As a small business owner, are you fulfilling the goals you set out when you first started? Or, are you instead finding yourself becoming complacent, unable to move forward, and settling into what seems like a never ending rut? Have you stopped taking risks and seeking creative and innovative new ways to grow your business because you fear failure?

Let me ask you this: To quote Robert H. Schuller, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

Seriously, think about it for a moment. If you knew without a doubt you could not fail, what risks would you take? What decisions would you make? How would you do things differently?

There’s an old saying that says, “You have to go out on a limb in order to get to the fruit.” Does this hit home with you? When you remove fear from the equation, your options are limitless. Failure itself is the learning tool to help you achieve more, become better, fix what went wrong and try a different way.

Without that, we wouldn’t have the innovations and technologies we now have today or the many conveniences we all enjoy. So what are some of your fears of failure?

  • Not pleasing your customers?
  • Providing a less-than-worthy product?
  • Not reaching your target audience?
  • Your business going under?

Look at those questions and then ask yourself how you can overcome those fears of failure by stepping outside your comfort zone.

If your fear is that you’re not pleasing your customers ask yourself why? Customers and prospects are intuitive creatures. They pick up on your vibes and the minute they sniff out dishonesty, negativity, complacency or false  modesty, they quickly run the other way to your competition. Fix this by exuding confidence in yourself and your abilities, seeking out what your customers want and need from you, and you’ll see your fear melting away.

Or, maybe your fear is that you’re not reaching your target audience and therefore missing out on amazing sales and long-term customer relationships which will maintain your business and bring you referrals. Do your research and find out where your target audience is hanging out and then meet them there. Is it by writing a weekly blog about your products and services? Sharing how-to videos on YouTube? Engaging with them on Facebook or Twitter?

Whatever your fear is, it’s what’s holding you back from success. So ask yourself what you would do if you could not fail – and then do it!