Last weekend my husband and I went away on a mini break with a bunch of cycling friends. It was fabulous. Two nights in a hotel in Snowdonia and the opportunity to ride new roads, take in the beautiful scenery and stretch ourselves as we climbed hills which seemed to go on forever. The sun even shone on us which was such a bonus. One of our friends is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and she arranged for us all to spend Sunday afternoon at a place called Zipworld. It all sounded great when we booked it- the chance to descend across a beautiful blue lake in a disused slate mine, flying with the birds.
And then we drove up!!
Oh my goodness!
As we approached the area in the car my hubby said “Look at that building at the top of that hill. Looks a bit precarious. I wouldn’t like to work in that!”.
Little did we know that that precarious building was the launch area for the zip wire we had signed up for! 220m up on the side of a mountain!!
The afternoon was a real roller coaster of emotions for me. I was excited by the prospect of flying down the zip wire but terrified at the same time. We watched others do it, heard the screams, saw the smiles of people as they landed. The longer we waited the more nervous I got. In fact, I was so scared that I cried as we were in the final queue. But my logical brain knew that it was a perfectly safe to do. The organisers had assessed the risks and taken every precaution to make sure nobody was injured as a result of the activity. Thousands of people had done his before me and nothing bad has happened. I did it and it was just brilliant. Not that scary at all despite hitting speeds in excess of 75 miles per hour. I was so giddy when we finished – I had faced my fears and landed safely! I even picked up a piece of slate as a reminder of the experience.
What on earth has all this got to do with business? At the end of the afternoon the hubby said “You can write an article about this. You know the whole feel the fear and do it anyway thing” but I think that phrase is so dangerous in business when taken on its own.
This year especially many of my clients are fearful. Many businesses have had to pause their operations and for small and medium businesses this means a lack of income, possibly for the rest of this year and into 2021. Business owners and managers are having to rethink their approach in order to reopen safely, bring staff back, and some clients maybe even flip into new markets to rebuild their business. It’s a time of fear. However, I can’t condone the approach of “feel the fear and do it anyway”. For me there is too much at stake to take this gung-ho approach. I do think fear is a good thing. Its our natural response to things which threaten us. It’s there to keep us safe.
So, my advice in business is feel the fear, assess the risks, way up the options then make a plan. Once you know the consequences and you are happy that you have thought the actions through, then go for it. As a coach my job is to help my clients through this process so that we all come out of the fearful situation with all the safety checks completed. After all there is no way I would have thrown myself off the side of a slate mine without my harness the triple safety check completed so why would I do that in business?
If you’d like help to think through your options don’t hesitate to get in touch.