Stop Letting Fear Hold Your Business Back: Here’s How to Fix It

The Real Impact of a Fear of Failure on Your Business

In the exciting world of entrepreneurship, the fear of failure can be an negative force that holds back even the most passionate and innovative business owners. In this episode of the Invisible to Invincible Podcast, we dive into the profound impact that this fear can have, including how it permeates all aspects of businesses, from marketing and sales to operations and leadership. Specifically, we discuss into the hidden costs of fear and lay out five actionable steps to overcome it and drive your business toward unprecedented success.

Here is one of my favorite quotes when it comes to how to think of a fear of failure. 

“The only way to get rid of the fear is to stop doing things that might not work, to stop putting yourself out there, to stop doing work that matters. ... the right question is, "How do I dance with the fear?”

Because, when fear grows too big, you either stop doing the work you were born to do, or you dance with it. 


Obviously, there’s only one answer, even when it can feel hard. So let’s dive into the specific ways a fear of failure can impact your business. 

The Hidden Costs of Fear in Business

Every entrepreneur embarks on their journey fueled by passion, dreams, and a vision of what their business can become. However, fear of failure can stifle these dreams, keeping businesses small and stagnant. This fear can manifest in several ways:


  1. Marketing and Sales: Fear can result in undercharging for services, hesitating to follow up on leads, or launching products quietly to avoid potential failure. This not only hampers sales but also makes marketing efforts invisible in a crowded room.
  1. Operations: Innovation suffers when fear dominates. Risk aversion becomes the norm, and new ideas are stymied. This leads to mediocrity and missed opportunities as competitors leap ahead.
  1. Financial Decisions: The fear of failure can prevent necessary investments in people, resources, and technology. This creates a cycle where the business continually struggles despite ample opportunities for growth and improvement.
  1. Strategy and Leadership: Bold strategic planning is crucial for business growth. Leaders who fear failure often hesitate to make decisive moves, leaving their teams rudderless and uninspired. This lack of direction can result in a loss of faith among partners, clients, and employees.

Embracing a New Mindset: Transforming Fear into Rocket Fuel

To transform your business from invisible to invincible, overcoming the fear of failure is critical. 

Here are five strategies to shift your mindset and drive your business forward:


  1. Reframe Failure as Feedback: Many of us grow up believing that failure is negative. However, viewing failure as a form of feedback can be liberating. Each “failure” is an experiment that offers valuable insights and lessons. The question becomes, “What did I learn today?” instead of “Why did I fail?”


  1. Cultivate a Growth Mindset: A growth mindset sees challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Embrace new experiences with curiosity and openness. Instead of fearing potential risks, focus on the possibilities they present. This shift in perspective can energize you and your team, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.


  1. Visualization and Positive Self-Talk: Visualization can help reshape your reality. Imagine what success looks like and feel the emotions associated with achieving it. Pair this with positive self-talk. Remember, affirmations need to resonate with you – feel them deeply rather than reciting them mechanically. Start with small, believable steps and gradually build toward bigger goals.


  1. Set Realistic Goals: Break down your larger objectives into smaller, achievable tasks. Celebrate these small wins, as they build confidence and pave the way for tackling bigger challenges. The book “The One Thing” can offer valuable insights into focusing on what matters most, ensuring that every step you take aligns with your ultimate vision.


  1. Seek Support and Mentorship: Surround yourself with mentors and peers who understand your journey. They can offer perspective, highlight successes, and provide guidance through challenging times. Having a supportive network can transform potential roadblocks into stepping stones, helping you rewire your brain toward positivity and success.

Turning Fear into Opportunity

Overcoming the fear of failure is a transformative journey. By reframing failure, nurturing a growth mindset, visualizing success, setting realistic goals, and seeking support, you can unlock your business’s true potential. This shift not only positively impacts your business but also brings joy and excitement back into your entrepreneurial journey.


The time to start is now. Embrace the discomfort, dance with your fear, and watch as your business evolves from invisible to invincible. Remember, it’s never too late to make your business and career work for you.



This podcast is sponsored by Some links are affiliate links, which means if you buy something, we may receive a small commission.



Resources Mentioned:

– Book Recommendation: “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan


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Transcript | EP 025 | Stop Letting Fear Hold Your Business Back: Here’s How to Fix It

[00:00:00] Today we’re talking about the real cost your fear of failure is having on your business as a business owner. And what are the five things that you can do to start changing that today? I’ve seen it firsthand, how A business owner’s fear of failure can have a tremendous impact and ripple out into all areas of their business because if you haven’t realized it by now, your business is a reflection of your attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and your values.

[00:00:32] Everything having to do with your business is tremendous and it all comes from inside you. And worse, it often comes from parts of us that we’re not even aware of, that we don’t think people see.

