March 14, 2011, 5:00 am

I’m Scared

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous
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scarecrowHey, here’s a confession: I’m scared.

The funny thing is that if you know me, you would probably say that I am the guy the most over confident dude you have ever seen in your life. I am truly over confident most of the time. I am so over confident that my friends always pick on me with my “famous quote” about optimism in my life. They just like laughing at the fact that there is never a challenge too big or a task too complicated. Everything seems simple and easy to me… I guess this is the definition of being over confident.

But right now, I’m scared.

I’m scared because I am entering in one of the biggest adventures ever; I made some important statements this year. I told you that I will crush it, I told you that I will generate 10K income per month with my sites, that I will pay off my debts and that I will reach several milestones.

In order to achieve it, I have committed to some serious expenses. I now have 2 full time VAs, I have borrowed a significant amount of money to grow my business and have several projects that have been started.

Why am I scared? Because I really want to succeed. Besides being over confident, I have another flaw; I can’t stand failure. Therefore, this whole venture is putting a lot of pressure on my shoulders. What if my next blog income report is below my expectations? What if my business model reaches a plateau and I can’t grow anymore?

Fear is as good as gasoline but Panic is like sugar in the gas tank

The whole point of this article is the following; you can use fear as a source of motivation. However, you must not let it grow into anxiety or panic. This would completely freeze your actions and lead you towards the brick wall.

It’s normal to be afraid when you are entering a big project. However, one must not let his mind race through all the worst case scenarios. This will lead to panic…and then will lead to paralysis. As soon as you feel the fear inside of you, you must ask yourself the following question:

What can I do in order to avoid the worst case scenario?

The answers will make you work on actionable steps instead of worrying about bad scenarios. This will also help you set up a plan B while working hard on your plan A. This is actually part of my big plan to succeed this year; be damn afraid to fail!

So what am I going to do to succeed in 2011?

The very first answer that comes to my mind is the following: WORK!

I have worked on my annual plan and how I will achieve my goals. The most important part of it is to concentrate on actionable steps, those which will create value within my company and generate more income. Steps such as creating my first niche website about home security system. Steps such as working with the Yakezie members to build my brand. Steps such as starting to write my first ebook (still working on the writing plan though…).

The key is to set a mental alert when you feel fear or getting anxious; a mental alert that will direct your brain towards practical solutions. I must warn you; this is counter intuitive, the brain would prefer to explore bad scenarios and transform your fear into panic. You have to take yourself back to the right track and work on solutions.  Keep a notebook close so you can write down your fears and write down what you can do to succeed instead of failing.

This is what I just did this morning, and I feel better already ;-).

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Comments

Nice post. Fear is such an awesome topic. Fear is a great motivator, as you mentioned. Someone you occasionally cite, Tim Ferriss, has good advice: Just list the worst case scenario, take steps to minimize it, and make sure you can handle whatever’s left. After that, no problem, go for the upside.

I recently read Seb Junger’s book called War, which documents a team of American solider in the most remote and dangerous little outpost in Afghanistan. About 1/3rd of the book is devoted to Fear and it’s treated in how it, and controlling it, can make soliders effective or not. Good lessons even though our danger is nothing compared to theirs. I recommend you have a look at that — although I know you have no spare time 🙂

I have never heard that quote before I love it.

Also remember, you aren’t in/building a capital intensive business, if sh!t hits the fan you can drop most of your expenses pretty quickly.

Fire the VAs (sorry guys)
Drop the Hosting accounts
Firesale of domains

The approach makes sense, but monitor your progress weekly, monthly etc. The other part is adjusting your effort to meet your milestones, I would look for a level of results before investing more into the project. At the very least evaluate the results before adding more money. Good luck.

I’ve been reading Escape From Cubicle Nation lately and the whole idea of fear is covered very well. My favorite piece on fear is:

“How do we take ownership for our mistakes without wallowing in shame? By accepting and learning to recognize how each experience, positive or negative, has value in helping us decide what to do next.”

that’s a great piece of wisdom. thx for sharing MD!

