The #1 (Self-Created) Barrier To Entrepreneurship (And How To Solve It)

This whole online business space is a pretty interesting beast. People everywhere want the outcome. They want the income stream that they control. They want the freedom from the 9-5 job. But, then when it comes time to actually DO some of this stuff to make it happen, we all too often fall flat on our faces. This comes in several typical forms, such as:

This whole online business space is a pretty interesting beast.

People everywhere want the outcome. They want the income stream that they control. They want the freedom from the 9-5 job.

But, then when it comes time to actually DO some of this stuff to make it happen, we all too often fall flat on our faces.

This comes in several typical forms, such as:

  • Spending weeks – even months – trying to create the perfect design for your blog.
  • Allowing yourself to get buried in the minutia of plug-ins and little tweaks.
  • Spending weeks – or months – to create an opt-in offer… and it has to be just right before you even start trying to build your list.
  • Going in endless circles about what your ideal niche should be.

… and so you continue to dream about the possibilities. You spin your wheels, telling yourself you’re making progress. But, deep down, you kinda know…

You’re conning yourself. The real problem here is that you’re afraid to fail.

If any of this makes you uncomfortable because you see it in yourself, don’t fret about it. This is one of the most common barriers there is in this business. And, all too often, people like me who are trying to help people get there end up feeling like we’re supposed to be counselors or something. 🙂

But, let’s dive into this for a moment. Dissect it until the point where the stupidity of it is (hopefully) apparent.

The Danger Of The Hidden Standard

One of the things that screw people up the most is the hidden standard. It is this… thing. This goal. This… way that it should be.

It is hidden in that you can’t quite place your finger on it. But, you assume other people have it figured out. THEY must know… because they seem to be running the kind of business you’d like to run.

Funny thing is… those other people who you think have it all figured out? They probably look at other people and think THEY have it all figured out. It is kinda funny how this works.

The whole thing is hidden… but the truth is, it is only hidden from us BY us. The hidden standard is completely self-created. I think it probably has its roots in some old, non-related problem that never got solved and you’re just bringing forward those same feelings over to online business – even though it isn’t related.

When you spend all that time working on the design and little tweaks to your site, what is the true standard? I mean, what are you shooting for? Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself a few weeks or months down the road wanting to adjust things again because your standard has changed.

Plus, I could point out several examples of ugly-ass sites with big audiences and big incomes. So, at the end of the day, design doesn’t matter as much as some think it does.

If something is hidden, the best medicine is to make it NOT hidden. So, instead of moving toward this unspecific thing, set out simple, but SPECIFIC things that you’re shooting for. Write it down and get it out of your head.

Secondly, realize that you’re creating your own problem in your head. You’re looking around and placing this supposed hidden knowledge into the heads of other people… and assuming they’ve got it all figured out.

There is no hidden knowledge when it comes to online business. None.

Fear of Failure

A lot of people become paralyzed by indecision because they’re afraid something bad is going to happen if they make the wrong one.

But, again, let’s illustrate the absurdity of this.

First off, this is the Internet. And you’ve got a blog. What in the world could POSSIBLY happen to you if you make a bad decision? Are the Internet police going to beat down your door? Are you going to be the laughing stock of the entire Internet? No. In fact, in all likelihood, you’re going to be the only person in the entire world who knows.

So, you create an opt-in offer and it doesn’t work as well as you thought it would? Who cares! Try something else.

Pick a niche which isn’t working out for you? OK, try something else. There are people who operate in tons of niches simultaneously every day. If you’re truly getting all worked up over the possibility that you might have picked ONE bad one…. I mean, come on now.

Plus, if you didn’t take so DAMN long to do something, these tiny little mistakes wouldn’t be that big a deal. You shouldn’t be in a position where you feel like weeks of work is wasted. Putting up a blog which is good enough to get started with can be done in less than a couple hours. Most people waste that kind of time every single day.

So, the question would be… what the HELL are you scared of? The boogey man?

If you’re a parent, perhaps you can get some perspective on this. My little girl got to a point where she was sleeping in her bed just fine…. until one night. She had a bad dream where she thought there was some mean dog outside her bedroom window. She woke up crying. Ever since then (and this was over a year ago now), she doesn’t want to sleep by herself in her bed.

To this day, the idea of being alone in her bed at night freaks her out. All because of this past incident which she created on her own.

