There is a dirty little secret about me and the internet business mastery blog. If you've been around awhile, you might have noticed it.
After 8 years in the content creation business I was still afraid to write this post. Not just a post about fear, but ANY blog post!
The fears I'm going to talk about have plagued me the entire time as an internet business influencer.
It's why I write the least amount of blog posts on my own site!
Yes, believe it or not, there are guest posters that have written more than I have on my own blog!
Why, you say?
And I say back with a strangely creepy inflection, FEEEEEEAR. Fear.
For some reason I can babble on and on in the podcast, but if I have to go deeper, like in a blog post, I really freeze up. Suddenly, the dishwasher needs to be emptied. My kids ferrets are in serious need of some mauling (to the ferrets dismay). The podcasting profits membership site needs a tweak. Another grumpy cat facebook picture must be sent to Jason for my amusement. ANYTHING else needs to be done rather than write.
I realized that it's not just one fear, but a load of fears that are responsible for my freeze up.
I've been really annoyed at the control over my life that these fears have taken, so I've been really looking at what I can do about them.
Here are some of the fears I've had to overcome and what you (and I) can do about them.
FEAR #1: It has to be perfect!
I struggled with this issue HARD for the first 4 years. Each episode of the podcast had to be edited by me and had to be perfect. I'd spend 3-4 hours editing a 45 minute podcast, just so I knew that everything was right. It was a major time suck each week and I didn't enjoy it at all, but it HAD to be perfect!
When Internet Business Mastery went from hobby to real business, my time was starting to get really tight. I didn't have 4 hours each week to edit the show. It took me a long time to give up the editing task and finally hand it over to the same editor we have today.
I was scared we were going to get major complaints.
"What happened to the show, it sound terrible!", "Wow, who edits that show, it's not professional at all", "Were you DRUNK when you edited that show?!"
Guess how many complaints we've had in the last 4 years about the new editor?
None. Zip. Nada.
And to top it off, he is only taking about 2 hours to edit them and they sound great. I bet a trained professional editor couldn't tell the difference between our editor and me. YEARS of me taking 4 hours to edit every episode... What a waste of time.
By the way, even worse then a time suck is NOT STARTING AT ALL 'cause you think it won't be perfect. This is the business kiss of death.
Here is my suggestion; become a "recovering perfectionist"
I still want to over think every episode, take 3 times as long with every blog post, spend 6 months on every product, and redo the website every 2 weeks. Here is what I do instead:
Counter Fear with Action
Now, I just get started (and stop!) as soon as possible.
I give myself a time deadline and whatever I have at the end goes out. My goal now is to create value rather than be perfect.
99% of the time my worst fear, which is usually the feeling of being embarrassed, never happens. The other 1% of the time I get a great take-away from the constructive criticism that might come in because I didn't make something perfect.
I have no problem letting the audience tell me what doesn't work. I'll fix it. No problem. In my experience, if your goal is to CREATE VALUE rather than "be perfect", people will be very forgiving and want to help you out if something "isn't perfect".
FEAR #2: Why would anyone care what I have to say?
There are near 7 billion people on this planet and there is a group of those people that want to hear what you have to say, like the way you say it, and are willing to pay for more.
In fact, this group is just waiting for you to help them change their life.
How do I know this?
It's happened to me and I've seen this over and over again.
There were more than plenty of guys talking about internet business and marketing and yet here you are reading my post.
A couple of years ago, there were even MORE than enough guys talking about internet business and marketing and yet Derek Halpern, of socialtriggers.com, came along and shot to the top of the scene. Is he teaching some totally new way of running an internet business? Not really, but he has one major difference, same as me and anyone else that makes it work.
What is it?
Point of view.
Counter Fear with Point Of View
The key is to really tap into your point of view. What is your take on your market? How do you see things differently than the other people people currently dominating your market?
Find your point of view (voice) and stay true to it. Be willing to pay the consequences for being true to your voice.
Derek is very open about how people think about him. He says, "Some people hate me." I must admit, when I first met him I came very close to punching him in the throat, he has a very strong and different point of view then I do. He is speaking from that very specific point of view and it makes NO difference if I like it or not, he creates major value for those that love his personality.
He also has a very specific way to deal with haters, which you can check out here, and in the end his point of view has brought him LOADS of readers.
In just a couple years Derek has shot past us in the site rankings and I see that as a product of having a very distinct point of view, not being scared to focus on it constantly, and, of course, he focuses on giving great value.
If you are not feeling like you have an interesting, explosive, or useful point of view then I highly recommend this book; The 7 Pilliars of Self Esteem by Nathanial Branden. As of this writing, I think I've read/listened to it 7 or so times. Fantastic book.
What if I don't know my own point of view/voice?
Just start writing, you will find it.
I generally write my first version of a post, then go through it and add... me. I will read it outloud and pretend I'm talking directly to a friend. When I do this I will naturally have things to add. Sometimes silly, like the "Feeeeeeear" up above or sometimes extremely honest like my reaction to meeting Derek.
FEAR #3: Someone else is already saying it better.
When Jason and I started the Internet Business Mastery podcast there were guys with big followings and big business already teaching internet business. Their success could be proof that they were saying it "better".
