The Faith Versus Fear Mindset

A small business startup expert reveals the lessons learned, and how they apply to small business owners, when she went skydiving and had to rely on faith instead of opting for fear.

Several years ago, I went skydiving. Obviously falling out of a plane 10,000+ feet above ground isn't the safest thing you can do. To limit their liability and make sure everyone understood the waiver we were required to sign, skydiving companies have participants sit through an hour long presentation that details the things that can go wrong with your parachute and possible (but not probable) ways to fix those while plummeting to the ground at warp speed.

A few people decided to opt out of the jump after the presentation. They allowed fear to drive their decision. I was scared, but decided to jump having faith that my parachute was packed correctly and I would make it to the ground safely.

The experience was exhilarating and those who stayed on the ground wanted to know how it was. I found it difficult to describe the rollercoaster of emotion that wound through me on the plane ride up, while standing at the end of the plane with my toes over the edge, the jumping, the free falling, the yank back up when the air caught the parachute and then the peaceful and relaxed floating.

But even harder to describe was the leap I made inside myself about being able to do anything. By making a faith-based decision, I allowed myself to grow from experience.

Those who made the fear-based decision felt nothing but fear.

Being a new business owner is a lot like skydiving in the sense that you are taking calculated risks daily that run you through a flurry of emotions before landing on the ground or getting to the outcome. Resilience is needed to weather these frequent storms.
Unfortunately, I am currently seeing a lot more fear-based decision making with some of my clients and other small business owners.

It seems that economic conditions and money worries have prompted some business owners to forget their vision, release their commitment to success and make decisions to cut resources, scale back on assistance and abandon marketing campaigns.

In their minds, they are making these decisions to help the business. In reality, these fear-based decisions will keep their businesses and them from growing. This happens when a business owner makes decisions based on fear: they isolate themselves, close themselves off to opportunities and energetically "give-up" doing what is necessary to succeed. Many of them justify firing their support staff including assistants, bookkeepers and coaches-the very resources that are supporting the business growth and making it possible for them to focus on their core brilliance.

When a small business owner removes their support systems they put themselves in a backwards position which is exactly the opposite of where you need to be to make progress.

The biggest reason small business owners sabotage themselves this way is because it's uncomfortable to operate in faith. It's scary to trust in yourself. It feels hard to have to make it happen yourself. However, if you really want to be a small business owner for the long haul, you must be able to feel the fear and act anyway. Those who aren't resilient and make faith-based decisions fade away within the first year or two of business by tucking in their head and sending out resumes to get back into corporate.

In contrast, I have witnessed several of my clients, some who also had money concerns make faith-based decisions, choosing to invest in themselves and their businesses trusting the outcome will serve them and it's not always the way they thought it would be, but in every case good resulted.

Faith is an essential characteristic for success when you own your own business. You can't always see around the corner or know how sales will go the next month or the next, but having faith will put you in a place of being willing to receive, open to opportunities and on a path of commitment to doing everything you can and must do to make your business a success.

Growth comes from having faith. Do you have it?

© 2009, Leah Grant Enterprises LLC.

About the author

New Business Mentor Leah Grant publishes Startup Success, a weekly ezine. If you're thinking about starting a new business or are in the early phases of entrepreneurship, visit In her Special Report: 15 Absolutely Important Things You Must Do Before Starting Your Business, at, she shares the things you need to do to prepare for your newest child: your business.


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