Every entrepreneur, in my experience, has something related to being in business that they would rather avoid. It could be accounting, managing their website, or pricing products and services. For me, cleaning the bathroom fixtures once sounded like more fun than calling potential clients.

I took a sales course because I like practical methodologies to become comfortable with something new. Then I had one of those aha moments when having a conversation about sales with a staff member of Enterprise Saint John. (Entrepreneurs in Greater Saint John are very fortunate to have this organization as a resource.)

As we were talking, I recognized that I was afraid of what people’s reactions would be when I called. Would they slam down the phone or be really rude or not like me?

But I had no proof.

Of all the calls to request meetings that I have made, everyone had been exceedingly polite whether they wanted to meet with me or not. That leads to the next two questions… If someone did freak out at me, could I handle it? Is that a reflection of who they are or who I am?

I could handle it. I had proof.

Two strangers once had pushed their way into my classroom because they wanted to beat up one of my adult learners, and another time a student told me to F-off when I asked him to return to his seat. I managed those situations so a rude remark or two if it ever happens on a sales call is no big deal.

All I had when it came to making those calls was unreasonable fear. Now I  do my research, get a picture in my head of how I want the call to go, and I make the calls. Still it’s not my favourite thing to do. But at least I’d rather make these calls to potential clients than scrub the tub. That’s progress.

What are you avoiding? Is there any reason to be afraid? Is there any proof?


  1. Daniel Mark Wheaton on January 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Good point here, Catherine. I think a lot of people who aren’t in business for themselves would be surprised at how many entrepreneurs are afraid of (or simply hate) making sales calls. But you’re right, if a person has the gumption necessary to start a business, they can probably deal with the occasional rude rejection. There’s a good lesson in this post and one that I should take to heart. Thanks for sharing.

    • Catherine on January 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks, Daniel! Happy Friday 🙂

  2. Jenny on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Oh yes, Catherine, I can definitely relate to the fear of selling, and not just fear but also values as I hate being sold too, so in my mind why would I want to ‘inflict’ this on others! I think though, that the solution for each of us is personal rather than procedural. Very common especially amongst those in the caring/healing professions.
    Thanks for the blog

  3. Beatrice Johnston on January 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    How very on point Catherine! If I could narrow down what my ultimate fears in business are it would be letting my clients down… but here’s the kicker, that never happens. Only twice in my business history have I ever had to give a refund, and that was because I was soooo busy I fell behind. Next to that I kinda loathe the phone, so I totally get you on having calls to make… let’s Just Do It!

  4. Cheryl Thomas on January 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    It’s funny how irrational fears keep us from getting what we want. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was to not wait for the fear to go away. I learned to just simply DO the things I feared. It took the sting out of it and proved how silly the fear was in the first place.

  5. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. on January 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Another way of removing one’s fears (which are false evidence appearing real).

  6. Retha Groenewald on January 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Cold canvassing was never one of my things do to. Great post.

  7. mary Corbett on January 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    A great post –

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