Posts tagged speaking

The Top 30 Ways How to Conquer Entrepreneur Fears


Anyone starting  new business is bound to have some fears.  That’s healthy!   Women are growing new businesses in larger numbers.  Here’s how these women over 40 conquered their entrepreneurial fears and got into action to start their business.

1.  Have a Support Team.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Have a support team that you contact weekly and have at least 5 people that you can contact 24/7 who love you and are honest with you NO MATTER WHAT.

Thanks to: Amy Lynn Frost of  Nonprofit Sector Foundation

2.  It’s All In Your Hands.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Naysayers and the economy are completely irrelevant, so put them out of your mind. Opportunities ALWAYS exist!  Following-through on what you commit to goes a long way with clients. Nearly all of my business from repeat clients or word-of-mouth.

Thanks to: Catherine Davis of Azure Consulting Services

3. Believe and Receive

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Believing in yourself is more than just a nice idea. When you take the plunge into business for yourself, it’s imperative to believe deep within your soul that you are doing the right thing and that you know how to do it right. My fear was that I may not have enough clients. Had that fear ruled, I may have tried to work outside my niche and passionate interest in women’s careers simply to get clients. I did not. The more clear I became about my client profile and my services, the faster the referrals came.

Thanks to: Kathleen Johnston of Kathleen Johnston

4. What Will They Think?

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I started an alternative newspaper,printing articles that touched my heart, inspired me or gave me new information on how to live a more fruitful life. “They” read the paper and found value in it. In fearing what others might think, I almost missed out on doing one of the most rewarding things in my life.

Thanks to: Joann Turner of The Messenger

5.Stepping Out From Top Corporate Position to Entrepreneur as a Single Parent was Scary

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Stepped out of the box and believed in myself. Looked at what talent I brought to the table. Showed up everywhere. Surrounded myself with positive people and believed in myself that I could do it.

Thanks to: Robbie Motter of Robbie Motter

6. Ask Yourself 2 Questions

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I asked myself 2 questions. 1. Did I want to be free? 2.What did I have to lose? Now I love what I do.

Thanks to: Pamela Fill of
Peacefully Uniting Girlfriends

7. Submit to Your Authentic Voice

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. #1 Allow your voice to Scream out what it desire’s, #2 Pay attention to subtle signs that will guide you in the direction of your dream, #3 Trust your inner wisdom, and #4 Name your business and get a business license

Thanks to: Carla Burrows of U-Inspired

8. Divorce, Death, New Biz

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Divorce proceedings had begun when death came at his doorstep. Went from wife of a successful managing partner of venture capital firm to a mother of two (one in rehab, the other on the break of teen years) who had to jump back into the work force. Built a successful consulting firm, film production company, and international event planning company. That was all in 8 years.

Thanks to: Anne Davis of AED Events

9. Remove The Naysayers & Get Over It

At 45, knowing that “jobs” are never guaranteed, I decided I needed to help secure my future and start my own business. I kept saying to myself “I can do this” so “just do it.” However, the one thing I did that took me to the point of getting over my fear and just doing it, was to literally remove any and all people I associated with that are negative and naysayers. It’s the basic law of attraction.

Thanks to: Bonita Guerrero-Boutin of Bonita Botanicals

10. I just did it.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. In 2004, when I was 41 years young, I decided that I must either make it happen or never discuss “wanting to own a business” ever again. And so I did. Bought a franchise, learned the ropes, got rid of the franchise, rebranded my company and never looked back. I finally quit my day job after 4 years (at GM) in 2008 and I love, love, love being an entrepreneur.

Thanks to: Nipa Shah of Jenesys Group

11. Jump!.

My biggest fear was and still is a fear of not being the success that I am convinced that I can be. Prior to launching my store, that fear stopped me from doing this for over 2 years and finally I decided to jump. It was the best decision that I have ever made even through these challenging economic times it has tested me to the limit, forced me to learn a tremendous amount of information and I am finally happy to wake up each day and go to my office.

Thanks to: Ellen Hart of Career Bags

12. Don’t Stop Before the Miracle.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Stay focused, keep going for the gold.
Do what you love. Love what you do. Don’t ever give up. Remember to breathe!

Thanks to: Rosanne D’Ausilio, PhD of Human Technologies Global Inc.

