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Shane Gibson Keynote Speaker | Social Selling | Sales Trainer | Social Media Strategy

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  • Jun 26 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Living with F.E.A.R
Facing your fears, living with FEAR

Living with F.E.A.R

Fear can often be our friend. It’s what has kept us alive as humans for many millennia. We are wired to be full of fear when we sense a threat in our environment. It’s what makes us think twice about climbing a rock face without a rope or jumping off a bridge just for the fun of it. As a sales person, a little bit of fear can give you an edge and make sure you prepare for your big presentation or pitch. Being afraid is natural part of life. In many cases it’s healthy, but fear can also burn up a lot of energy and stop us from realizing our true potential.

A number of years ago I found myself driving late at night from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein South Africa with my father Bill Gibson and my friend and mentor Jim Janz. It was the late 90’s and at that time violent carjackings were happening multiple times daily in the country. While the new ANC government had ushered in an era of unparalleled freedom and opportunity – crime also filled the vacuum that the previous regime had left.

One particularly heinous approach to carjacking was being employed frequently on the highways. These criminals would drag an old wrecked car onto the road and set it on fire – then they would lie on the road and often hide in the ditch as well. When you stopped on the side of the road to help they would rush out of hiding with assault rifles firing and take the victims vehicle by force. They would often kill the people in the car.

Before leaving Johannesburg that night we discussed this threat but didn’t ever think that it could be us that would be faced with a highway full of fire. We were well into Vrystaat (The Free State). It was around 1:00 am and we hadn’t seen another car, person or sign in quite a while. The Free State in many places quite closely resembles the Canadian Prairies – farm land as far as the eye can see and one very straight road that disappears into the horizon.

We were climbing a slight incline on what was otherwise a flat straight road. As we were climbing this hill I began to see an orange glow in the distance – the orange glow grew brighter and we could smell smoke coming into the vehicle. Cresting the hill we could see down the other side. Directly in our path was a raging fire at the bottom of the hill.

Facing your fears, living with FEAR

I began to slow down but my father quickly reminded me that often the carjackers would hide where people stopped and attempted to turn around. With only a couple hundred meters before we got to the fire on the road we discussed our options: we could slow down and still do a u-turn, we could stop and just wait, or we could step on the gas and hopefully drive around the blockade by using the gravel shoulder of the highway. We decided on option 3.

I put the pedal to the floor accelerating as we approached the fire. Jim placed his hand on my shoulder from the back seat as we uttered mutual “I love you man”s with our hearts pounding. I prayed that somehow we would make it around or through the fire without getting shot or having to harm another human being. We picked up more speed and Dad and Jim were now bracing themselves for a potential impact.

Suddenly I found myself slamming on the breaks and gearing down as the road turned to the left with no warning. The wheels chirped and hopped a bit but we stayed on the road. There was no burning car or carjackers – just a burning farmer’s field being razed to make room for new crops. The fire wasn’t blocking the road – the road did a quick hairpin turn around the farm and then continued on it’s original route. Our tears of fear quickly turned to tears of laughter as we literally belly-laughed for 10-minutes afterward.

What a neurotic bunch of Canadians! For me this experience is an amazing metaphor around a certain type of fear or F.E.A.R. This stands for:





We can often see evidence of a potentially bad experience, are faced with the unknown or a new business challenge – and begin to start telling ourselves the story of what could happen. We use incomplete or false evidence and work ourselves up to a point to complete anxiety. This type of F.E.A.R. can drain our energy, rob us of opportunity and take us away from our purpose.

We can worry about changes in our business model, our next meeting with a boss or colleague or about our next sales call. This worry rarely solves any problems or contributes to our success in these situations.

As sales leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and community leaders it is vital that we challenge our own F.E.A.R. and help our people to do the same. The key is to start telling stories where we win in the end.

