Fear of Failure: For a Marketer, It’s the Kiss of Death

Susan B. Anthony was once quoted as saying, “Failure is impossible.” And you know what? I believe she was right because regardless of the outcome of whatever action you take, you always gain something from taking action in anything you do.

On the other hand, fear of failure typically shows up as procrastination or inactivity, which is the opposite of what fosters great marketing, which requires appropriately targeted, consistent, and persistent action for most of us.

"Failure is impossible"

Susan B. Anthony

Now maybe you tried some marketing. But, even worse, maybe you spent some of your hard to come by, hard-earned money and didn’t quite achieve what you ultimately set out for.

As a marketer, and yes, we are all marketers, whether you realize it or not. If I were afraid to fail, I’d probably never try anything – unless it was a sure thing, and I don’t believe anything in life is a ‘sure thing.’

But anyway, if I never tried anything, I believe it would be safe to say that my target audience would not know who I was or what I do. Then, as a result, I’d most likely go out of business due to a lack of sustainable income.

Now I’ve read the studies that state the lack of capital as the main reason most small businesses fail. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that although I can’t prove it, I believe one of the biggest reasons businesses fail or underachieve is a lack of effective marketing.

The key here is not to be attached to an outcome. So what if customers weren’t banging down your door because of your last marketing campaign. What’s most important here is what you do going forward.

The past is the past, and you can’t change that. You can, however, shape your future by what you do right now in the present. So stay in the game, Learn from your previous marketing efforts, and move forward.

Now marketing is all about timing and consistency, and since timing is almost impossible to predict, consistency is key.

You cannot know when every prospect will be ready to buy – that’s just impossible. It’s almost like trying to time the stock market. “Should I invest now? No. Should I invest now? No. How about now? Yes, it looks good. So I’ll invest now.”

Waiting for what seems to be the perfect time to invest is, for the most part, just like gambling. Hopefully, you’re at least taking educated guesses there, but that’s beside the point. Also, note that even the best investors regularly have lousy timing; however, their consistency and willingness to keep playing bring them success eventually.

So yes, I’m drawing a parallel for you here. And my point is to get on the playing field. Get your marketing message out there consistently.

Don’t sit back and wait for the perfect time to market your business – NOW is the perfect time! It’s always the perfect time to market your business because there is simply no way you can know when the perfect time is for everybody.

However, by consistently getting your message out there to your target audience, you stand a much better chance of being top-of-mind when a certain prospect is ready to buy.

For example, if I sent out the same marketing piece every month, maybe for the first four months, a particular prospect wasn’t interested. But then that 5th month rolls around, and that prospect’s situation has changed a bit for whatever reason unknown to me. They now need what I offer, and ‘whalla’ there I am positioned right in front of them.

Another key point to consider is that each ‘no’ brings you one step closer to a ‘yes.’ So being told ‘no’ should not be looked at as a failure but as a stepping stone bringing you closer to what you want.

So let me close by combining wisdom from 3 sources for you, former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nike, and Lotto, and it goes something like this: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” so “Just Do It” because “You’ve got to be in it to win it”!

1 thought on “Fear of Failure: For a Marketer, It’s the Kiss of Death”

  1. Avatar of Jean Summit-Riker
    Jean Summit-Riker

    Dean, I could not agree more. As a Life Coach, I frequently deal with clients’ fears. I teach them that fear is an acronym, F=False, E=Evidence, A=Appearing, R=Real. Fear is just false evidence appearing real.

    The more we focus on our fear the more it fills us with indecision and keeps us from moving forward. Fear is just our subconscious, or as Wayne Dwyer describes it, “Our habitual mind” wanting to keep us safe in our comfort zone. The problem with remaining in our comfort zone is we will never be or do anything more then who and what we are at that moment.

    I teach my clients to let go of the outcome, feel the fear, and do it anyway. The end result is not as important as the sense of accomplishment and pride you will feel at having conquered your fear.

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