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The Fear Factor

“People who don’t take risks make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes per year.” – Peter Druker

On my way to Atlanta this week for on business, I started thinking about fear. For me, fear of flying is right up there at the top. And for the masses, there are so many fears that there are even scientific names for them: arachnophobia (fear of spiders), coulrophobia (fear of clowns), acrophobia (fear of heights) and even panphobia (the fear of everything). Luckily fear of marketing isn’t widespread enough to justify an official name!

But what about those business owners that are “afraid of marketing?” I’ve seen it time and time again across different industries where decision makers are so consumed by fear of marketing that they don’t do anything; they let fear take over and paralyze their otherwise good business instincts. They are so afraid to make “the wrong choice” that no choice and no momentum is the outcome. Peter Drucker, influential writer and management consultant, said, “People who don’t take risks make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes per year.” The question is not will you make a mistake – at some point you will – the question is, what’s the alternative? Do you invest in marketing with a defined strategy and an expected return or do nothing? The choice is yours.

Let’s face it, there are no guarantees in life, but if you don’t get in the game, you’ll certainly never win. What if I told you that trying some form of marketing – even if it’s conservative – will help you grown your business? Seems like a no-brainer, right? But fear of the unknown often holds otherwise savvy and confident business owners back.

A great way to overcome the fear of marketing is to become educated on what works in your industry, holding fast to a frequent and consistent plan and tracking your return on investment (ROI). As humans, we tend to fear what we don’t understand, so educate yourself on marketing and it will become more approachable. Talk to your peers, do some research, consult with a marketing professional (like me!) and read blogs (like you are doing right now!).

For the most part, we confront and overcome our fears. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have sat on a plane this week. And if all else fails, just be brave. It helped me conquer my 30,000 feet jitters!

General questions about marketing? Contact Keara M. Piekanski, AHAA Marketing Manager at kpiekanski@ahaanet.com

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