One question I get a lot from virtual assistants who want to start their own businesses is, “How can I get over the fear of putting myself out there?”
First of all, I totally get it. Every entrepreneur has to deal with this fear, especially in the early stages of their business. I sure did! You’ll need to get familiar with this fear if you want to grow your business, but it does get easier!
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HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE TIPS FOR GETTING OVER THE FEAR AND GETTING OUT THERE:
1) Figure out what you’re really afraid of.
Let your imagination run wild here. What is the absolute worst thing that can happen if you put yourself out there? Are you afraid someone will think badly of you? That you’ll get a nasty email response or comment? That you’ll make a fool of yourself and lose a potential client? Once you’ve got your worst-case scenario, think about what you would do if that actually happened.
Now let’s look at things realistically. What are the chances of your worst-case scenario actually happening? Most likely, the chances aren’t very high. Even if it did happen, it probably wouldn’t be the end of the world, and you’ve already figured out what you’d do about it anyway!
Puts things in perspective.
2) Work in baby steps.
Getting your business off the ground can feel huge and overwhelming, so break the big tasks down into smaller and smaller steps until those actions feel doable. Examples: Draft a list of your services. Email two potential clients. Write one blog post. Spend 20 minutes learning a new skill.
Commit to taking a baby step or two each day. You’ll be amazed how quickly they add up to success, and it wasn’t even that scary!
3) Change Your Mindset About Marketing.
Remember, when you approach a potential client, you are offering them value.
I know it’s scary to reach out to people. But think about your service and how you can help your clients. Remember, you’re not just going around asking for money without giving anything in return. You’re offering a way to make your clients’ lives easier!
You aren’t doing anything wrong by marketing yourself. You are sharing something of value.
4) Be Authentic.
Find ways to put yourself out there that feel authentic. Writing a blog post and sharing it on Facebook can feel scary, but does it feel pretty exciting to know that you’re helping people and sharing ideas that are important to you? Does writing a blog post seem daunting, and would you rather make a video instead? Try it!
There are many different ways to market your business and get the word out. Find the ways that feel good to you. (Here are 7 Tips for Finding Clients for Your VA Business to get the ideas flowing!)
5) Find Support.
Find Facebook groups or other types of groups that include people starting their own businesses (we have a supportive and friendly community in the Introvert VA Club if you’d like to hang with other introverted peeps). It’s powerful to know you’re not alone and to have people to talk to. They’ll be there to encourage you and lift you up as you step out of your comfort zone and face your fears.
6) Know the Difference Between Fear vs. Intuition.
Just because something feels scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means whatever you’re thinking about doing is out of your comfort zone. Feeling uncomfortable is good for growth! It’s when your gut says “No” that you should listen.
How can you tell the difference between fear and intuition and whether you should act on it or not? Does the thought feel expansive or constrictive? If it feels scary yet expansive and exciting, it’s fear. If it feels constrictive and not exciting at all, it’s your intuition telling you no.
Bonus Tip #7:Work on your fears…often.
There are a couple of really great books I’ve read recently that have helped me with my fears (yep! I have fears too!)
Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway: What I learned from this book is that ALL fears boil down to one thing – “I can’t handle it.” Knowing this has had a big impact on my life. There’s tons of brilliant advice in this book, and I find myself referring to it often.
YOU Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life: This book is hilarious and full of nuggets of wisdom. It focuses on your desires and what holds you back from getting them. Simply changing our mindset can have a positive impact on our lives and profits! Good stuff!
Looking for more mindset help? Check out the Introvert VA Club!