13. Army to Artist

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I did a major about-face at 42 and launched a successful art career. My fear-I didn’t know if I was talented enough. My motto-“Failure is not an option.” Now I have a great business and was featured in MORE Magazine “She got Rich doing What?” and have been on HGTV, ABC Craftcorner, NBC, FOX, and 20 top magazines.

Thanks to: Adrienne van Dooren of Faux House

14. Embrace Your Fear.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Fear can be a great motivator, if you learn how to harness the energy and make it work for you, not against you. You don’t have to go it alone. Look for people to partner with on projects. Establish strategic alliances with others for mutual benefit. Delegate. Recruit college kids or even high school kids to work as interns.

Thanks to: BJ Gallagher of What Women Need 2 Know

15. One Step At a Time.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fear about becoming an entrepreneur at age 47 was how I was going to START the business. I had a great idea – fun feminine baseball caps for women, but was so fearful of getting it off the ground. So, I took it one step at a time. It was much easier to handle starting a business if I broke it down into manageable steps. Now, I have a successful business and I still like to tackle things one step at a time!

Thanks to: Carrie Bell of Mad Capz

16. The Illusion of Security

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Why it’s better outside the fence:
The illusion of security kept me tied to corporate jobs, like an animal on a game preserve. Once I got out of the corporate environment, I realized I could control my own destiny and create my own security.

Thanks to: Gail Z Martin of Gail Martin Marketing

17. Fear vs. Guts.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Starting a business after 40 is scary – I know because I did just that. Walking away from a great corporate corner office and all the perks – friends and family thought I had hit a mid-life crisis and proceeded to tell me so.

I didn’t listen to them – I listened to me. I was so frightened of becoming something I didn’t want to be a part of that I decided it was time to create my own future – I accepted the fear of the unknown and stepped into unfamiliar territory – that of being fearful and taking action anyway. I listened to my gut – rather than my fear.

Thanks to: Susan Bock of Susan Bock Solutions

18. Surround Yourself With Talent and Your Business Will Suceed.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fear was not knowing if I had the right skillset to succeed as an entrepreneur. My solution was to enlist the aid of independent consultants (mostly other moms) who specialized in areas where I felt I needed additional help in. is now on track to do $500,000 in sales in its third year.

Thanks to: Frangoise Shirley of Edible Gifts Plus

19. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Our fears, which can paralyze us from taking action, are often unfounded. It took me several years before I actually took the plunge to start my online business. What was I waiting for? Best tip: Start now, start small and build!

Thanks to: Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD of Kidlutions(tm): Solutions for Kids

20. Don’t Hesitate; You Have to Keep Moving.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. One of the many things I learned serving in the XVIII Airborne Corp at Ft Bragg is that you need to keep moving; hesitation can be a life or death situation. Years later, when I designed and trademarked the Yum Yum Dish, I momentarily got caught up in ‘over-analyzing’ my marketing plan. Finally the ‘soldier’ in me kicked in and I realized that I was letting fear hold me back, I was doubting my plans. Women want a good plan in place and they want to make sure they’ve covered all the bases… but there comes a point where you just have to jump. You can always modify the plan while it’s ‘in action’.

Thanks to: Tracy Adler, MBA, CSP of Yum Yum Dishes

21. Overcome the Fear of Selling

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I overcame the fear of selling, which is like riding a roller coaster by taking a deep breath, and then just being myself. Because I believe in my product and that it really has the potential to help save thousands of lives.

Thanks to: Karen Klayman of Student at the Wheel

22. Fear of Financial Insecurity

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. When I found myself laid off at age 50, I worried that I’d have to choose between work I loved and financial security for my family. Last year, after over a decade working in someone else’s family business, I found myself unemployed for the first time in my life when that business closed. Fears about being unable to help my kids with their college costs made me hesitate to go into business for myself, but the realization that a salaried job is really no more secure than self-employment changed my mind. I saw that a woman with her own business actually has more control than one depending on someone else for a job.

Thanks to: Rebecca Haden of Rebecca Haden Quality Copywriting and SEO

23. Get a Partner

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fear in going out on my own in business was, of course, that I/we would fail. Having a business partner with experience has been great. When I get freaked out he is calm and sometimes vice-versa. And when one of us is overwhelmed, the other can pick up the slack.

