Book Excerpt: 'Spark & Hustle: Launch and Grow Your Small Business Now' by Tory Johnson

"Over the last 105 years in the saddle, we've seen wars, conflicts, depression, recession, resistance and revolution. We've watched a thousand hand-wringing pundits disappear in our rear-view mirror. But every time this country has come out stronger than before. Because chrome and asphalt put distance between you and whatever the world can throw at you. Freedom and wind outlast hard times. And the rumble of an engine drowns out all the spin on the evening news. If 105 years have proved one thing, it's that fear sucks and it doesn't last long. So screw it, let's ride."

The same is true for your business. The "chrome and asphalt [that] put distance between you and whatever the world can throw at you" are your pluck and planning. Face fear with determination and action, knowing your passion and hard work will outlast hard times. The rumble of your need to succeed will drown out naysayers and negativity.

Since that segment on GMA, I've worked with thousands of business owners who regularly bring up fear as an obstacle to business growth. They're afraid that they're investing too much in a pipe dream. They're afraid that the bills will come due before the money comes in, that they've missed their chance or will hit the market before they are ready. They're afraid of large competitors outmarketing them and smaller competitors under- pricing them, that they're not good enough to make great things happen. The list is endless.

Fear comes with the territory. For most of us—and I'm no exception—all safety nets are gone. I get it. But I refuse to let fear stop me from aggressively pursuing business opportunities. I've accepted fear as part of the deal. It does not go away, but it does not have to own you.

Listen to your fear, challenge it, use it to get started and move forward. When you fear running out of money, analyze your spending and justify all expenses. When you fear giving a pitch to prospective clients, practice it so extensively that you can look at yourself in the mirror and say: Nobody knows this better than I do. When you fear hearing no, rehearse your responses and remember: you can't win every time. Don't allow fear to paralyze you. Pay attention to the root of it and then act. Action is the enemy of fear.

Keep fear in perspective, too, says another Spark & Hustle speaker, Jess Weiner, Dove's global self-esteem ambassador, who teaches women how to harness their confidence. "Fear," she says, "is often a down payment on a debt you may not owe."

So in the words of Harley-Davidson: Screw it, let's ride.

Excerpted from Tory Johnson's SPARK & HUSTLE: Start and Grow Your Small Business Right Now. Connect with Tory at

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