[00:00:45] We might be thinking that we’re struggling in silence, or that we’re so used to working hard that if we just keep working hard, we’ll push through it. It’s always worked in the past. that’s what being an entrepreneur and a business owner uncovers those things that we didn’t realize we were dealing with and uncovers those feelings that we had buried deep inside because we don’t need to feel feelings.

[00:01:09] That’s personal. That’s not business. Well, guess what? When as a business owner, those things start to blend together, whether you want them to or not. And that is why and how your business becomes a reflection of you. So that’s what we’re talking about today. I’m Kendra Losee with Invisible to Invincible podcast, and you’re tuning in to learn more about how business owners and leaders in their field go from being invisible to invincible.

[00:01:42] We talked to business owners and experts in their fields who started their business because they were passionate about something, because they were experts at what they do. And somewhere along the way, they might’ve felt that tension inside them that comes from the chaos of modern entrepreneurship and all of the expectations that are on us as business owners and entrepreneurs every step of the way. Whether you’re a coach, a consultant, a freelancer, a small business owner,

[00:02:15] whatever that is that you’re dealing with today, that’s what we’re going to be talking about because that fear of failure that you have is reflected whether you’re applying for jobs, whether you’re applying to change, whether you’re thinking of pivoting your career, whether you’re trying to launch something new.

[00:02:32] One of the things that Seth Godin said that I love is to dance with your fear, to dance with that anxiety, to keep moving forward. and embrace it because that means you’re doing something good. That means you’re doing something hard. That means you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. So we’re going to start today by talking about the different areas.

[00:02:59] In your business that your fear of failure can keep you from helping your business not just thrive, but also even survive. It can be that big and the impact on it can be that big. And I’m gonna start first by talking about how I’ve seen this show up in marketing and sales, because I have worked with so many business owners over the years, and clients, business owners, even when I was in corporate, were just gonna mash all these people into one person for this example,

[00:03:29] When it came time to launch a new product, this business owner, they had a vision of what they wanted to launch. They knew from talking to their clients that this thing was something they wanted to do. And so they brought me in to figure out the messaging, to figure out the path, and even in some instances, the messaging along the funnel as it rolled out.

[00:03:56] So making people aware of it, bringing people in, getting them engaged, getting them converted into clients and then the ongoing support and messaging throughout. But here’s the thing. He had this grand vision for this, but when it came time for meetings and to start rolling it out. It needed to be perfect and they needed to reduce any level of risk that was possible.

[00:04:25] And as a result, we had meetings every week anywhere from a month and a half to two or three or four months before we were able to launch this project because it had to be perfect. And you want to know the truth? Half of those projects never got launched.

[00:04:46] because the business owner, she was so worried about it being perfect that she kept pushing off the date. And so another business owner launched it, but launched it quietly so that no one knew about it. And when you approach things in this quiet way, it’s not going to be successful when you push it off because you’re afraid of failing, because you’re afraid of the competition, and you’re not sure how your customers are going to like it and whether or not it’s going to be exactly what they’ve asked for and exactly what they need.

[00:05:21] And so you don’t do it until you do more research. And you’re constantly in the hamster wheel of research and analysis paralysis and trying to understand what is the best thing you can launch for everybody. To make sure it’s perfect for everyone. Here’s the secret, there is no perfect for everyone.

[00:05:41] Understanding that when your fear of failure is preventing you from launching something new, from making a big deal out of what you’re launching, from talking about it in clear language because you know exactly who it’s meant for, and you’re afraid to try talking to just one person versus everybody because you might lose market share because you might have that be a failure if it’s not big enough when it launches.

[00:06:11] That fear of failure is basically making your business invisible in a crowded room. No one will know that you’re there and what you’re doing and what you’re working on if you’re not telling people because you’re afraid of failing. So from a marketing and visibility standpoint, that is what is holding you back.

[00:06:31] That is how you’re fear failure can show up from a sales perspective. It can show up because it’s whether you’re the salesperson or you have salespeople, they are afraid of failing. They understand that you are afraid of failing because a lot of solopreneurs will find themselves undercharging or avoiding a lot of sales.

[00:06:55] People or business owners will find themselves under charging. They might find themselves avoiding followups or anything that they you know, there might be some self sabotage on there because they’re so afraid of failing they’d rather screw it up themselves than have someone else tell them they failed.

[00:07:11] Your sales aren’t happening and if they are, they’re way under and your sales team is afraid to push themselves, push the new products, push these things because they feel your fear of failure. It’s that unspoken truth and that unspoken thing that becomes part of your culture and from an operation standpoint, it leads to stagnation because people are afraid of innovation.