Thanks to:Joanne Parrent of Parrent Smith Investigations and Research

24. Stay Connected

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. One of the biggest fears I had was losing the social connections that you develop in the corporate world. I am using Facebook to stay connected with friends, reconnect with old friends AND promote my consulting business.

Thanks to:Sheila Burkett of Tuxedo Park Management

25. Follow Your Dream

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I left a high paying stable job and started my own business at 46 years old. I felt I needed to follow my dream before it was too late.
At that age I felt a strong sense of confidence in my abilities and was willing to take the risk. My business is thriving in spite of this difficult economy.

Thanks to:Sandy Smith-Tankin of Design Interaction

26. Follow Your Dream

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I left a high paying stable job and started my own business at 46 years old. I felt I needed to follow my dream before it was too late.
At that age I felt a strong sense of confidence in my abilities and was willing to take the risk. My business is thriving in spite of this difficult economy.

Thanks to:Sandy Smith-Tankin of Design Interaction

27. You’ll Never Have all the Answers, But if You Have the Passion, You Have to Jump!

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fears were Do I have enough contacts? Where will my clients come from? Will I make any money? What if I lose money?

There will never be a definitive answer to any of those questions, so you have to want to have your own business more than anything, and then you’ll have the drive and determination to do whatever it takes to survive and thrive.

Thanks to:Robin Siegerman of Sieguzi Interior Designs Inc.

28. Look Fear in the Eyes!

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. When the fearball rises and tells you ‘You Can’t Do This’, just take one action to move your business further ahead. Have a timeline showing all key milestones and celebrate each one as it’s accomplished.

Thanks to:Carol Margolis of Smart Women Travelers

29. OMG I am in yet another home Business at 54 years old

I am a retired hairdresser with aches and pains from all the standing for so many years yet my family needed money plain and simple. I signed up to sell a product that not only cured my need for money it was based on what is happening to me and many people when you just are not 20 anymore. It has been easy to do… all you do is talk about how much better you feel. This had taken away all my fears I am selling something I believe in that works.This has cured my need for money too. I never thought it possible at 54 to start a business, make money and find so many new friends.

Thanks to:Teresa Figley of Teresa Figley

30. Set a Time Frame

How did I overcome my biggest fear about becoming an entrepreneur? In 1993, at 40, my company went Chapter 11 and my position was eliminated. I took my severance and gave myself a 6 month time frame. In this time I needed to launch my a line of accessories and generate enough revenue so that I could take a salary. Within 2 weeks, I was on a plane to the Far East. Within 8 weeks, I had my samples in showroom in NY and by 12 weeks, I had my first order from a major retailer. I then got bank financing so that within 6 months I was drawing a salary and growing a business.

Thanks to:Corinne McCormack of Corinne McCormack

Get Your Article Written Today To Build Your List of Raving Fans


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Writing articles is one of the top 5 marketing tools I used when I first started my business 10 years ago and it’s one I continue to use today.  Why do I love it so much?  It’s free, I can leverage the information and use it in several places, it allows me to give something of value to my readers and I build relationships. 

When I say “article” many of my clients freak out.  Here’s what I mean – 500-800 words (that’s a page to a page and a half) on a topic related to your products or services like 10bestie do.  Once you do a few, you can crank one out in an hour or less.  Here’s four tips to help you become a successful article marketer.

Tip #1:  How to get started.  The most difficult thing for most newbies to article writing is sitting their butt in the chair and writing.  The dreaded blank page in front of them.  The fear that they aren’t smart enough.  Any of these limiting ideas floating around in your head?  Want to know my best tip on how to get past them?  Set a deadline and tell someone else about it.  I know that Pat is waiting to receive this ezine every Monday-she then gets it out to each of you every Wednesday. I’m not going to let her (or you) down!

Tip #2:  Don’t worry about how great your writing skills are.   My training in academic writing was an obstacle to overcome when it came to article writing –not a benefit!  I had to toss out the dry, impersonal style that had been drilled into me through writing many academic papers.  The tip is to write the way you speak –like you’re having a conversation with your reader.   

Tip #3: How to structure your articles to make writing simple.  Remember, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to an hour and a half tops to get your article written. It’s a good idea to let it sit for a day and then reread it –you’ll be looking at it with fresh eyes.  Here are some of my favorite types of articles:

a.  Lists.  Everyone loves lists.  Think of David Letterman’s top 10.  How about these: Top 10 Misconceptions About Cancer.  Top 10 Books that Changed the World.  Top 10 Tips for Getting a Job in a Challenging Job Market. 

