Don’t let fear keep you from moving your business forward

By Jim Ristow, AVB BrandSource

In my State of the Union address at the Convention last August, I spoke to you about the power of fear.

Fear is indeed a potent force, powerful enough to freeze you in place. Those of you at the presentation may recall that I shared a real-life experience: Being frozen in place on a bungee- jumping ledge halfway around the world, some 15 stories above a raging river. Fear ruled the day.

I was all harnessed up, the safety protocols were checked and double checked, and suddenly the order came from behind … “Jump!” I was so overcome with fear I couldn’t get my body to move an inch. After several tense moments I finally cried out “Push me!” and the instructor quickly obliged.

I had broken free from the grip of fear, albeit with a little help. The result was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. But there is no question that without that push, I never would have taken that leap.

The takeaway from my plunge is that the more I thought about it, the more fear took control and kept me from doing what I went there to do. I was essentially paralyzed in place by my own indecision.

Sound familiar? This type of overthinking has a name: analysis paralysis.

When the fear of making a decision, especially an important one, takes over, you often end up doing nothing. In essence, you become your own worst enemy. And, overwhelmed by seemingly endless choices (and outcomes), choosing nothing means you get nothing.

Bestselling author Napoleon Hill summed up this notion in his timeless book, “Think and Grow Rich.” “Indecision is the seedling of fear,” he wrote. “Indecision crystalizes into doubt and the two blend and become fear.” Translation: Sitting on the fence is not a place you want to be. Decide to move forward, make the tough decisions and don’t look back.

When it comes to making decisions that ultimately determine the trajectory of your business, fear coupled with indecision can paralyze you to the point where you fail to recognize the lifelines that are being thrown your way. 

Before I made my assisted leap, I forgot that I had a lifeline, attached to my ankles, that would keep me from hitting rock bottom (literally).

You too have such a lifeline. We at AVB are here to guide you through the tough decisions and offer solutions that will ensure your business keeps pace with the ever-evolving world around us. 

Just like when I was quivering above that river, sometimes all it takes is a little push to get us going in the right direction. So consider this a friendly nudge to move you down that road to prosperity. We have the solutions to get you there; you simply need to take advantage of them.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year. See you soon at Summit!

Jim Ristow is CEO of AVB BrandSource, the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers, and publisher of YSN.

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