It sounds like you have a powerful motivator in fear, but I hope you do use the approach with some caution. It is quite a rare person that fails at nothing in life (I have yet to meet one actually) and although fear can be a great motivator, I find past failures an even better one.

I’m always partial to sports analogies. Michael Jordan said, “I fail over and over again…and that is why I succeed.” If you don’t quite meet your goals this year, the goal and the striving for it are both admirable.

All the philosophical stuff aside, given the growth you have seen so far, and the new resources at your disposal, I most definitely would bet on you. Good Luck!

by: Financial Samurai | March 14th, 2011 (7:18 pm)

Tough one man. But what’s the worst that can happen? If you lose too much money, you reduce your expenses. Perhaps start talking in net profit figures bc revenue only can be misleading.

Another good thing is u have a ft job! Imagine just doing ur blogging with no safety net!

Sam

by: Financial Samurai | March 14th, 2011 (7:25 pm)

One thing I forgot to ask, who did you borrow the money from and about how much? Can u run away and hide if you lose it? What is yor plan on how long you have to pay em back?

@Kyle,
thx for the kind words 😉 and I don’t use too much fear as motivation. I know it’s not a good type of “gasoline” 😉

@Financial Samurai,
I rather use gross revenues as expenses can be “manipulated” one way or the other. I know that tomorrow, I could cut down my yearly expenses under 30K… but I would not assure growth on the other side.

Having a good day job is surely something great 😉

The money is borrowed to the bank but we obviously had to sign personally. It’s an open interest only loan (e.g. we pay when we want). it’s a line of credit (minimum payment = interest only). But in fact, we should be able to pay it off within 5 years (worst case scenario).

I see. Actually, you should discuss top line revenue AND bottom line along with a net profit margin so that one can compare QoQ, MoM, or YoY.

Do you think I can open a Yakezie Fund, where let’s say I put up $100,000 that anybody in the Yakezie can borrow at a rate that’s slightly lower than what they can get?

I can see how borrowing to grow the business can be a little scary, and very motivating.

@Evan,
I actually fear more failure than what comes with it ($ problem). I know that I can cut down my expenses very fast if I have any problem and selling any of my site would be more than enough to reimburse my company debts so this is not a problem. In fact, it would be harder for me to layoff my VA’s as I really appreciate them. Money is never an issue, it comes and goes ;-).

@Sam,
Yeah, well then, what do you really consider as an expense is another issue. Internet access? I need for my company but I would still need it as an individual. Therefore, it’s hard to draw the line between real expenses and benefits. I consider expenses when I don’t get anything back as an individual (a VA or interest paid on a loan for example).

In regards to a Yakezie fund, I simply wonder how you can structure it legally speaking. You can certainly do loan contract with separate individuals but I am not quite sure how you can offer this as a financial service (without being a bank).

borrowing to grow the business makes thing way more interesting indeed ;-). The point is to make more money than what you pay in interest, then, you are all set ;-D

So on the accounting end, the gross receipts you post here as revenues, and profits are not tabulated. I remember reading a post (can’t find it now) about the company balance sheet.

According to the net worth post, you had a line of just under $20k, is that all there is for the company debt? That wouldn’t make much sense.

Wow Sam, that’s a pretty incredible thought. I’m sure it will draw a lot of interest if you can figure out a way around the legalities.

You are taking a big leap and I am sure it will work out. There is no reward without risk!

by: The Financial Blogger | March 16th, 2011 (3:41 am)

@JT,

I don’t keep a track of my company balance sheet (only my personal one). The main reason is that all assets are web properties and this is very hard to evaluate. The second reason is that I leave that to my accountant 😉

I have a company loan, so nothing is reported in my personal balance sheet. But since it’s a start up, the bank makes you sign that you are also personally responsible 😉