As her father, I know the whole incident was created by her – in her head. It wasn’t real. But, it was VERY real to her! And that’s the point.

Now, take that same perspective over into other things. Are you avoiding things because of the made-up mean dog outside the window which is out to get you?

Perhaps if you really look, you’ll see that it isn’t there at all.

What Its Like When The Self-Imposed Barriers Aren’t There

Let’s look at the flip side of this.

Have you ever experienced a time when you just took action on things? You didn’t sit there and over-think it. You just moved on it. Things just happened…. bam, bam bam! And it was awesome. You were proud of what you accomplished.

Now, think of that time. How did you feel? Was your morale through the roof?

A friend of mine just recently did a juice fast after watching the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (fantastic documentary, BTW). He literally just watched the movie and made a decision to do it. He was starting the fast by the next day. Today, he has lost, like, 40 pounds, feels fantastic, and even had some prior chronic conditions disappear. This friend of mine also happens to be a pretty successful online entrepreneur. But, that mindset is what has helped him find that success. He just made a decision and took action. He didn’t sit there and fret about it.

Just looking at myself, I see that those times where I made the most progress and got the most payoff was when I suspended overanalyzing and just took action.

When I entered this blogging market, my initial launch of Blog Masters Club was a big part of putting me on the map, so to speak. If anybody thought I had that whole thing figured out, think again! The whole affair was seriously outside my comfort zone. I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing at all. But, I moved on it anyway. And, to this day, I think that launch was the fastest growth period in my traffic and income I ever experienced.

The results happened when I leaned forward and just said, “F**k this, Let’s roll!”

No farting around. No over-analyzing. No killing time worrying about stupid bullshit.

Imagine living your whole life that way!

Imagine what you could accomplish!

Think With Outcomes, Move Forward

I’ll end off this post with this advice…

The notion of starting and growing an online business can seem like a big, colossal mass of confusion. No idea where to start or what to do. You couple self-doubt and fear of failure on top of that, and you’re looking at the typical mindset of the internet marketing newbie. And it freakin’ sucks.

Try a different approach.

Start out with the outcome. What’s it going to look like? What’s that ideal scene look like? Like, really envision that.

Then, work it backwards. What components will you need? What actions need to take place?

As an example…

  • You need a blog. Fine. Sign up for hosting and use a 1-click install. You’ll have a blog in a few minutes. Done.
  • You need a design. Fine. Go find a free theme (or a premium one) you like and install it. You can make a few adjustments if you want, but realize… you have gotten it done now. It is GOOD ENOUGH and it probably looks like what you would have had to pay a designer a lot of money for in the pre-Wordpress days. Realize you can also change the design later and you probably will anyway. So, for now…. DONE. Move on.
  • You need a logo. Fine. Some of the most popular logos in the world are nothing more than a font. Time Magazine? A font. New York Times? A font. No super-fancy graphics wizardry. So, pull out a photo editor or – hell, even Microsoft Word – type the name of your site, pick a font you like. Done. Good enough. Move on.
  • You need a blog post. OK, fine. Write it. Keep in mind, the only person who is second-guessing the quality of it is YOU.

Get the jist? You know the outcome. Put it into existence then move on. Don’t sit there and fret about the hidden standard and whether it is good enough.

Lean forward.

Get things done.

Stop f**king around.

 

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Responses

  1. Every person has fear of failure, but the true man is who, who overcome his fear and do what he wants to do. Once you cover this fear, this will become your strength. If you analyze your work and measure its outcome this will become easy to you to do that work as you already know its pros and cons.

  2. I think the accountability aspect is a huge factor as well. If you don’t get sh*t done during your 9-5 job, there will be negative consequences – boss chews you out, coworkers disappointed in you, getting fired. But when it comes to building a blog/business, if you don’t work on it, nothing BAD happens, exactly, it just… doesn’t move forward.

    One thing I always find interesting is that there’s so much solid free blogging and marketing advice out there, and a lot of people simply don’t put it into practice. How many times do the experts say “Have a prominently placed e-mail sign-up on your blog” – and yet a lot of sites still don’t have them? (and then sometimes call in a consultant and pay premium prices for him/her to say “Add an e-mail sign-up form.”)

    However, if you actually have to answer to somebody – be it a mentor, mastermind group, blogging accountability buddy, whatever – about whether or not you actually took action, that ups the motivation factor exponentially.

