There will always be “what ifs.”

When I talk with entrepreneurs who are starting out, they have a lot of “what ifs” that weigh them down and stop them from moving forward.

What if I don’t know what to do?

What if I make a mistake?

What if they don’t like it?

What if it doesn’t work?

What if I run out of runway?

Imagine if you were to “what if” yourself UP, instead of “what iffing” yourself down. 

What if you replace your fears and doubts with faith?

What if you trust that you’ll succeed instead of fail?

What if you look for reasons to say yes, rather than look for reasons to say no? 

What if you do what it takes to realize your dreams, rather than stay stuck in inaction and indecision?

What if?

Dare to “what if” yourself UP vs. down. 

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Mistakes are inevitable.

A common refrain among many of the entrepreneurs is, “I can’t afford to make a mistake.”

I wholeheartedly disagree!

The reality is that you can’t NOT afford to make mistakes.

Sure, it sounds logical when you consider that money is tight, time is at a premium and morale is waning.

What do mistakes really tell you?

Mistakes are our turn signals. They’re indicators that we need to change course. If you take action and learn from your mistakes – you’ll get to your destination more quickly.

The alternative is to allow your fear of making mistakes to paralyze you. 

What gets done when you’re not taking action?

Nothing.

Worse yet, you backslide because you feel so awful about not making forward progress.

What’s the worst that can happen if you make a mistake?

You have to answer this one for yourself. 

I can tell you that in my 10+ years as an entrepreneur, I’ve never come up with an awful enough reason to stop me from taking a leap of faith on a decision – big or small. And believe it or not, one of my worst-that-can-happen-scenarios was that I might have to sleep on a park bench if I couldn’t make it in NYC! 

Start with small things (send the email, pick up the phone, ask for an intro, submit a speaker proposal) and the bigger actions will become easier (hosting your own event, launching a bigger program, moving to Thailand).

So take a breath. Don’t belabor the decision. And take action.

Dare to do.

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Life is full of choices.

When faced with a myriad of choices, how do you make the “right” decision?

Teddy Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Sure, you’ll make some decisions along the way that don’t work out. I’ve made plenty!

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision. – Maimonides

But…what’s worse?

Making a wrong decision every so often? Risking ego? Financial risk? Relationships?

Or living in terror of f*ing up, making NO decisions and living up to a fraction of what you’re capable of accomplishing in this world?

As Paul Tillich said, “Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free.”

You won’t find me in “indecision prison”. My missteps are what have guided me to to some of my greatest accomplishments.

Give me freedom!

And I’ll accept the failures that come with that freedom.

Dare to decide.

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It’s easy to get stuck seeking perfection. 

“It’s not quite right. I just need to (fill in the blank) before I’m ready.”

Nothing significant or remarkable gets accomplished when you think like that.

What’s behind perfection might surprise you.

In a recent Oprah interview, the author of “Daring Greatly”, Brene Brown, says our quest for perfection is really our effort to minimize shame and judgement. Or as Oprah puts it, “Perfectionists are ultimately afraid that the world is gonna see them for who they really are and they won’t measure up.”

It took a lot of years of perfectionistic tendencies for me to see that they’re right!

If you keep yourself busy perfecting, you don’t have to deliver. And if you don’t deliver, nobody can judge the quality of your work. And if nobody’s judging your work, you don’t risk shame.

The problem with this scenario is that you don’t get anything done. You don’t share your brilliance with the world. And that’s a ridiculous waste of talent.

Quit perfecting. Stop hiding. Risk judgement.

Everyone else is too busy perfecting their own stuff to judge you, anyway.

Dare to deliver!

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You can’t be all things to all people. 

“But I can help everybody.”

That’s the refrain I’ve heard from countless entrepreneurs over the years.

Perhaps you can, so let’s go with that belief for a moment.

Sure. You can help the people who can’t afford you. You can help the people who create hassles for you. You can help the people who suck the joy out of your day. You can help the people who don’t take responsibility for their role in their outcome.

But are they really the people you want to serve? How long can you work with people who don’t pay you? How will I know who to refer to you if you help everyone?

When you try to be all things to all people, you blend in. You’re forgettable. You’re forgotten.

