If there’s one thing 2016 will be remembered by, it’s an overwhelming fear of uncertainty and doom. In the last year alone, the world has been paralyzed by Brexit, devastated by the Syrian refugee crisis, and dismayed by the recent U.S. presidential election cycle.
In the wake of uncertainty, business owners might find themselves frozen or unwilling to take a risk. In a column for Psychology Today, author Christine Louise Hohlbaum writes that paralysis – whether it’s in your personal life or your business life – can be a common response to stress and fear.
“We see molehills and think they are mountains,” Hohlbaum writes. “We know we have done something similar before this moment, and yet we cannot help but feel we are trudging up yet another mountain. And somehow we think that this time we won’t be able to master it.”
But, says Hohlbaum, fear and uncertainty can also be a gift. “A little bit of fear mixed in with the passion that pushes us through it to the other side is what keeps us moving forward. And makes us so excellent,” Hohlbaum says. In other words, some great opportunities – including business opportunities – come when people push past their fears and pursue their dreams – even if it’s terrifying.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the business world. For example, one informal poll from Inc.com showed that the most remarkable employees were someone that the employee hired despite not having the right qualifications. (Employers often had a “hunch” about that person that ended up being correct.) In 2009, entrepreneurs Leigh Ann and Andrew Green liquidated their children’s college fund and took out a second mortgage to fund their dream business. Despite the risk, their move paid off big: The company, Twelve South, amassed more than $1 million in profit in its first year running.
In other words: Big risks pay off.
In 2017, we should all be mindful that success – in business or otherwise – only happens when we push past the fear and focus on the positives. And 2017 is loaded with positives, if we just know where to look. For instance, The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates, and according to many economists, the stock market is expected to stay stable. Everywhere, opportunities arise – and those who are serious about growing their business would be smart to seize them.