SEMA Show Education: Facing Failure Fearlessly

How to Remove the Barriers to Success

››› By Chad Simon

››› Shaundra Dineen of Rubyz Global Coaching emphasized that risk, failure and opportunity all go hand in hand. Fear of failure, therefore, is an emotional block that robs us of opportunities for growth and success.

People ask Shaundra Dineen of Rubyz Global Coaching why she travels around talking about fear. She answers that when people can overcome it, they can overcome anything because it builds a courage and confidence that propels them to success. That's why she was a featured speaker at the 2022 SEMA Show, and her full presentation, "Face Failure Fearlessly: A Roadmap to Success," can now be viewed at

Those within the specialty-equipment industry may share many of the same hesitations in personal and professional development, but powering through them is the way to unleash opportunities. Moreover, industry veterans can then use their power, ability and influence to inspire others to move forward, but personalities that are fearful exude a timid energy.

"If I would have come in here and said, 'Thank you all so much for coming to my session; I really appreciate you for being here,' you wouldn't have had much confidence in what I had to say because I'm putting off an energy that says, 'I'm just glad that they walked into the room.' But when you walk into a room with courage, people gravitate toward you, and they will do what they can to help you prosper," Dineen explained.

Taking an example from the SEMA Show itself, Dineen noted that exhibitors arrive with businesses to grow and ideas to pitch.

"A representative for one exhibitor told me that he's been going to the SEMA Show since 1986," Dineen said. "He's interested in meeting new people and sharing his ideas about how he can help them. People come to the Show looking for confident people to pitch their ideas and give them something that might be innovative. You never know who's looking for whom."

Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real

When a business fails, it's usually because they didn't have a sustainable framework or a good starting foundation; but believe it or not, fear can ultimately lead to success, according to Dineen. Small-business owners typically have a big
concept in mind, but many are afraid to follow through on their ideas. "Facing fear fearlessly" is all about identifying the roadblocks, overcoming them, and guaranteeing momentum toward success.

To explain the point, Dineen shared the story of a night she visited a lounge in Dallas. To the left of her were four gentlemen preparing for a Dallas Cowboys tailgate party. One of them, Randy, was known as the "tartar sauce king," and his friends were trying to convince him to bring his tartar sauce to the party, but Randy kept declining.

"I wanted to know how Randy's tartar sauce was so good that it had to be at the tailgate party," Dineen said. "So his friends started telling me all of the different ways they used Randy's tartar sauce."

One of them tried to convince Randy to sell it and even offered to pay for him to get the recipe licensed. Another one said that he could hook Randy up with someone to design a logo. Randy had everything he needed, so Dineen asked him what was standing in his way. He answered that he was afraid of failing. Putting his idea out there might not be received as well by others as it had been by his friends.

When you have a business model and want to start that business but you're afraid you won't be successful, fear ironically represents the positive momentum toward success, according to Dineen. So, she asked Randy if he were convinced that all the potential barriers were removed, could he start his business? Could he do it even though he was afraid? He replied that he would be willing to do it afraid.

FEAR stands for "false evidence appearing real," Dineen said. "It's whatever holds you back from moving forward. Usually, it lets us talk ourselves out of what we know works. But what is failure? It's an opportunity to succeed. If you look at it not as something that stops you, but as something that just lets you know you're still trying, it changes the way you deal with it. You can only fail if you've started."

The irony is if you haven't started, there's no opportunity for failure. If you fail, you can learn from it. Fear is what stops us from moving forward in what we know is possible, but failure tells us that we are moving in the right direction, Dineen emphasized.

"Fear stops progress because you cannot move forward; it's like a concrete block," Dineen said. "When I was talking to Randy about his tartar sauce, I told him, 'Randy, you're standing still with your feet planted in cement. You have two cement blocks on your feet.'"

Analysis Paralysis

When you have to make a decision but you're not sure if it's the right one, analysis paralysis—or the idea that moving forward becomes heavier than the result of doing nothing at all—sets in and you freeze. Nothing holds you back like being afraid of moving forward, according to Dineen. Fear can present itself in your life subtly. It's an emotion—that something in your head that stops you in your tracks and turns you back even though all the evidence says you're ready to take a risk.

"However, when you know what you're looking for, you're able to capture that fear and make a decision about what your next move will be. But it will not cause you to do nothing at all," Dineen said. "Don't allow it to keep you from moving into what could possibly be the most amazing moment for you and your business. Ask yourself, what's the worst thing that could happen? You fail. Then what? Then you start again. That's what it looks like when you don't let fear stop you. To this point, we've survived every worst day that we've had in our lives. If you didn't, you wouldn't be here."

The Roadmap to Success

The way to dispel fear is to talk about it, then start over. Nine times out of 10, you're going to learn something from it, according to Dineen. For example, if you decide to talk to a buyer at the SEMA Show about your new product, the worst thing that can happen is they say no, so continue to press forward. Your product might not be right for that one particular person, so find the next opportunity.

In other words, fear of failure can be your greatest roadmap to success. If you can move beyond it, it becomes your journey. And when you do succeed, keep going because there's always something else to conquer, Dineen advised. You don't know what the worst thing is or how to overcome it if you don't take the first step. Some failure in life is inevitable, but control what you can. Unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, you fail by default. Instead, identify your roadblocks when they pop up.

"When I got done talking with Randy at the bar, he left with a different concept about his tartar sauce idea," Dineen said. "It wasn't that he couldn't do it; he had everything around him to succeed. He was the only one stopping himself. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and the reason we're not succeeding. For instance, people had been telling me all my life that I should be a speaker, but I always wanted to do something else. I was afraid that rooms wouldn't receive me and that my message would not resonate. I was afraid that I wouldn't be successful."

Dineen helped Randy to understand what fear sounded like and how it felt. It's an emotion and it's real, but you can control that emotion to prevent it from paralyzing you and stopping your forward momentum.

››› The annual SEMA Show's education program is designed to foster personal and professional development through engaging seminars with immediate takeaways.

Stinkin' Thinkin'

Ultimately the goal is to take responsibility for your thoughts and learn from your mistakes. Failure is a part of the process, so maintain a positive attitude.

"I call it stinkin' thinkin'. Replace stinkin' thinkin' with possibility," Dineen encouraged. "Stinkin' thinkin' is when we talk to ourselves in our minds, and it will stop you every time. Take control of that when it pops up in your mind. Challenge the old way of thinking. That idea is sitting in your mind because of the way you're thinking about it. Fearlessly chasing your goals requires risk, but you have to have the courage and confidence to move forward anyway."

Failure is when we blame others and repeat the same mistake—expecting it to never happen again, which takes you backwards, according to Dineen. "Failing forward" is where success lies. So, take responsibility, learn from your mistakes, know failure is a part of the process, maintain a positive attitude, challenge outdated assumptions, take risks and persevere.

Dineen said that perhaps sports great Michael Jordan summed it up best: "I failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed."

Ruby's Global Coaching and Consulting LLC helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations lay a solid foundation and build a strategy and framework to ensure longevity and sustainability around their vision.

Are You Moving Forward?

You can view Dineen's full "Face Failure Fearlessly: A Roadmap to Success," presentation at

The annual SEMA Show's education tracks are designed to deliver engaging, best-in-class learning through thought-provoking sessions. No matter your place in the industry, the annual SEMA Show's education program can help you meet your goals, from personal and professional enrichment to business growth.

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