By Bob McElwain
it's best to overcome fears, to put them in their place, so to speak.
For me, that place is right out front where I can meet them head on.
Embrace them even.
It's fear that
keeps us from coming too close to the edge of a precipice or climbing
too high in a tree. In business, it points out the pitfalls ahead and
allows us to plan a way to avoid them.
Fear is of two
kinds. Rational and irrational. It is rational (sensible) to avoid
falling off a cliff. It is irrational (nonsense) to believe all the
people in the crowded room are watching you. Expecting you to do
something naughty, maybe.
To the degree
possible, crush irrational fear. Meet it head on. Why do you feel
everyone is watching you? Look about at those around you. Study their
faces. Their smiles and frowns. Their ernest or frivolous dialog.
Listen to their chuckles and laughter. Are they really watching you?
Do they even know you are in the room? Would anyone notice if you did
do whatever? The answer is no. But cling to such questions until
irrational fears are laid aside. They block our way, slow our pace,
and add uncertainties, none of which is helpful.
fear is useful. Harness it, then give it free rein. Listen to what it
tells you. Evaluate. Are you too close to the edge of the cliff? Back
away. If it is only of goblins in the night it speaks, say the words
right out loud, "Stuff and nonsense!"
business online or offline is fraught with fear. Listen to what it
says. Lean closer if the voice is too faint. It will help you foresee
a great deal of the future, of problems that may beset you, and
barriers that may need to be overcome. It is unlikely all of this
will come to pass, but think of the added confidence gained in being
prepared for those that do.
is an essential ingredient in growing a business. From making changes
in a website to expanding into another area, all is laden with risk.
But if no action is taken, there will be no growth. Instead, the
business will wither and die. Let your fears assist you in planning a
clear path around possible obstacles, then move forward boldly. With
good plans for the unexpected, you can not be seriously harmed.
your website, recognize that your visitors are real live people, not
just hits reported to log files. As such, they are also subject to
fears. Know some have not made the distinction between rational and
irrational fear; they have both kinds lumped together. Their behavior
will be all the more unpredictable.
reported as many as 65% of visitors fail to complete order forms.
While I have never seen mention of it, I would bet good bucks that
many click away in fear. "Why do they want my address; I didn't
ask them to mail anything to me?" "Why do they want my
phone number?" "Who are these people butting into my life
We know how
important it is to build trust with the content and presentation of a
website. While we may have failed to achieve this goal completely, we
have worked at getting close. I suggest another step be taken.
indecision and uncertainty often lead to fear, and thus to flight,
erase all possible points at which a visitor may stumble. Easy
navigation is clearly a must. But look for less obvious things. A
link that misleads. An ad that may offend. A line in a sales pitch
that is too much to swallow. That is, look at every element within
your site. Identify every point at which a visitor might stumble,
then make sure it won't happen.
birds in your backyard. Or the deer in the foothills. Fear keeps them
alive. Given any challenge that can not be instantly identified, it
is always fight or flight. These options are far too fundamental and
primeval to ignore. In your business, harness fears so the next
action can be taken. On your website, be sure visitors do not click
off from fears of which they may not even be aware.
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