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At first read, you may think, “Fear? My fear isn’t holding me back from success.”
I used to think that too. About a lot of things. But ask yourself if any of these statements ring true for you:
“Our home page copy is really spammy, but it’s ranking well. I don’t want to change it and cause our rankings to drop.”
“We hired a copywriter a few years ago. Her writing was horrible. I’ll never outsource again – it was a dreadful experience.”
“I know we need to do something with our site, but what if it doesn’t work? If I can’t show ROI, I may not have a job at the end of the quarter.”
Or if you’re a copywriter, you may think…
“I want to start freelancing, but what if I don’t make any money. Better to keep my horrible job than be forced to live under a bridge.”
You go through a couple bad vendors and think, “Nope, never again.” You think of revamping your site copy and think, “Nope, it may not work.”
So you do nothing. But unfortunately, even doing “nothing” causes stress. Because deep down, you know that doing nothing has less to do with the numbers and everything to do with your psychological wiring.
In short, your fear is messing with you. And it’s costing you money.
I get it. I really do. I’ve been self employed for over 20 years, and I’ve had my share of fear-based moments. I’ve launched businesses with a scant $1,000 to my name. I’ve had vendors who worked…and others who really haven’t. And yeah, I’ve felt the fear.
And yeah, it messed with me too. It messes with everyone.
Now, here’s how to get over it.
- Know that fear is sometimes a good thing. Fear can be your mind’s way of saying, “Hey, we’re doing something outside of our comfort zone. We don’t like this.” If you want to build muscle, you have to train outside of your comfort zone. And if you want to build revenue, sometimes, that means doing something outside of your business comfort zone. Can you imagine what your business life would be like if you didn’t have the guts to buy a domain name – or build a website – or take a chance on a risky project that netted you a lot of money. You’ve already conquered this fear already. You can do it again.
- Outline a small, actionable step and do it. How many things do you have on your “to-do” list like, “Talk to a copywriter,” or “Figure out how to handle our unoptimized pages.” Ack! With to-do’s like that, is it any wonder you’re stressed, overwhelmed and fearful? Focus your energies instead on one thing you can do to move the process forward. For instance, ask your LinkedIn network for copywriter referrals. Divide your site into sections and list 10 unoptimized pages a day. Breaking up huge projects into small tasks helps you feel a sense of accomplishment. And before you know it, you’ll have completed what felt like an overwhelming task!
- Understand that the past doesn’t dictate the present. Afraid to hire a new SEO copywriter because the last relationship was less than stellar. Guess what? Unless you’re still with your very first boyfriend (or girlfriend,) you’ve already conquered this fear. You dated again. You probably even had another long term relationship. You dealt with it. Just because you had a bad experience once doesn’t mean that it will repeat itself. Nor should a past experience (even if it just happened last week,) cause you to immediately reject a future one. Should you learn from your experience? Yes. Should you take the lessons you learned and make more informed decisions? Yes. But the decision shouldn’t be “I’m too afraid to deal with this again.”
When you take action – even just a little bit – you’re taking control and meeting your fear dead-on. You don’t want the fear to win, do you? It doesn’t have to. And that’s something you can control.