Wanting to help small business owners overcome their fear of money and attain greater financial freedom and purpose, Classic Finance founder and mentor Nancy Youssef drew from decades of experience working in finance, particularly as a female in the male-dominated industry, to come up with a new book Fear. Money. Purpose.
“As a mentor, I’m passionate about education and I’m hoping that by sharing my wins — and my mistakes! — I can help others bypass all the stress and be on the path to success sooner,” Youssef told MPA.
According to Youssef, in her experience, among the wide range of fears SMEs experience, the biggest and most detrimental in their business is “the worry around what is enough — enough money, enough customers, delivering enough value and “being” enough.”
“These fears tend to be triggered by lack of self-confidence and self-belief, which I believe can be overcome with the right education and tools,” Youssef said. “Often these fears are unfounded and once we move past them, we realise we were on the right track all along,”
She added that education and development enable businesspeople to identify and rectify gaps that are making them fearful. A business owner, for instance, who’s not attracting enough new clients should use the situation to do some evaluating. The owner should check if he or she is reaching out to existing clients or has systems in place to encourage referrals and repeat business. Upon looking at facts and figures, the business owner might be surprised to see that he or she is indeed on the right track.
“You might set a goal of wanting a dozen new clients, but do you really need to take on that many? Do you have the resources to service all of them; or would five quality leads be plenty? When you look at the real nuts and bolts of the situation you can work out what you really need, and what you can realistically achieve,” Youssef said.
According Youssef, often, people just starting up a business, still hang on to their salaried jobs because it gives them a sense of security. They want a safety net in case their venture fails.
However, she added, that it’s an “ironic vicious cycle” because by still toiling away at a full-time job, new business owners are not giving themselves the best chance of success. As a mentor, Youssef helps these business owners take the plunge by having them focus on facts and figures — on “the concrete reality rather than the fear.”
“The idea that “I’m going to quit my job and run my own business” might sound scary, but when you break it down into facts and figures it’s a lot more achievable,” Youssef said.
“I need to make $X, so I’ll need X number of clients, which I’ll get by chasing X number of leads – it’s about creating a roadmap for action, and not allowing yourself to be controlled by fear.”