There are a million and one reasons why we hesitate, hold back and procrastinate on our goals. Ditto for those wanted and unwanted opportunities that fly our way.
Like the time in Year 8 when I prayed, hoped and wished the 3 o’clock bell would never come around.
I still had the crumpled up note in my pocket that Lee Frost shoved into my hand at lunch time. It read, “I will pash you on one condishon, we have to meet behind the old church after school and only you can come”.
We were friends but I had no idea he wanted to be that kind of friend, or why he used the word “pash” and why he couldn’t spell “condition” properly. I mean he was 12-years-old, he should know how to spell ‘condition’.
Surely this was a bad joke getting played on me? Any second now someone was going to blurt out “Haha! I got you!” and this nightmare was going to be over.
No one came forth.
So the bell had just rung and I’m sitting there paralyzed by fear, sweat trickling down my back and conspiracy theories racing through my brain like ‘How the heck did I get here? I’m such a good kid. I come from a good home. I do my work like every other kid, sure I don’t listen to the teacher sometimes, but doesn’t everybody? And now I’m about to be branded a heathen and have my first kiss behind a church, with a strange kid, next to a rusty bike, a beatdown shed and a trillion spider webs.’
I just wanted to vanish. Become a Pokemon Trainer, grab my poke balls from Professor Oak and leave this town for good. It was a flawless and logical plan for a 12-year-old to conceptualize, because a first kiss was not something this child had the maturity to plan for.
And that is a justifiable reason to not go through with something when it’s going to violate your morals.
So I did what any child would do in that situation. I bolted. I bolted faster than a Jolteon through the back gate on my bike and never looked back.
Fast-forward to 2015, those familiar feelings of “I don’t want to do this” crept back. Except, this time I’m not about to kiss a boy for the first time, I’m about to start a business.
And it doesn’t feel like I’m going against my personal values. It doesn’t feel wrong. And I don’t feel like I’m not ready. Instead, I feel like I’m purposely putting blocks in my way, coming up with bizarre and contradictory reasons why I can’t get started.
These are irrational reasons that will keep you from achieving your goals, this is when you’ve got to keep pushing through.
So whether you’re still on the sidelines waiting to jump on the bandwagon or you’ve vanquished your fears and started anyway, here are the 5 ridiculous reasons I didn’t start my blog + business sooner.
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1. I BELIEVED EVERYTHING HAD ALREADY BEEN DONE
This is a huge reason why I chopped and changed my niche topics all the time. I was a lifestyle blogger one minute and a DIY blogger the next. I just couldn’t stick with one thing. This was because I’d see the topic being covered by people who were far more experienced than I was which made me second guess myself. I mean, they’re already doing an incredible job, so why would anyone bother reading what I had to say on the topic? I might as well change my topic!
I was looking for that one ‘thing’ that made me stand out from the crowd. I wanted to be unique and create a niche that no one had ever done before! But after years of tireless chopping and changing, I realized that in order to figure it out you just have to start. And only then will you learn that YOU are the thing that makes you unique, not a niche.
It doesn’t matter what niche you choose, whether it’s overdone or unheard of, if it’s something you’re passionate about people will find your information valuable regardless of whether they’ve heard it before, because you will have put your unique spin on it and THAT’S what keeps people coming back. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to be yourself and let your personality shine, your people will gravitate toward you this way.
2. I WORRIED I WASN’T SMART/THIN/PRETTY/FUNNY OR INTERESTING ENOUGH
Omg this is like everyones fear. The fear of not being good enough. It’s the deepest most fundamental fear every human being on the planet has. So please take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in feeling this way. It’s super normal to have this fear, but you’ve got to remember it’s just a fear, it’s not real and it’s not true and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you let it rule your life. You’re not the thoughts you think, but you can do anything you set your mind to.
The fear of not being good enough still comes up for me all the time. The difference now is that I don’t let it stop me from going after what I want.
3. I THOUGHT I HAD TO INVEST A LOT OF MONEY
I was quite intimidated by all the software, apps, programs, courses and digital products out there. It was so overwhelming to know where to even begin? Do I invest in Leadpages or Opt-in Monster? MailChimp or ConvertKit? WordPress or Squarespace? It was paralyzing to know where to go.
And then there was the cost. If I needed all of this software I was going to be paying a hefty price tag every month. This put me off for quite a while until I actually knuckled down and calculated exactly what I needed to get started. Which was a hosting platform, an email service provider and marketing software.
Once I realized I could utilize free platforms with affordable software and then purchase the necessary high-ticket items when they were needed, my monthly costs boiled down to $35 a month. Completely doable. The lesson for me here was that it’s important to actually do the research and calculations rather than just assume it’s going to be mega expensive.
4. I WAS CERTAIN NO ONE WOULD BUY MY PRODUCTS
Wanna know a secret? I really didn’t want to create courses. Yeah, I thought they were a waste of time. This was because years prior, hotshot over here created one $14 ebook, sold 4 copies on launch day and branded it a total flop.
Just so you know, I didn’t promote the ebook anywhere else AND I had a list of under 100 subscribers! Now, if I was running a business like I believed I was at the time, I would have known that the conversion rate for sales from one email is .02%. That’s 2 sales per 100 people. I made 4 sales!!!!!
But, because it wasn’t millions of dollars I branded the entire experience as a waste of time. This is literally how delusional I was about it all. Thank goodness I no longer believe this and create digital products again, because I love doing it!
5. I WORRIED THAT I’D BECOME ISOLATED & BORING
This reason had to make me laugh the most because of how stupid it is. I literally stalled starting my business because I was worried that once I was making money, I would quit my job, go full-time in my biz and lead a very isolated, boring, cat lady-esk life.
How ridiculous is that? I was afraid to attempt to become successful because I thought I’d become boring.
Well I did quit my job, I do work full-time in my business and I FREAKIN’ LOVE MY LIFE! And I never feel isolated, I’ve never been “bored” and I’m having so much more fun than I thought I’d have! Imagine if I’d let this insane reason hold me back from starting this business. Kinda scary to think about isn’t it?
As you can see, I got through this forcefield of doubt by seeing my excuses for what they were, excuses, and starting anyway. And as I’m sure you know, I’m pretty happy I did anyway. Most of the time, the idea of doing it is far terrifying than actually going ahead with it. So if you are sitting on the fence waiting for a sign, this is it!
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Your turn: What were/are your ridiculous reasons for not starting your business sooner?
What fears come up for you in your blog + business? Are they sensible or completely irrational? Have you started your business anyway or are you still waiting in the sidelines? Let me know in the comment section below!