By Nick Fosberg   |   December 22, 2015

I was recently skimming through articles online and one really jumped out at me. The article explained six ways in which facing your fears can help you achieve massive success. I started thinking about how those points could apply to us in the bar and restaurant business and I wanted to share my conclusions with you.

Why? Because fear is the number one thing that holds all of us back from taking our businesses and our lives to the next level — but your fears can also be powerful tools pointing you toward greatness, once you face them and master them.

Here are the six points, with my reflections on how facing your fears can lead you onward to bigger and better things.

1. Facing a fear makes you tougher.

As you move through your career as the owner of a bar or restaurant, it’s common to feel afraid for the future. You’re responsible for a large, complex organization, and the only thing standing between it and failure is often — you. Guess what. It’s not going to get any easier. When you stop avoiding the tough stuff, you build yourself into a resilient person who others can genuinely look up to, imitate, and respect. Face those fears in your own mind. Rise to the challenge. Get tough.

2. Facing a fear makes you braver.

Feeling fear can make you feel cowardly, but it’s also an opportunity to be brave. After all, you can only be brave if you’ve got something to be afraid of. It’s great to have some days when everything about your business just runs seamlessly — but those aren’t the days that make you a better person. You develop bravery only when you confront your fears — and that bravery makes you more effective at confronting other fears in the future. Cultivate your courage. Become brave.

3. Facing a fear makes you wiser.

You’ve probably been through some tough times with your business. Maybe you struggled to attract customers, or to find the right staff, or to create the perfect promotion your customers will love. All those situations probably struck some fear into you — but as you solved each one, you learned a little more about how the world works. That’s what wisdom is: not book knowledge, but a nuts-and-bolts understanding of how to handle real-life situations. Each time you face a fear, you get wiser.

4. Facing a fear keeps you focused on reality.

How many of the things you worry about actually come true? If you’re completely honest, you’ll acknowledge that very few of the worst-case scenarios really happen. Why do you spend so much time feeling negative about things that haven’t happened? Planning is a very good thing, especially when you run a business, but there’s a difference between planning and worrying. Once you’ve got a plan in place, all that’s left is to face that moment when it happens. Stay focused on the plan. Keep your eye on the solution. Trust yourself to know what to do.

5. Facing a fear sharpens your instincts.

Each time you face a situation you’ve feared — the loss of a star employee, for example, or a financial disaster — you’ve learned a lot more than just how to handle the situation itself. You’ve picked up instincts that’ll tell you when a similar situation is about to happen, and how you can mitigate damage at all steps of the process. With a toolkit of appropriate, effective responses, you’ll be that much better equipped to handle anything your business throws at you. Wade in and handle the situation you fear. Burn those lifesaving instincts into your brain.

6. Facing a fear makes you more understanding.

A lot of the benefits I’ve talked about here are related to your own grit and strength. And while those are great qualities in a business leader, compassion is also just as crucial. Each time you push through a situation you fear, you come to a better understanding of what it’s like to feel afraid, and to do something you don’t really want to do, or don’t believe you can do. This understanding will give you more empathy for the people you work with, and help guide them gently but firmly through their own personal growth.

Fear is a part of life. Some owners want to open a new location, but fear whether it will succeed. Or maybe they fear they won’t have the time to put in to make it grow. Others fear losing their shirts, or getting involved in legal action. Whatever you fear, you’ve got to push back. Facing your fears will make you stronger, smarter, wiser, and more compassionate. In short, it’ll make you the kind of leader who people want to follow.

Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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  1. Nick,

    I am currently in the process of stepping into my own success. One main point that is being driven home is to have a mentor that can provide stepping stones in areas where you lack but want to grow.

    I’d like to not ask for anything from you, but instead reach out and simply grasp you’re own sense of greatness and accomplishment in your own career. The smallest crumble still feeds you.

    -Everest Voelker

    1. There’s been a lot of ups and a lot of downs. What I like most is working with clients who actually WANT to succeed and are willing to follow the path and strategies given to them. The ones that take action get results. The one’s who have excuses of “not enough time” aren’t HUNGRY enough for success. The hunger is the driving force.

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