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The customer is always right

What’s the one thing that scares you above all else?

Two of my sisters-in-law suffer from a phobia that is apparently shared by one in six of the population – a fear of holes. They feel uncomfortable when they see a colander for example.

Sometimes we’ve climbed across the sofas and gone to bed rather than shoo a spider away!

My mother will not go in an elevator by herself. My wife won’t go near a spider. (Nor will I actually. Sometimes we’ve climbed across the sofas and gone to bed rather than shoo a spider away!)

My friend Peter Roper co-authored a book called ‘…And a Death Came Third!’ after he’d discovered that most humans are more frightened of walking into a room full of strangers than they are of dying. Moreover, people are more frightened at the prospect of public speaking than anything else they can think of!

Peter, of course, is a first-class professional speaker with a fantastically relaxed and natural style. He makes speaking in public look incredibly easy but his unhurried style belies many years of training and experience and he’s well qualified to write on the subject.

I too have spent the last couple of years standing up in front of people. Strangely enough I don’t have any fears about doing so – or at least I didn’t until recently; more about that another time! – and what I’ve discovered is that it’s a great way of positioning yourself and your business. It seems, if my experience is typical, to bring genuine opportunities that might otherwise have gone elsewhere.

Just in the last few weeks people who have seen me speak in the past have contacted me with some wonderful opportunities. I’ve come to the conclusion that being able to stand on a stage and talk about something begins to position you as an expert in your field – assuming of course you know what you’re talking about and you don’t bore your audience.

What I’ve discovered is that here is something I like to do, for which I can be trained properly and which brings genuine benefits to my business.

So what’s your biggest fear? If you’re not prepared to get up and speak about ‘your’ subject I suggest you should be worried about your competitor who is!

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