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Practice Overcomes Fear

By Joey Havens

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“Pull the trigger, Davis!” We chime in at the shooting range with my grandson Davis, who was nine at the time. As you probably know, we’re a hunting family, and the day before this happened, Davis had passed on a nice 8-point buck because he was frozen by the thought of the recoil even though he has successfully shot this gun before. His rifle is loud, but not deafening, and a great youth gun to learn gun safety with because of the size and limited recoil. So his dad, Brandon, and I took him to the shooting range trying to get him comfortable shooting again.

After about 30 minutes of aiming, pleading and staring, he finally shot and almost hit the bullseye. The second shot only took about two minutes, the third, one minute. Next thing I know, he has shot a box of shells and with superior aim.

Isn’t the fear that Davis allowed to paralyze him similar to the fear that keeps us from “pulling the trigger” on more advisory services? Fear that causes us to not have conversations with clients on strategy, project management, cybersecurity, risk, business model, etc.

Why are we hesitant to ask relevant questions outside of accounting and tax topics? Why are we not asking more operational questions? Is it fear?

Patrick Lencioni addresses this so well in his book Getting Naked where he uses a fable to explain the three fears that hold us back from pulling the trigger.

What helps us move forward? Just like Davis — practice. Keep taking the shot. Our goal could be narrower and simpler questions could increase our skills and confidence. Everything we want to excel at takes practice. We can grow our confidence, skills and effectiveness just like Davis.

Pull the trigger and dive into a “What’s Possible” conversation with your client.