When we started this publication 15 years ago, we had a single purpose with a clear focus and mission on what we wanted to accomplish. We have enjoyed overwhelming support from LP professionals, associations, vendors, academics, and C-level executives. We could not have sustained without them, and we are constantly singing their praises and giving them thanks.
Since our first edition we have strived to make each issue better than before. When you think you have a good thing, you can be reluctant to change. You know the old cliche: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s baloney! As we migrate to more and more of a digital publication, we are not shaken by fear of change, fear of failure, or fear of rejection.
The Threat of Fear
Have you ever had to face major change in your life? Did you feel the fear? It’s pretty normal. It could be a job interview, a theft interview, a new job, losing your job, marital changeall things that come with fear. I have known a few really tough people whom I could not imagine ever being fearful of any situation, but they are.
As a young adult, I played serious baseball. One day I was at bat against a pitcher who was really good, so good that he would go on to become a Hall of Famer. I knew of his reputation and was pretty nervous and fearful standing in the batter’s box. Speaking with him after the game, I found out he was full of the same fear when I stepped into the box.
Regardless of how tough or good you are, fear is natural. I suspect that if you aren’t feeling a little fear, you are probably playing it too safe. And that should be enough right there to scare you.
Too much fear, however, can sometimes set off a self-perpetuating cycle of negative thoughts. You think of all the difficulties and challenges and imagine the worst possible outcomes, such as “I will not get a raise,” “I could look stupid,” “I could lose my job,” “My shrink results will be bad,” “I will be over budget,” or “I may get outsourced.”
Take the Bite out of Fear
I would suggest that almost all the fears are exaggerated and irrational. If we can agree with that suggestion, then we can deal with fear through a strong dose of reality.
Step back and ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” The worst is that you lose everythingjob, reputation, money, family, and friends. It’s not going to happen. The worst case never happens. We are just afraid it might. Fear exaggerates the perceived risk, making it seem much greater than it actually is. Rather, as another cliche goes, the sun will always come up tomorrow.
Going back to the challenge of managing a professional magazine, how do we generate quality content that is meaningful to our readers while providing value to our advertisers? Sometimes we fail and make a decision that is unpopular or met with criticisms. We’ve done that a time or two. We get back in the saddle and look for ways to make it better. We all must face fear by understanding and accepting real and perceived fears.
I believe we all have to adhere to a core belief to guide us both professionally and personally. While I know very little French, one of my favorite sayings is “L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace.” It translates to “Audacity, audacity, always audacity.”
You can never be fearful to act promptly and decisively on reasoned, calculated decisions.