[00:07:41] These business owners might have the best idea possible and trust me, some of them have been truly amazing, but if it can’t see the light of day because the fear of failure is so much higher than the excitement over the new innovation, it’s going to be stuck. So projects will remain shelves and innovation will slow down.

[00:08:03] In this way, your fear of failure is silent, sabotage.

[00:08:08] It keeps you stuck in mediocrity and just trying to catch up to what everyone else is doing. When you might have had those ideas first you were just afraid to share them because you were afraid for whatever reason of failing. Your team becomes very risk averse.

[00:08:27] They’re afraid of failing. They’re afraid to make the wrong decision. Then your fear doesn’t just become your own. It’s contagious. Then everyone dials down their volume. Everyone becomes risk averse. Everyone becomes afraid to raise their hand with new ideas. The amount of lost potential from that is tremendous.

[00:08:54] It’s contagious. Absolutely ridiculous. Then when you look at finances, it can keep you from charging enough and keep your sales team from charging enough. It also, fear of failure reduces the likelihood that you are going to invest in an assistant, invest in a new team member, invest in those things that you need, whether it’s upgrades or team or resources or whatever it is, and it can become an anchor.

[00:09:21] and it drags down your potential for growth, innovation, assistance. If you’re working all hours as a solopreneur, every opportunity becomes avoided because of the hidden cost to your business. When really the hidden cost to your business is those feelings inside you, that fear. Let’s look at your strategy and your leadership.

[00:09:46] A lot of times a fear of failure will stop the bold strategic planning. It will stop whatever it is that will push you outside to that uncomfortable area where you might be dancing with your fear. And instead it keeps your business small and then other businesses come along and redefine success. Other leaders come along and do the things that they need to do because they don’t have that fear that you’re having.

[00:10:13] They might have their own stuff going on, but that fear of failure that’s starting to permeate every part of your business is keeping you stuck and it’s having a tremendous cost. On your time, on your resources, on your team members, on your joy that you have in your business, because it becomes a thing of fear and it becomes a pattern that you start to repeat over and over again.

[00:10:40] Then as a leader, when you don’t have the confidence in your decision making, it starts to create a lack of direction for you. Your business, your team, your partners, your clients might be worried that you’re not bold, that you’re not helping them be where they need to be because you’re not asking those bold questions, that you’re not asking and pushing those products and those services that will help them be their best, or your customers might be worried because they’re starting to doubt you.

[00:11:13] No one wants to have a leader who is basically rudderless, who is unable to steer the organization in the direction it needs to go. I’ve worked with, from higher education, I’ve seen this through department after department in higher education. I’ve seen it in large businesses where the leaders of that organization become afraid of failing because they’ve done too well for too long.

[00:11:41] So they’re afraid to make the wrong move because they’re pivoting into a new direction and they don’t know what they don’t know and they’re stuck. that feeling of analysis paralysis and needing to ask more questions and figure out whether or not it’s right or wrong for everybody, and that’s where looking at your business and looking at what is the smallest viable audience, the minimum viable audience that you can release something for where you know what’s gonna work for them.

[00:12:09] Don’t look at everybody. Everybody’s not the answer. You’re not going to be perfect for everybody. What are the things that you can start doing today to make those decisions, to overcome that fear of failure? First of all, and this is something that I really admire in the younger generations, because it’s looking at failure. as something good. A lot of us were taught to work hard, to get those gold stars. And to do that, we had to work our asses off. In order to do that, you were either great or you were failing.

[00:12:42] There was no in between. I really admire people who look at failure as a form of feedback. Looking at failure as not this big thing, but you’re learning from it. Everything you do is an experiment. If you reframe failure as something you can learn from, the question becomes, what did you learn today?

[00:13:06] What did you try that you didn’t do before that you can learn today? And that goes into the second thing. The first is reframing your failure. The second is cultivating growth mindset. So instead of saying, I failed, I can’t learn from that. See it’s a pattern. Anytime I try something new, I fail again.

[00:13:25] Don’t do that. Instead, what can you learn from it? What can you do to grow more for tomorrow? How can that help you have that growth mindset where you look at things as opportunities and possibilities instead of potential risks.

[00:13:45] You can even see the energy, right? Like the energy when I start to talk about the potential risks and what the possibility is. I’m even noticing it as I was talking about this, right? Like the first half, I was like, Oh, okay, here’s the things you need to avoid. Here’s how it’s rippling across your business and what it’s costing you.

[00:14:04] And now that I can talk about what it is that you can do to reframe, to cultivate a growth mindset, to start overcoming your fear of failure, you can see that difference immediately in your business. That is what I want for you. It is time to work on this. Don’t let your fear of failure stop you and hold you back anymore. So the third thing. is visualization and self talk.

