Mailbag: How do you get past fear?

Q: I don’t think I’m cut out for fundraising.  I love my organization and I want to help get the funds we need to survive and do our work…and I even know what I *should* be doing, I think.  But when it comes to picking up the phone and calling donors, I can’t.  I am stupidly panicked and get anxious and just can’t pick up the phone.  How do I get past my fear?  I don’t want to keep letting people down.

A: I have a friend who posted a quote on her facebook wall recently, and I’ve been chewing on it such that it made me fish your email out of the ol’ mailbag.  Here it is:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates the strength of Resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.” –Steven Pressfield

I want to like this quote.  I really do.  But the more I think about it, it’s hooey.  The only thing I actually agree with is that fear is good. Read more

Mailbag: Tired of pretending

Q: I’ve been cultivating this one prospect for a few months, and I can’t figure out where we are.   I thought I was clear about my interest in getting her to support my organization, but I think she thinks we’re friends.  We’re about the same age, and I really do like spending time with her…but I can’t afford to spend all this time on a prospect who’s not going to pan out, you know?  I feel like I’m wasting company time on a personal relationship.  But I’m afraid that she’ll hate me if I tell her that the only reason I’ve been having lunch with her is that I want her money.

A: In amicitia nihil fictum est, nihil simulatum, et quidquid est, in est verum et voluntarium.  In friendship, nothing is fiction, nothing is fake, and whatever it is, is true and voluntary. (Cicero)

I ran across that quote a week ago and knew there was a reason I wrote it down.  These are good words to live by for cultivating friendships, and good words to live by for cultivating donors.   Read more