The Foolishness of Fear

For some people, the telephone is the scariest thing in the haunted house.

In sales, we often encounter irrational fear. We may not want to pick up the phone to make calls because we are afraid of what they might say. Our fear may prevent us from coming right out and asking for an appointment. We might be afraid to drop into a business to make a first contact. On an appointment, our fear might prevent us from asking for the sale.

When you work in sales, and if you are an entrepreneur you work in sales, you have to do a lot of scary things. You have a scary job.

But do you really?

Have you ever seen one of those signs that says “Confined space. Permit required.” That’s because the space inside is claustrophobically small. It might just wide enough for a person to enter. Somebody gets that permit and goes into that space. That’s a scary job.

Image result for confined space sign
The people who hold those permits are probably unimpressed by how scary it is for you to make a phone call.

Firefighters have to run into burning buildings. As I write this, there are a series of deadly wildfires raging in California. There are firefighters who have to go out into the burning forests and get right up next to fires the size of towns, in which a sudden shift of the wind could engulf them in flames. That’s a scary job.

Police officers I have spoken to have told me that the scariest kind of call is not an armed standoff, not a gang issue, not a bank robbery, but a domestic situation. With an ordinary criminal, they are making rational judgements. They can be negotiated with. In a domestic situation, emotions are high and reason is out the window. Alcohol or drugs might be involved. There could be children in danger. The perpetrator may feel that they’re at the end of the road with nothing to lose. A police officer is expected to assess the situation, find the perfect answer, and do it all on the fly. That is a scary job.

Soldiers may find themselves going into a place where an enemy is actively trying to kill them with guns, missiles, or even bombs disguised as anything from piles of trash to baby carriages. That is a scary job.

This man would be unimpressed by your challenges walking into an office and asking for the owner.

Where were we before I went on this little soliloquy? Right, we were talking about how scary it can be to pick up a phone, to walk into a business, or to ask a fellow professional business owner to make a deal. Still think your job is scary?

Yet, it’s in our head. Foolish and absurd as it is, some of us are afraid to pick up a phone to set an appointment. How do we overcome that? Perspective and action. Perspective to realize that we’re not running into burning buildings or facing IEDs. Action to just get started. Pick up the phone and start dialing. Set your feet moving towards the door. Push the words out of your mouth to ask one more time for the sale.

If you are selling a quality product that is good for the consumer, you owe it to them to overcome your fear and help them make the right decision. Don’t let your irrational fear cause them to miss out on something good.


Sometimes all it takes to overcome your fears can be a little support and help in getting your head right. If you need that in your business, my Common Sense Coaching program may be right for you.

Michael Whitehouse is a connector in Southeast Connecticut. He is a publisher and market manager for Best Version Media.

Personal Anchors

A rock can be a powerful anchor.
In business and life, we can face many storms and waves that threaten to wash us away. Photo Credit

Our modern society is built on personal choice and freedom. The conventions and strictures that restricted and guided previous generations have fallen away. Social rules on everything from attire to dating to entrepreneurship have dissolved, leaving us with unprecedented opportunity, but also leaving us without guardrails and direction.

It can be exhausting to have to blaze every trail. This is why it is important to have an anchor.

Continue reading “Personal Anchors”