But when you put a stake in the ground and are specific about who you serve and what you do for them, THAT is memorable. THAT is what drives referrals. THAT is what gets you clients who you love serving.

Dare to take a stand!

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You do not need permission.

Even though we run our own business, there are times we act as if we’re still in third grade.

…waiting for the school bell to ring so we can run outside to the playground.

…waiting to be called on while we raise an invisible hand to prove we know the answer.

… looking to others for approval and validation that what we’re doing is okay.

You’re an adult now, so what if you simply did it?

What if you didn’t care what people think?

So what if you trip and fall?

Because what if you soar?

Give yourself permission to never ask for permission again. Ever.

Dare to do!

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The truth is…anything is possible.

You want to host a talk show?

You can.

You want to fly a helicopter?

You can.

You want to take your family on an African safari?

You can.

Yes, anything is possible.

Yet we get caught in the daily drudgery. How can we possibly do that when we’ve got a business to run? Bills to pay? Mouths to feed?

And to add insult to injury, we look at the amazing things other people are doing and don’t think we can measure up. We think they’ve got something special that we don’t.

That’s bullshit.

You want something? I’ll tell you how you do it…

You create it.

You shape your world one choice at a time. One decision at a time. One step at a time.

Small steps allow you to make leaps and bounds toward accomplishing the possibilities you imagine.

If you have a goal to achieve, problem to solve or adventure to experience, let me help you. Register now for Declare Your Dare :: 21 MicroMovements to Make Shift Happen. I’ll give you 21 days of small steps you can take to make the possibility a reality. It’s free and it starts on Monday, April 26 2013.

I know you have it in you. (Even if you don’t believe it for yourself.)

Dare to create your world and live out your possibilities!

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The truth is…there are things you don’t and won’t want to do in your business.

You don’t wanna do it. You dig in your heels. Not gonna happen.

It might be pulling together your taxes for your CPA.

Or wiggling into your Spanx to head to a networking event you don’t want to attend. (Ugh!)

Or following up with the people you met at that networking event.

But there’s often something on the other side of the things you don’t want to do…that you do want.

Which “want” is stronger? 

  • Wanting to avoid doing your taxes… or wanting your refund (or not wanting to be on the bad side of the IRS)?
  • Wanting to stay home to watch The Voice… or wanting a bunch of awesome prospects?
  • Wanting to avoid follow-up to avoid rejection… or wanting new clients?

You have choices. You have the choice to avoid what you don’t want to do and not get what you want.

Or you have the choice to do things you don’t want in order to get what you do want.

Dare to do the things you don’t want in order to get what you do want.

Share your comments on this topic below!

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The truth is…fear makes you do some irrational, desperate things that ultimately sabotage your growth.

The business isn’t running on all cylinders. People aren’t lining up to hire us. Things feel off-kilter.

Low on time, money and patience…we begin to panic. And left unchecked, that fear drives irrational decisions. I know it sure has for me. It robs you of your creativity and joy. It stirs up an air of desperation that drives your prospects away.

You deserve better! 

Tune into how your fears color your actions and decisions – from how you approach your day, your prospects, your business, your clients, your life.

Is fear in charge of you? Or are you in charge of fear?

And the next time you’re faced with a decision, ask yourself if you’re making it from a place of wonder, curiosity and creativity… or a place of fear.

Dare to grab fear by the throat!

What’s your Truth & Dare on this topic? Comment below.

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The truth is… commitment is measured by actions, not promises.

Having worked with thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs over the past 10+ years, I’ve heard a lot of “talk”.

People talk about what they’re going to do in their business – and they might even believe themselves – myself included. Yet they don’t take the actions necessary to follow through on their words so their promises mean nothing.

This behavior will kill your business. And quite possibly bury you.

It sends YOU (and The Universe – if you’re woo woo) the underlying message that you don’t keep your word. Eventually your words become hollow even to you, and you put yourself in a circular loop of “all talk and no action”.

So the next time you’re tempted to talk about what you’re “gonna do”, stop and figure out if you’re truly committed to it. Or save your breath.

Dare to stop talking about it and go do your thing.

Comment below to let us know your thoughts on this Truth & Dare.

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