliances and household items. (I could see his point, and was glad to have paid $190 for repairs instead of $1100 for a new refrigerator!)

He also mentioned that he could actually use two additional people, but that he wasn’t going to hire them right now because he didn’t know what the future would bring. He said that he was comfortable enough with where he was and that he could keep on going at the same rate and support his family, even though he really wanted to expand the business.

I got to thinking: that’s two people and two families who don’t have the opportunity to earn an income now because of this indecision. If you multiply that times 1000 businesses, it’s no wonder we’re stuck in this economy. We don’t like the direction we’re going in, but we’re too afraid to change anything.

Does the football coach instill fear in the minds of his team when they take the field because the headlines say how much the opposing team will dominate? The answer is no. True leadership will build confidence based on the ability that the team has.

How many times do we hear the words fear, confusion, consumer confidence or other words in today’s media or conversations? Are these words of doubt holding you back in your business or in your community? What are you doing about it?

 We’re waiting for times to get better, instead of making them better right now.