[00:14:33] What do you see? What does success look like? I have a love hate relationship with positive affirmations, which is funny because they’re positive, right? Why do I not like them? And the thing is that you can say them over and over again, but if you don’t believe them, if you don’t feel them, they’re actually going to start to make you feel worse.

[00:14:56] When you start Looking at affirmations and when you start doing self positive, self-talk, instead of negative self-talk, you wanna make sure that you feel it, that you can start to lean into it. And sometimes positive affirmations are too big. Sometimes you need the little steps to bridge you to them so that you can believe the big thing.

[00:15:21] If you’re closing your eyes and you’re like, this is what I want my business to look like, but I don’t know how it’s gonna get there, take a step back What’s one small area of your business you can fix?

[00:15:32] What’s one small thing that you can visualize and get really excited about? Maybe it’s launching that thing that you’ve always dreamed about, maybe it’s writing that book that you’ve always dreamed about, that you only have in your head.

[00:15:44] Maybe it’s starting to get that on paper and not carrying what it sounds like, what it looks like, what it feels like as you’re doing it. Just start doing it. This is motivation built on motivation and when you can start to visualize yourself doing that and visualize those steps of what it’s going to take and what it can look like, that’s where you can really start driving in and encouraging yourself with that positive self talk because visualization can help you reshape your reality and those affirmations when you truly feel them.

[00:16:15] They’re not just words on a paper, they’re tools for really changing your mindset and letting go of the sphere of failure. And this goes right into what I was saying a minute ago, but number four, set realistic goals. You can visualize all you want, but if you don’t understand how to get there, if you’re not holding yourself to anything, how are you going to start moving things forward?

[00:16:37] How are you going to motivate your team if they don’t have any goals that they’re working towards? So set yourself up with not just the big giant goal, but set yourself up with a small lens. What is that you can do this week, this month, next year to work towards that big goal?

[00:16:54] I always recommend is the book, The One Thing. It really helps lay this out for you. Set your goals towards your big goals and what you’re visualizing, but you need to do the work. And so set those goals and make them realistic because you are going to have those small wins.

[00:17:11] Those small wins builds confidence and you start to tell your mind. Your mind starts to see. You have a pattern of winning. You have a pattern of succeeding on these small wins. You can do the harder things, you can do the big things. You can start dancing with fear. You don’t need to start dancing with fear in a full on hip hop routine that everyone loves, right?

[00:17:32] Or win all the awards for it. You can start with just one step, one small step. And the last thing is number five is find support and mentorship. Having peers and mentors who’ve been there before who help you see your patterns, who can highlight. Your successes really makes a difference when you’re stuck in that fear of failure, a lot of times all you can see is potential failure.

[00:18:01] All you can see are the potholes, the roadblocks, and the things that might be stopping you. What if you flip that? What if you start to find someone to help you see the positives, to see the difference that you’re making, to see the things that you’re doing right? So you can start to rewire your brain with the positives, with the wins.

[00:18:24] Sometimes we need help in an outside perspective, and that outside perspective is invaluable, especially if they have some of the expertise that you need to help overcome your limitations.

[00:18:37] Okay, just to recap, one, reframe failure, two, cultivate a growth mindset, three, visualize, and do positive self talk. Four, set realistic goals. Five, seek mentorship and support, because it’s hard to do this alone.

[00:19:02] Here’s the thing, Overcoming a fear of failure is going to help you internally, and it’s going to help reshape your attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and values, which will have a tremendous impact on your business and stop impacting your business in a negative way and your business into something that is positive, where it is light, where it is, you feel grounded in joy, When it comes to your business and you get excited about the possibility, because if you’re not doing this for and for what you can, what your business can do for you, why are you doing it in the first place?

[00:19:44] That’s the goal, is to implement one strategy. One thing of those five I just listed off, start today. Implement one thing and see how it transforms your business from today. See how it looks. See how it feels. What are you hearing? you’ll notice a difference and the people around you will notice the difference, but you have to start.

[00:20:10] Take the first step and start dancing. If you need personalized support to overcome your fears and any fear of failure or things that are holding you back and drive your business towards innovation and growth and make your business invincible and feel invincible for yourself, come find me, message me below.

[00:20:33] Book a discovery call on my website, KendraLosee. com and let’s start dancing with that fear.

[00:20:43] Thank you for joining me today. We are all about passionately driven entrepreneurs, guiding you to success in both business and life because it’s never too late to make your business inquiry work for you. and not the other way around. Go start dancing. Go grab that confidence and peace of mind knowing that you are no longer costing your business because of one stupid four letter word of fear.

[00:21:10] Till next time.