My very first non-academic article was Top 10 Ways to Live Authentically. Go ahead and google it –you’ll find it all over the web!
I wrote out ten tips without thinking too hard about it.  Then I added two to three sentences to elaborate a bit on each tip.  This was the first article I submitted online.  I then offered it as a free giveaway on my website.  A few months later, I expanded each of the ten tips into about ½ page each.  I called it an e-course.  That became my free giveaway.  Each person signing up to receive this gift, received one tip in their email box each week for ten weeks.  Next, I could expand each tip into 10 -15 pages each and have a book!

You don’t have to have 10 tips – I’ve been doing a lot of 3-4 tips –I just write and see how many I end up with!

Another angle is to share top “mistakes” – Top Five Job Interview Mistakes or Top 7 Mistakes Women Business Owners Make –these get your attention because YOU don’t want to make those same mistakes.

b.  How to.  How to articles with bullet points are also well liked.  This article is an example of how to write an article.  The ideas are endless:  How to Make Your Lipstick Last Longer, How to Take the Best Pet Photos, How to Clean Your Home in 19 Minutes…go ahead…think of a title for your next how to article!

c.  Review articles.  You can review books, products, movies, anything you’re interested in that ties into your products or services.  Tell about the promise they made and whether it lived up to that promise.  You can talk about value or the experience you had.  You can compare products and make recommendations.

Tip #4:   What do I do with it now? Ok –so you’ve decided to get your butt in the chair and write your first article.  What do you do with it after you’ve written it?  Submit it to your database. I recommend using Submit it online – and are good places to start.  Think about any local newspapers or newsletters whose readers might benefit from your article and submit it to them.  Use it as a handout when you do speaking engagements (in return for the participant’s email address).  Take a piece of what you’ve written and talk about it on your blog.  Record several articles onto a cd as a free giveaway…you see, all this marketing leverage from an hour of your time.

I’d love for you to drop a line and tell me you’ve written your first article!

Speaking to Grow Your Business Part III: Marketing Tips to Fill the Room


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There are several low/no cost ways to begin speaking.  I would begin speaking for free –I did and it was a great way to build my database quickly.  Here are my 4 favorite tips for building your reputation and becoming slightly famous with speaking.

Tip #1:  Offer a class related to your business at your local community college and/or adult education center.  There are two great advantages to this tip. One is that teaching a class can feel less scary than being a “presenter.”  Chances are that you are passionate about the services or products you offer.  When that’s true, it’s easy to create a class/workshop to share what you know with others.  For an hour to an hour and a half class, decide on 3 main points you want the audience to know about.  Think of some stories or examples related to each of the 3 points and write those down.  Finally, create some kind of interaction that can be done around each point (for example, share their experience with the person next to them for 5-10 minutes, or ask for examples from the audience that are shared with everyone, or have them do a written exercise). 

A 2nd advantage of this tip is that these organizations print the catalog and have large lists of folks who receive them.  Check out other presenter’s listings, particularly those who have several classes listed, or who are regularly brought back to teach.  Follow the format they use to describe your class.  It’s typically about 3 sentences followed by 3 learning objectives (what you will get when you take this class) and a short 2-3 line bio.  You’ll need to remember that these folks need to hear from you early.  If you want to present in the fall, you need to contact them in the spring.  They have a several month lead time in order to publish their catalogs.

Tip #2:  Contact local networking and service groups to let them know you are available for speaking.  Get online and research the groups in your area.  Create a list of 2-3 topics with learning objectives, along with your bio, and send it to all the groups you can find within the distance you’re willing to drive to speak.  

For example, this fall I will be speaking at a chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), at a Volunteer Center and at a Rotary Club meeting.  I don’t charge for any of these, but I do ALWAYS collect the contact information, including email as well as postal addresses, of almost everyone in the room.  You can do this by offering to email them a special report you’ve written in exchange for their information or you can hold a drawing for a book or one of the products you sell to those who give you their contact information.  Don’t forget to get testimonials!  Again, spring is a good time to contact these folks.  Their program officers are usually setting up a calendar of speakers for the following September through August.

