The Hidden Problem That Most Service Businesses Don’t Even Realize Is A Problem (But It Can HURT Your Business!)
by Mike J. Agugliaro
Whenever I talk to service business owners, I often ask them where they are now and where they want to be.
Many times, the answer to the first question is that service business owners are feeling burnt out, frustrated, and alone. They thought the business would run differently than it had.
Then I ask them the second question—about where they want the business to be. The answer there is: “I want my business to have 100 employees and 35 trucks and multiple trade lines and be making a few million a year.” (Or maybe they have a different variation of that dream but you get the idea… you may have your own specific dream of where you want your service business to be.)
But here’s the thing: As I dig into information and help service business owners identify what it will take to grow, we stumble over a hidden problem that most service business owners don’t even realize they have…
I’m talking about fears…
… fears and misguided beliefs that achieving the dream isn’t possible (or that you don’t have the skills to do it)
… fears and misguided beliefs that you don’t deserve it
… and even, fear about becoming too successful. (Wait… what???)
Yes! Fear of success is a HUGE problem but people don’t realize how bad it is or how quickly it can stop you from growing. Fear of success happens because of self-talk we tell ourselves. We think…
- If I’m successful, people will look at me differently
- If I’m successful, my family will ask me for money
- If I’m successful, it’s going to take a lot of work and I already am maxed out and nearly burnt out
- If I’m successful, people will hold me to a higher standard that I won’t be able to achieve
- If I’m successful, my employees will want more money
- If I’m successful, I’ll have more paperwork and have to pay higher taxes
… and the list goes on and on.
Very few people realize that they have a fear of success but so many people have it. The voices in your mind tell you things like: it can’t be done, it is impossible, you can’t do it and on and on. You look for all the perfect stuff to do what you need and stop when you can’t find them. Those excuses are just fear. You need to overcome those fears and just do it.
So let’s start there…
Do you remember the TV show Fear Factor? On that show, contestants are faced with a variety of tasks that were designed to challenge them. One-by-one those contestants would be eliminated from the game when they encountered things they couldn’t do because they couldn’t get past their fear… because the challenges were not just any tasks, they were based on the scariest, deepest fears that people commonly have: from heights to snakes, from spiders to disgusting food… and more. The hope was that people would meltdown on camera, fail to complete the task, and generally make for good ratings.
Likewise, growing a service business to be successful is all about facing the very things that you fear (from the list I made above—judgement of others, more work/less time, higher taxes, having to say no to family members who want money, etc.)
If you TRULY want to be successful then you have to overcome your fears of those things… because it’s the fear that you have in your life that is stopping success.
Want to grow like never before?
No matter what sort of business, what stage of life you are in, you have huge challenges that you are facing that scare you. It is at the moment that you face those fears that excuses appear.
Here are some strategies to help you face your fears:
#1. Ask yourself 2 questions: Ask “What’s the worst that could happen?” and then ask a follow-up question: “Is that worst-case scenario really as bad as the reward of success?” For example, if you realize that you have to level up your customer-base in order to be more successful, you might be resisting that because you don’t want to say “no” to the customers you love (even if they are not the right fit for you). You’ll think, “Oh, those customers will hate me because.” But when you ask yourself, “Is that worst-case scenario really as bad as the reward of success?” then you have to admit that no, it’s not. Some customers will be unhappy but if you help them find a different service provider who can actually help them better then you’ll love handing off your less-than-perfect customer to someone who is better able to help them.
#2. Keep the reward in mind. On the show Fear Factor, the lure at the end is a big bag of cash. That reality of a pay-off allows some people to swallow their fear, control it, and overcome. The same is true for you right now. The pay-off of success is: more money, more free time, and the wealth and freedom to do whatever YOU want to do. Just keep that in mind.
#3. Now take action by crushing your fears: What is the one thing that you want to do but you are afraid to do it? It does not matter what it is, what is the thing you want in place, set in motion, or achieve. Now think about the reasons that you give for not doing it? What are the excuses that arrive from your own fear? First, we need to see the fear you have specifically, and then second you need to take on that fear and crush it! Don’t get sidetracked by looking at the fears and objections, break the big job into small manageable steps and crush them one at a time.
Your fear is the reason that you are where you are today instead of where you want to be. When you can figure out how to overcome your fear and you make that fear irrelevant then you’re on your way to massive growth and success!