  3. This blog describes me very well.  I’m stuck and am afraid of failure.  I’ve been persevering with this idea of blogging for only a month or so but it seems so hard.  I shouldn’t feel that was because everyone around me tells me I’m competent and ‘aren’t you clever’ but I don’t feel that myself.  Your blog and Challenge are helping me properly understand what I need to do. I’m never sure whether what I’ve written is going to be put to standard or whether anyone could be bothered reading it.

  4. I think it was Tony Robbins who said that until the massive pain of not doing something overwhelms the pain of doing something then nothing usually changes.

    If that makes sense.

  5. I think it was Tony Robbins who said that until the massive pain of not doing something overwhelms the pain of doing something then nothing usually changes.

    If that makes sense.

  6. We can learn from many different succesfull entrepreneurs. See…these entrepreneurs must have failed more than 10 times. If you only failed for five times then you are not a true entrepreneur yet. So, let’s fail and we can learn much from it to be more succesfull.

  7. Thanks David for sharing, it seems you have a lot of followers. I hope I can also learn a lot from you. Well, about me, my barrier is fear, you are correct. Fear could stop you from doing what you want, you have to overcome it and be successful.

  8. It’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to have a fear of failure to a certain extent because it prevents them from making rash decisions.  It can keep their head on the ground and enable them to enter business with caution.

  9. David,
    My takeaways.  Don’t be a perfectionist and don’t believe that your standards are shared by others.  Even recognizing those truths, I still have trouble acting.  One thing that helps me move is taking small steps.

  10. Dave,

    Excellent post! And so true! Getting past our own self-imposed standards can be very tough. Your post is inspiring!

    David Coleman

  11. you caught me!  described me perfectly I’m afraid to say … but sayin it out in th open
    thanks David.  Marilyn Dickson. 

  12. You know, while the content of this post is definitely a wakup call, this info is also really freeing. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-imposed barriers. When someone calls “bull” on them, you can actually see that they’re not there.

    I’m definitely taking this encouragement to heart today. Thanks!

  13. You know, while the content of this post is definitely a wakup call, this info is also really freeing. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-imposed barriers. When someone calls “bull” on them, you can actually see that they’re not there.

    I’m definitely taking this encouragement to heart today. Thanks!

    1. Awesome, Michael. Thanks so much. The “really freeing” thing is exactly why I wrote it, and I hope others feel the same way.

  14. Here we go, as you have written, find something that your audience can relate to. You are absolutely right and this post is an example. Looking for perfection, thinking that other people have got it, fear of failure, well not so fast, may be some times. Yes, I am wrapped within all of them. It’s like thinking that I am boxed-in while in reality, I need to be boxed- in to keep me focus, reaching within to find out what I really need and how to get it. It will seriously, depend on me.
     
    Yap, mistake will happen, ah, ok, mistake is actually the fuel to starts the engine. You miss take the information. When one takes in the information and learns from it, knowing where changes are to be made, subsequently it becomes a platform.
     
    Dave, you Rock.

  15. Very sound advice Mr. Risley! I think this mentality could (should) be implemented in many other areas of life as well.

    1. Yeah, perhaps. But, in that case, the same “physics” of the problem applies. The counter-force which is “stopping” them is still self-created and they need to knock it off.

  16. Awesome post, David.  As a past Blog Master’s Club student, I gotta say, it didn’t show at all that you didn’t “have it all figured out.”  : )
    I completely agree that really, you just have to start taking action and move the ball forward at least a little every day, and you’ll see results.  I used to be the world’s worst about thinking I had to have it all figured out/perfectly designed blog/perfect opt-in bribe, etc., before I could launch something, but with my latest blog, I operate from a totally different principle:  just put something out there and recalibrate as you go — I’ve found it’s much easier to get things accomplished this way!  Way, way easier AND more satisfying.

    1. Well, I knew what I was doing on my subject matter. But, in terms of pulling off the launch, it was like hanging on for dear life! 🙂

  17. Great stuff – too often I keep facing those internal battles.  Just do it!
    I finally just got my first product approved on ClickBank – progress.  Slow but sure.

      1. I also think one way to create immediacy is to type out and create posts in your blog editor dashboard.
        I used to brainstorm on notebooks but being away from the computer would lead to inevitable distractions and days without posting.

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