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Day 9: How FEAR Stopped Me from Going Bankrupt!

Financial Crisis / Finanzkrise
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Daniela Hartmann via Compfight

In this 30-days to Mastering Your Fears Series, The Skool of Life and The Fear Project are collaborating to blow the doors off our most primal emotion. Today’s substitute teacher is Chris Ducker

It was June 2008, I’d start my first ‘big’ business, a call center company based here in the Philippines called Live2Sell, in March of the same year. For the first couple of month’s things seemed to be going okay, but I simply felt uneasy about something.

After some digging around I realized that our one and only client (at the time) was basically screwing us over on the payment side of things, not paying us on all the work we were doing. As a new business, we were still ‘learning’ as we went along, and when I realized, I felt like kicking myself!

I then, instinctively went online to check our bank account and realized that we only had enough cash left for the next month of operations and the next two payroll periods.


It was at this point that I felt the horrible feeling, known universally as fear, for the first time. Fear for the business. Fear for the people that might lose their jobs. Fear for me and my family – after all I had double-downed on this sucker. This was it – all or nothing.

That Friday night I spent the entire time staring at a whiteboard, trying to figure out ways of getting over this problem. All with the aching feeling of what would happen if I couldn’t figure it out.

That fear was enough, trust me, for me to do just that – figure it out.


Monday afternoon was a tough one, I called all my staff in and told them all they were going on forced leave. I didn’t sugar-coat anything – they knew the deal. And then they went home. I was left in the office with my desk, my computer and a telephone – and I went to work.

For two weeks.

By the end of the two week period I had made over 1,000 cold calls and closed 15 full-time seats worth of business for my call center – all of which was pre-paid. I had totally flipped the switch on the model we started out with, getting paid based on performance, and in arrears.


However, that wasn’t the end of it – now we HAD to perform. If we didn’t, we’d lose those new clients in a New York minute. I got right down into the trenches, training every single person myself.


I sat with them, while they were on the phone and helped them overcome their own battles against fear. Fear of rejection, of getting hung-up on, or being screamed at.


They overcame their fear. Eventually. It might have taken a couple of thousand phone calls, but they did it.


Fast-forward 5-years and we are now a 250+ employee company, servicing clients from every corner of the globe, who kick-ass and take names on a daily basis – and we love it!

It was (and still is, I guess) the fear of losing everything that enabled us to gain what we needed, and to take it to the next level.

So, FEAR – if you’re out there… Thanks, I owe you one.

Chris C. Ducker is the Founder & CEO of the Live2Sell Group, which includes Virtual Staff Finder, the VA match-making service and Location63, Cebu City’s first ever co-working space. He is also a blogger, podcaster and WebTV Show host, as well as being the creator of the free 7-Day New Business Bootcamp!

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