Have you ever been in the “meeting of your life” and felt choked up? Of course you have. Fear drives me. I remember the crippling fear I lived with the year I had no money and little income and wasn’t sure how my family would eat. On the career front, I can’t begin to describe the unbelievable public speaking horror I felt every week as the television cameras whirred around, the lights turned up, and the news anchor (the same one I’d spent most of my adult life watching) walked across the studio and sat next to me.
Hundreds of times I nailed my tv segment but which moment do I remember most? I still clearly recall the one time I froze. I couldn’t finish my thought and was so paralyzed I couldn’t even think about where to begin. The anchor walked me through the rest of the piece, but everyone watching could see me freeze, and the knowledge of that fact made me freeze even more.
I absolutely hate it. I hate the feeling of being afraid and I hate the fact that I remember failures far deeper and WAY longer than successes.
But, once I’ve conquered something difficult (“stuck the landing,” as they say in gymnastics), the exhilaration is the most unbelievable welling up in my chest that I’ve ever experienced. I’ll put very few experiences in front of it. I know that my career is a little better, my personal “brand” a little more advanced, because I pushed fear into the rear view mirror.
I know you’ve felt this way. You might feel fear right now about you money, or your job, or just about walking out the door to say “hi” to your neighbors.
It’s a real feeling, and you have to fight it. Every. Stinkin’. Day.
The biggest part of actually stacking benjamins (not our brand, but actually accumulating money!) is creating an income stream. The second piece of the puzzle is how you handle them once they’re in your possession. While I’ve never been accused of agreeing strongly with Suze Orman, I think her opinion on valuing and respecting the value of your money isn’t just sound, it’s the most important part of building wealth.
If you want more money, you have to respect the money you already have, but you also have to be focused on finding ways to bring in more.
So, today, I’m thinking about income, and I’m a little afraid.
I’m going to get a little personal. I really, really am fighting off fear when it comes to this weekend. For most of you, this is just another weekend, but for me, I’m headed to a conference called FinCon to meet up with my peers, network and learn more about financial media strategies. This will be my third trip to this conference, and it’s become one of the highlights of my calendar (and clearly is the highlight when it comes to any advancement of this blog).
I have a fear of this conference that goes beyond any I’ll feel all year long.
I want things to go well, and I want to put my best foot forward. While I’ve developed lots of fantastic contacts at FinCon, I’ve also stepped in it. Last year I shook well-known blogger JD Roth’s hand, only to find out later that he’d had the hand broken and was in complete pain the entire time we were shaking. Why he stuck his hand out is beyond me, and I’m not sure what I could have done differently, but the experience is still a nightmare in my head, because he gave me the strong impression the remainder of the weekend (and probably still today) that he holds it against me that I shook his hand at all.
That’s what I’m afraid of.
So, why do I bring this up? It’s because my favorite phrases comes in really handy right about now, and they’re some that you can use, too, when you’re faced with some big career moments.
Here they are –
#3 – “Feel the fear and do anyway” is my favorite quote from Nike, and it definitely applies today. This quote pre-dates “Just do it,” which is more succinct, but I prefer the stronger one that directly addresses fear. I feel fear all the time, so directly speaking into the abyss is more effective.
#2 – Bud Fox in the first Wall Street film looked into the mirror before his big meeting with Gordon Gecko and said, “Life comes down to a few big moments. This is one of them.” I love this mantra because while it doesn’t directly acknowledge fear, it pushes it aside by helping me realize that right here, right now, I have to “stick the landing.”
#1 – This one’s new to me in the last eighteen months. Marissa Mayer at Yahoo! said once that she loves being in situations that scare her a little, and she pushes herself to reach those heights. I love that, and I’ve lived it a TON recently. I now look for situations that scare me and try to put at least one thing that I’m afraid of on my calendar. That helped me book Don Hahn, the Disney producer on the podcast. It helped me follow Jaime Tardy around the Podcast Movement conference (with no result, by the way….). It helped me write this article admitting my fear.
I have to remember these three mantras this weekend. If you’re not afraid, you aren’t living. You aren’t growing.
It’s sad that I have to fight off fear mostly at conferences or in social situations. I think my work would be better if I felt this fear all the time. I need to remember that every day matters (especially those days in the trenches….like today…..when I’m sitting typing in the quiet basement in Texarkana).
Every day matters. Fight off fear.
Feel the fear, peeps, but do it anyway.