A great way to keep from getting stuck…


I was digging through some stuff the other day and I ran across this quote and it’s been running through my mind ever since:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I don’t know the context Mrs. Roosevelt was using when she said this, but I’d like to think she was talking to all of the entrepreneurs out there who want to make things happen.  The beauty of this quote is that it actually addresses two of the biggest risks that any business owner faces – fear and complacency.


If you want to be a successful business owner, you don’t have to be fearless, but it certainly helps.  Think about when you first started your business…if you’re like most entrepreneurs you had some fears facing you.

“What if no one buys my stuff?”  “How will I ever find someone to help me (that I can afford)?” “I don’t know what I’m doing…”

“I’m not a salesman.”  “I don’t know how to market myself.”   “What if I mess up somehow?”

Starting and successfully running a business isn’t something that most people have previous experience with, so it’s naturally scary.  But you’ve got to overcome those fears if you want to make it long term – and the best way to do that is to learn as much as you can, surround yourself with smart and positive people and face your fears – at least one of them every single day!

What scares you in your business?  Selling?  Speaking in public?  Meeting new people?  Hiring someone?  Firing someone?  Understanding money and cash flow?  Whatever it is, now is the time to start facing those fears!  (And if you need some help with that, give us a call!)


The other big risk facing business owners is the opposite of Fear.  Once you’re past the first year or two and  you’ve figured out the basics, then you’re likely no longer afraid of the basics…and at some point you’re likely going to feel like you’ve got everything figured out.

That point where you think you know everything, or at least everything that’s important to your business, is when you’re on the downward slope.  50 years ago, maybe even 20 years ago it was possible to coast for a long time and still have a successful business.  That’s no longer true – in today’s economy and with the constant technology changes going on – complacency can sink your business faster than you can imagine.

You have got to keep learning.  You have got to keep trying new things.  You have got to get out of your comfort zone.

When’s the last time you stretched and did something at work that made you uncomfortable?  That made you scared?  Maybe it’s time to try something new?

How does this quote apply to you?  What’s something you’ve done recently that scared you (or used to scare you)?  I’d love to hear your thoughts – share them in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

Photo by tranchis