We all know that little voice inside our heads that tells us "Girl, what do YOU know about [insert your business here]?!" It's the voice that makes us think twice about launching. The same one that cripples us into never launching at all. It's the one I'm hearing right now as I'm writing this post on this very topic.
At some point you're just gonna have to bitch slap that voice and keep moving.
Easier said than done, right? Right. In fact, it was this voice that kept me from moving forward with the business end of this blog two years ago. I had it all planned out — products, services, podcasts, videos, the whole nine — but then the voice crept in and paralyzed me from clicking the publish button. And I caved. I crawled back into my 9-5 thinking that maybe I wasn't "expert enough" or conveying my message properly so no one would buy anyway.
I got a swift kick in the ass recently when I looked back on that blog and saw that I had racked up almost 100,000 visits in the two years it sat dormant. People still found my content even though I wasn't producing anymore. They were reading it. They shared it. It was both an amazing moment and a total facepalm moment — if I had just silenced that voice two years ago, I'd probably be in a VERY different place right now.
But I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I'm incredibly grateful for the experiences I've had since then. I've grown and been educated, increased my skills and learned how to be confident in my abilities. Fortunately for me, it was not all for nothing. But that moment also made me realize that I should have taken an entire roll of masking tape to that voice's mouth, wrapped it's hands behind it's back and threw it in the basement of my mind for good.
So how can YOU tackle the fear and the voice that fills your head with doubt?
- Always Be Learning — Attend a webinar on your lunch break, take a class on the weekends, consume all of the information you can on your industry that will support your goals via the endless amount of blogs, videos, and podcasts on the Internet. The more you know, the less you'll feel like a n00b, and the quicker you can silence that annoying voice.
- Join a Community — There's nothing better than getting honest feedback from your girls in a supportive environment. For this, there's the Launch Ladies Facebook page where we talk about your wins, challenges, goals, and how to master it all with your busy lives. Yes, mastery is possible.
- Take Smaller Steps — Afraid to announce to your friends and family that you're launching your business? I've totally been there. It's cool, though — do a soft launch your website to just get a feel for having it out there, living and breathing in the world. A soft launch may actually be a brilliant move since you can test the waters and make sure everything is functioning properly from the backend, start to build up your social presence, and get your marketing materials in order. Then, after a few days or weeks, make the big announcement and go full force into attack mode. Give yourself a deadline for this big announcement though, otherwise it'll never come and you'll end up like me — two years later and regretting not fully committing to my gut when I had the chance the first time.
- Embrace It — While fear is most generally seen as the instinctual reaction to danger, it can also be the indicator of something you SHOULD do; The thing you need to do; And the thing that may come with the highest reward. If you're fearful of something — aside from physical risk and scary-ass movies like Sinister (seriously you guys, have you SEEN this movie!?) — it's probably because you care about the outcome so much you don't want to fail. Getting to know this feeling and understanding WHY it is you're feeling it, will allow you to minimize its effect on you in a negative way, and instead see fear as a positive reaction to the moves you need to be making in your business.
- Get Out of the Comfort Trap — Comfortable sweats, wine, popcorn, and a movie on a lazy Saturday night? Awesome. (Unless the movie is Sinister. Not kidding about that) Not wanting to step out of your comfort zone in life and business? Not so awesome. In order for you to face your fear, you're going to have to do things that make you less than comfortable every so often. This isn't like wearing-shorts-in-the-Summertime-when-you-have-"muscular"-thighs-type of comfort. We're talking about introducing yourself to strangers in a Facebook group. Weighing in on a convo on Twitter. Becoming a published author by releasing an ebook on Amazon. Sharing your extensive knowledge about your business on your blog. Success doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly won't knock on your door on a Saturday night while you're watching TV. You're going to have to find it and make it happen, which may mean that you'll be uncomfortable. But the more you feel it now, the less you'll feel it later.