Into The Fire

I was probably 20 years old, between my Junior and Senior year as a marketing major at Shippensburg University.  My mom had a connection with an old friend who recently started an employment service, offering services of employee placement for full and part-time work to clients.  Since I was in marketing, and this person needed a salesman, the deal was set. I would be that salesman.

So, I showed up in May to pursue this sales job until my senior year began again in August. Keep in mind I had zero direct sales experience, and my marketing major offered no classes on sales. There was a class called Sales Management, but no sales. Imagine that.

As I go into the office, she directs me to the back of the room – to her office. Just inside the door, to the right is a small desk, with a chair, phone and fishbowl.  The fishbowl was the result of the latest Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce Business Show, and it was full of business cards. She directed me to the desk and said to begin calling the names on the cards in the fishbowl. Um, what? She sat down at her desk – same office, just a few feet away. “You mean just call these names and sell, with you right here?”  That’s what I was thinking.

I was terrified. And I have no memory after that. I must have made some calls because I was invited back the next day and eventually graduated to cold calls in the field. What a blessing!

Since that first official sales experience, I’ve faced many other scary, challenging and stomach-churning situations over the years. But nothing was quite like that.

And yet I overcame.

Just like you do.

The greatest fear was before making the calls, and in between the calls, not the actual calls. Why? Because before and in between, I was thinking. During the calls, I was doing.

And that’s the key, and the title to a great book about it, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. The more we choose to just get into action, the less we’ll fear. In fact, in another great book by Dr. David Shwartz, my main takeaway was this statement: “Action cures fear.” So good.

What do you fear? What is holding you back? What do you need to do but don’t want to do?

The great Dale Carnegie told us exactly what to do: “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”