Except, we hadn't said anything at all!
How could we compare ourselves to them? There was nothing to compare them to, we hadn't said anything yet!!
We had to get the "they are doing it better" idea out of our head by looking at what they WEREN'T doing.
At the time, they were coming across like Gurus, like masters on the hilltop spreading their knowledge to the poor, ignorant masses. If you happened to hear their podcast, you were really lucky to be graced by their presence.
We were both turned off by this approach.
"What was missing... What was missing..." is what we kept thinking.
We finally figured it out. It actually wasn't that hard, as all we had to do is ask why their approach was so distasteful to us.
These gurus were condescending and I didn't trust 'em. It felt like they didn't care about me at all and they just wanted my money and if I was even remotely smart, I should give it to them.
So, there was the glaring hole in the market; being genuine, passionate about helping, and trustworthy.
Counter fear with trust
We decided that rather than acting like "gurus on the mound" we'd just be ourselves. We loved talking about growing our business and had a deep desire to help others start and grow their own business. We were also VERY passionate about helping people and weren't afraid to show it!
Rather than acting as if we knew everything and people should worship at our feet, we decided to do everything we could to help, again to create as much value as we could.
We decided to BE trustworthy by not being embarrassed about our passion, our deep desire to help, and even to talk about our fears and mistakes!
We don't have to worry about being better than the gurus that started before us, we just had to be true to ourselves, be true to our audience, and BE trustworthy.
By the way, none of those gurus still have podcasts today...
FEAR #4: I'm not an expert.
The first thing to know about being an expert is that there is very likely no committee that exists that can give you expert status you feel you need to create value for others. (Okay, maybe if you want to be a doctor, or something like that, there is... but for nearly everything else, there isn't) If there is, who gave THEM the right to give expert status?
- If you want to start a site about teaching women how to create a fantastic life even after they have been confined to bedrest because they have a problem with their pregnancy like Darline did with mamasonbedrest.com, who gives you expert status in that field?
- If you want teach people how to make their own drum kit like Phillip did with makedrums.com, which governing body of music gives away that honor?
- If you want to start a business hiring virtual assistants from around the world, then get 2 million dollars from investors to make you business huge like Maren Kate did with zirtual.com, who waves their magic wand and makes you an expert in that?
The answer is YOU.
Your desire to learn more about the market is what will make you and expert. (You might even already have the knowledge that will make you an expert.) You are the only one that can decide to go get yourself expert status.
One way to make it easier to give yourself the magic title of expert is to gather knowledge.
Counter fear with knowledge
This is actually far more easy then one would think.
If you don't know a lot about a subject, learn more.
Was that a shocking insight or what?
Is that to simple? Okay, here are a couple points:
- Dive in. Read the top blogs on the subject. Read the top 3 books on the subject. If you have a competitor who already has a course on your subject, buy it and go through it.
- Be around people in your market. Join forums, find a local meetup.com group (or start one), join a facebook group.
- Keep on learning. Keep reading the top blogs on your subject. Find out if there is a yearly convention and go to it. Immerse yourself in your subject and focus on the value you can bring to your audience.
It's said, probably from some "expert", that all you have to do is read the top three books on a subject and you are reaching expert status. Really, all you have to do is know more than the people you want to teach to get started. Then, it's about upgrading your knowledge over time.
If you are passionate about the audience you want to teach, learning more won't be a problem, it'll be a passion.
FEAR #5: What if this doesn't work?
This is a huge issue and has many possible fears I could cover, but I'm going to focus on 1.
The Fear of Uncertainty
When I decided to go into internet business I had a very normal life. I had a wife, 2 beautiful daughters, a mortgage, car payments, and normal family worries.
I had a 6 figures corporate type job and had moved up in the world into an actual office. It had taken my entire adult life to get to this position.
I had never started or owned a successful business. I didn't know what marketing was, nor had I ever learned about it.
When I decided to start an internet business I was starting at zero and it was scary. My life went from predictable to uncertain in one big decision.
There was one thing I was certain about, though...
Counter fear by never giving up
My battle with uncertainty came with a thought. I also believe this thought is one of the secrets to success.
I'm going to keep going until this works.
Seems simple, but it's incredibly powerful. I decided I was never going to quit. If I tried and didn't get success in 5 years, I wasn't going to pack it in and stop trying. I would keep going UNTIL it worked.
If that meant working a job to pay the bills, I would have done it. I was going to keep going until it worked.
"If someone else can do it, I can too. If no one else had done it, I'll be the first" ~My Grandma (not sure where she got it...)
That saying merged with a sheer, brute refusal to give up was my fuel.
My grandma told me that when I was really young and since then I have fought for everything I wanted with that mantra in mind and I hope you will too.
The action that has backed up that mantra is to find a group of people I'm passionate about and create value for them. That took quite a while to learn, but I hope you take that to heart this very instant.
Before I finish up, let me ask you one more thing. Did you catch the underlying, fear busting tactic countering all fears?
If not, it's okay. I think it's so important that I'm going to create an entire post about it! So stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I want to hear what you have to say about fear.
What is your fear and how are you dealing with it? If there are other fears I haven't covered here, then I will do a part 2 of this post and address what you are going through!