Next Steps:

  1. What F.E.A.R.’s have you recently entertained that turned out not to be real?
  2. How much time, money, energy and opportunity was wasted as a result of this F.E.A.R.?
  3.  What can you do to break this cycle and make sure you are focused on more empowering outcomes?
  • Jun 21 / 2011
  • 1
iPhone Podcasts, Leadership, social media, social media podcast, social media tips, social media training, Uncategorized

#CanucksRiot, Social Media and Crowsourced Policing

My friend and associate Kemp Edmonds who heads up Hootsuite University asked me an interesting question at a barbeque last weekend. He asked me what I thought about the crowdsourced policing that had occurred during the Vancouver Canucks Riot last week. I personally see it as a fact of life. Anything you do can end up on the internet and then on CBC or CNN or BBC — in seconds. The question of “should we be monitoring” each other is a tough one. The same people who think that citizens shouldn’t be monitoring each other are the same people who cry foul when a police officer objects to being recorded by a passerby’s cell phone camera during an arrest. Corporate accountability, the move toward open government, and citizen journalism (Even Yelp) has put us all under a microscope. Have a listen to today’s podcast and let me know your thoughts on the issue. Here’s the gist of my opinion:

If you don’t want it on the internet – DON’T DO IT – and if you do it and it ends up on the internet it’s not the crowd’s fault or the the social media communities fault — the responsibility is yours. This goes for executives, public figures and teenagers at a riot. We are humble today or we will be humbled tomorrow.

What are your thoughts?

  • Jun 08 / 2011
  • 1
iPhone Podcasts, Marketing and PR, social media, social media podcast, social media tips, social media training, Uncategorized

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Defined (Podcast)

Today’s podcast is an audio recording (by the author) of Chapter 7 of Guerrilla Social Media Marketing. A book that was released (globally) this past October that I co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson. It is a full unabridged version with some side-comments from myself of course.

If you want to start reading thebook on your iPad in the next 5 minutes you can always pick up a copy at the iTunes store.

Buy the Book

  • Mar 23 / 2011
  • 1
Internet Marketing and SEO, iPhone Podcasts, Marketing and PR, social media, social media podcast, social media tips, social media training, Uncategorized

Avoiding the Groupon Effect – Podcast with Bruce Philp Author of Consumer Republic

(Download today’s social media podcast directly here)

Today I had the great opportunity to once again have Bruce Philp author of the Consumer Republic on my social media podcast. I was so inspired by our conversation I actually reworked my Socialized! Lunch presentation today to include some very important thoughts that Bruce shared about the future of brands and the true power consumers now hold in their hands.

The idea for this podcast discussion really came from a couple of tweets I posted about Groupon’s recent off-color marketing tactics and my disappointment that their response and handling of comments and complaints seemed to be more about sanitizing and denying versus engagement and authentic apologies. (Still not happy with Groupon’s Super Bowl Ads this was the icing on the cake) Bruce’s question to me at that point was; “what if consumers become discouraged and no longer engage?” (because of this type of corporate response online.) I invited Bruce back on the show to talk about the “Consumer Republic” and answer this important question.

During the podcast the conversation quickly turned toward so-called social media experts bloggers etc. who are often the first to criticize a brand, but personally don’t walk their talk in regards to engagement or even responding to blog comments and tweets.  (I’ve been personally guilty more than once of not returning an email or a phone call due to huge volumes of in-bound tweets and inquiries.)

Have a listen to the podcast and let me know what your thoughts are on the subject. A huge thanks to Bruce Philp for logging on and having the conversation as well.

  • Dec 04 / 2009
  • 2

Free Audio Download of Chapter 1 – Sociable! by @shanegibson and @sjagger

I have posted this file to our Sociable! FaceBook page but have yet to post it for non-members in my podcast feed for iTunes until today. This is a free audio preview of Sociable! How Social Media Is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside-down by Stephen Jagger and myself (Shane Gibson). Also below is a link to Sociable ! on Scribd if you haven’t read the PDF yet. We’re counting down the days until we receive the hard copy of the book but want to make sure we give you an advance sneak peek at what’s coming. If you’re a blogger, podcaster, or from the media and want a review copy of the book send me an e-mail at shane@closingbigger.net or tweet me @shanegibson.

Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside Down

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