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3 Small Proven Tactics To Overcome Big Startup Fears

3 Small Proven Tactics To Overcome Big Startup Fears
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Starting a business is one of the most liberating, life-changing things you can do.

You’ve made your decision. You want to start working for yourself and you’re ready for the income caps to be off your finances. There’s just one problem — that gap between seeing your vision and getting to it almost feels impossible.

Where do you start?

Should you start?

Can you really do it?

Before you know it, that excitement you once held for your project is now just a distant thought. Tonight’s dinner has now taken priority. But why does this keep happening? You get to a certain thought or particular part of the process and then stop until next time.

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Without you realizing it, your fearful thoughts are causing you to react and retract away from your true desires. These fears have become the cage from which you’re unable to escape. So how can you side-sweep these fears and really move towards the dream you want?

Here are three small tactics to help you overcome your big startup fears.

Accept That You Are Not A Psychic

When I finally hacked the lock off my cage of fear and started living according to my desires is when I finally understood what fear really is. Fear is the worry of something that doesn’t even exist. You are worried about something that hasn’t happened. Why are you torturing yourself over events, situations, or circumstance that haven’t even occurred?

That’s crazy, right?

Let it go. Your fears are there to protect you and keep you safe. But when they are controlling you instead of you controlling them, it’s a recipe for disaster. This prevents you from achieving what you want in life.

If you are making sensible and rational decisions, then you have no reason to be fearful of the things that don’t exist (and may never exist). To think about your startup fears is to attract them to you, so accept that bad events may happen in your business, it’s called “learning.”

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Reset Your Program

Your mind currently runs on its own program. At the moment, whatever situation you are in in your life means that your mindset has attracted you to that situation.

Your startup fears are part of a mindset program that you have set for yourself, and it plays back to you constantly. When you become conscious of the program you’ve unconsciously set for yourself, you can then reprogram it.

Right now, your mindset is either focussed on successful or unsuccessful thoughts. Each program is set based on things like your experiences in your childhood, environment, personal life and relationships, etc.

Begin reprogramming yourself by becoming aware of your thought patterns so that you can sense and feel your own negative presence. When you are experiencing negative thoughts, your body language will change — your face changes and your aura changes.

To beware aware of these changes in yourself means that you can consciously alter them. Commit to not allowing negative thoughts, words, or actions to enter your experience. Commit to seeing yourself and others in a good light. Luckily, we are all born differently, with various traits and personalities. Our perspectives are different, our skills vary, and our opinions can change. Appreciate this and only respond to it from a positive aspect. Like a mirror with a positive reflection, it will reflect positivity back to you.

Next, contact your subconscious mind by sitting down in a quiet place where you won’t be bothered. Using a pen and paper, write down all of your worries, anxieties, or anything important that is on your to-do list right now. Dedicate this time for you and your subconscious mind. Listen and feel what it has to say.

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Why is it not working with you towards your goals? What are its fears? Why is it really pushing against you? What is it protecting you from?

Start off your list with broad reasons, then start digging deeper to get specific answers. For example, your subconscious “broad” fears might include the fear of success. To get specific answers, think about what it is that you fear about success:

  • Is it growing apart from your partner?
  • Is it letting people down?
  • Is it having more people rely on you?
  • Is it the thought of extra responsibility?
  • Is it the fear of being tied down to your desk?
  • Is it the thought of having more work?

Allow your subconscious to have its say. After all, it’s just trying to prevent harm and disappointment. Hear without judgement or anger, only genuine curiosity.

If you can tap into the specific reasons why your fears exist, this is the priceless information you need to turn things around and change the program. Once you’ve reached the core of your worries and fears, it’s time to release them. Speak to your subconscious in a way that is comfortable to you. This could mean speaking out loud, writing a letting, or just thinking the words. Work it out so you can work together and not against each other.

Make a promise to yourself to honour what is truly important to you and what you truly want in your life.

You are taking control and reprogramming not just the subconscious mind, but your whole life too.

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Planning Makes Perfect

When you have a plan, you increase the potential of the outcome that you actually want.

If your startup is a one-person show, when you look at everything that needs to be done from the starting point to the end point, the journey can make you feel overwhelmed. All the hurdles, potential downfalls, and new knowledge can make you fear starting a business. But when you have every step planned out in front of you, the journey doesn’t seem so scary.

By planning, the huge leap becomes small steps, and if you can continuously plan the next small step, then before you know it you’re slowly growing your business.

The key to startup planning is being productive and not just busy. The way to do this is to create a huge to-do list. Write down everything that needs to be done in your business. Leave nothing out and write freely, from the biggest to the smallest tasks. Then, section off each task into groups. The first group is for the tasks that contribute to your startup growth only. The other groups are based on the tasks that need to be completed but are not urgent.

What’s most important is that you know what tasks need to be done in order to grow your business. This includes things like product creation, submitting guest posts, or testing your service out before it goes on sale.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is a scary time to start a business. If you are fearful, your options are to stay caged by fear or to accept, embrace it, and keep pushing forward.

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Like I said before, fear is the worry of events and situations that haven’t even happened yet. You can keep yourself locked up or break free and make the visions in your head a reality.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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