Tip #3: Offer to give a seminar at your spiritual home or local library.  These organizations have plenty of experience in promoting activities to their members.  In the case of spiritual communities, it is common to share the workshop proceeds if there is a fee; however, you can also sell your books/products “back of the room” and make as much, if not more, from these sales as from the workshop fees.

Tip #4:  Get some free publicity.  Most newspapers and radio stations have a “calendar” or “weekly section” that will list your workshop at no charge.  Craigslist is another great place to post your workshop at no cost ( Appearing on radio talk shows to discuss your program builds great interest in your topic. Start to develop a network of contacts within your business and media communities.  Write and submit press releases about your workshops (that’s the topic for another article!).

Speaking to Grow Your Business Part II: Create a Presentation That Sells


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Speaking is one of the top ways to get new clients/customers.  People get to know you and you instantly start building a trusted relationship.  Now that’s the way to grow a business quickly!  I made the following 3 mistakes when I first started putting together presentations.  I don’t want you to do the same, so here we go!

Mistake #1:  Didn’t Have a Presentation Template:  Duh. Each time I put together a talk, I started from scratch staring at a blank page in Word.  Now I have a system I use every time.  While I don’t use Microsoft Powerpoint to give the presentation, I do use it to create my presentations.  I can print out the “slides” to use as my notes. I like this system because it allows me to keep just one point per page and is large print for my over 40 eyes.

     1.  Create Your Title.  Be sure it’s clear and enticing.  Tell yourself in one sentence, what you want the audience to leave with at the end of the presentation –this is for your eyes only. It helps you have a clear intention for the presentation which will keep you focused on the end goal.

     2.  Get their attention right away.  Have an opening that is powerful and tells them what they will leave with.  I’ll use my upcoming teleseminar on “How to Create an Information Product That Sells” as an example.  I’ll open with this “By the end of our time together today, you will be able to create your first information product in a week or less.”

     3.  roadmap1Give them a roadmap of where you will take them.  For example, “in the next hour, I will give you 3 powerful strategies that will tell you exactly how to complete your information product in a week or less.”  The 3 strategies are: #1 choosing your topic, #2 choosing the format of your product and #3 resources to use to get it done.   

     4.  Be real.  I am authentic when I present.  Yes, I position myself as an expert, but I’m an expert who learned from experience and I am there to help them shortcut many of the mistakes I made.  While I rarely have jokes prepared, I do naturally weave in humor and warmth into my presentations.  Be yourself.  This will build relationship with ideal clients who want to work with YOU.

     5.  Have a strong close.  Don’t say “In summary.”  People tend to shut you off when you do.  At the end of my talks, I give the audience a “call to action.”  I ask a few participants to tell us what they plan to do as a result of the talk they just heard.  And then I close with a final, powerful point.

Mistake #2:  Didn’t Use Stories:  I thought I had to give a presentation chock full of facts to show folks I knew what I was talking about.  Boring!  The next time you are in the audience, count how many stories the presenter tells.  If she is good, when she feels the audience’s attention wander, she’ll pull out a story.  A story captivates us.  I now know the power of weaving in success stories of clients I’ve worked with.  This not only gets the attention of the audience, it also reinforces that when they work with me, they too can have similar successes. 

If you are just starting out and don’t have many of your client’s stories to tell, you can share stories from your own experiences and the stories of others.  The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series is one place to collect stories.  Keep your eye out when reading magazines and newspaper articles in your topic area and collect stories to use in future talks. 

Mistake #3  Didn’t Collect Testimonials:  Testimonials are another great marketing tool that don’t cost a dime!  Have you ever purchased a service or product after you read some great testimonials?  You can place a testimonial form in each person’s handout packet or on their seat.  At the beginning of your presentation you can say that “if you feel you’ve benefited by this presentation, I’d appreciate it if you’d jot down a few specific things you received and what you will now do as a result of being here today.” 

Or, if people come up to you during a break, or after your presentation, and say glowing things to you, jot down what they’ve said and ask if you can use their statements as a testimonial.  Get correct spelling of their name and ask permission to use their city/state.  Ask if they’d like free publicity by adding their website to the testimonial or their email address if they don’t have a website.  Getting their photos is a powerful tool to add to the testimonials.  And now, for those of you with websites, video testimonials are the newest thing.  You can purchase an inexpensive video camera like the Flip Video Camcorder to do this.

The third and last part of this article will be out next week and will focus on how to market your presentations without spending a fortune.

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