Mastering The Fud Factor

Terri Lonier

In speaking to an association of entrepreneurs recently, several asked me to name the "most important" thing they could do to ensure success. I replied that while there wasn't any single element, several were crucial, including: building your network, watching your cash flow like a hawk, creating marketing momentum, and continually delivering the best quality products or services you can. These are all important, I added, but perhaps the biggest challenge is mastering what I call the "FUD Factor."

Those of you involved with the technology industry will immediately recognize the acronym FUD: fear, uncertainty and doubt. It's a strategy many tech companies employ in trying to convince consumers not to buy a competitor's product (e.g., "You don't want to buy that product. What if the company goes out of business, or it won't work with what you currently have, or you realize it's a waste of money? Better to buy OUR product...")

For soloists, however, fear, uncertainty and doubt are a trio of mental devils that can undermine even the strongest business with the finest products or services. I've witnessed, both in my own business and through working with thousands of soloists over the years, how a major part of solo success comes from the inside, not the outside. And the inside can easily be infected by the FUD Factor.

So while you're polishing up that Web site, designing new business cards, or creating exciting products and services, be sure to pay attention to an element just as important to your solo business success: your FUD Factor level. To cancel its negative effects, take action. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded peers. Weed the nay-sayers from your life. Keep a running tally (on paper or computer) of your achievements, from tiny to earth-shaking (at least in your world). Celebrate your wins with a MasterMind group. Practice gratitude.

No soloist ever completely disperses all the fear, uncertainty and doubt. Instead, these feelings get managed and channeled into productive outlets. However, this doesn't happen without conscious awareness of their power, and active strategies to keep these demoralizing factors in line.

Self-confidence is the currency of self-employment. Make sure this bank account is always full.

This article originally appeared in Terri Lonier's Working Solo Newsletter, a free monthly email newsletter filled with news and information for small business owners. To subscribe, visit

Copyright 2005 Terri Lonier. All rights reserved.

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