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[Fear] Understanding Fear In Your Business and Why Perfectionism Isn't Necessarily a Good Thing

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by SEO, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. SEO

    SEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    In a previous post, I encouraged people to take action. A common reason people don't make money is because they spend all their time learning, but spend very little time putting their newly acquired knowledge to action.

    From that post, I learned something too. It's something that I probably understood, but didn't consciously realize: people often don't act because there's an underlying fear. I believe all entrepreneurs face fear.

    Why Do We Experience Fear?

    If you've followed anything I've written on this forum, then you may have come across a Seth Godin quote or two. His style resonates with me and he does a great job of explaining business, especially the human side of business. I'll be citing a number of his quotes that have helped encourage me. This is what he had to say about why we fear:



    Our upbringing has a lot to do with how we handle fear

    Fear manifests in many ways and for many reasons. A lot of people have been doubted their whole lives. I believe fear of failure is instilled in most people from a very early age. I know in the United States that many kids are insulated from failure as much as possible (participation awards, etc).

    For others, we've lived lives devoid of risk and decision making to the point that when faced with even relatively simple decisions, we waste hours or days weighing the pros and cons. We are inundated with phrases like "safety first" and "better safe than sorry" out entire lives. In some contexts, those little nuggets of wisdom are amazing, but they don't apply to everything.

    It's funny because our whole lives, we're told:
    • If Jimmy jumped off a bridge, would you do it?
    • Be a leader, not a follower.
    • Be unique.
    But as soon as we get through grade school, we're told to do what all of the other adults do. Go to college, get an office job, get a mortgage, get married, have kids, pay bills then die. How many people on here have had people try to talk them out of running their own business? I've yet to meet a single entrepreneur who hasn't had a person who is a lifetime employee try to explain the risks of running a business.

    Let me say that again: People, with no entrepreneurship experience whatsoever, trying to explain the risks of running a business. That's like taking stock advice from someone who has only ever had a bank account.

    If we lived our lives like that, then we would end up living a life of anxiety.

    [​IMG]

    Being an Entrepreneur Demands Risk-Taking and Facing Fear

    Unfortunately, being an entrepreneur demands risk taking. Being an entrepreneur is about solving problems, opening yourself up to customer criticism, and facing competition directly. Often, these are things that corporate jobs insulate people from.

    Many People Hide Their Fear


    Often, people are fearful, but they try to hide that they're afraid. There are a lot of tools to accomplish this, but the most common one I've encountered with people is what they refer to as "perfectionism."

    [​IMG]

    Many of the "perfectionists" I know, aren't perfectionists because they have high standards... no. Why are they perfectionists?

    Because they fear criticism.

    It's far easier to keep a product on a shelf and away from the customers, than to put it out there and face the criticism. This is one quote that I always think of when I'm deciding to launch a product for a site, but I'm concerned it isn't good enough:

    [​IMG]

    A common way that people get passed this problem is by embracing the concept of "Minimum Viable Product."

    Rather than re-hash thousands of words that have already been written, here's a video that explains the idea:



    The minimum viable product helps prevent one major issue that lots of entrepreneurs have experienced:

    Spending way too much time and money on a product that ultimately fails.

    You want to invest as little as possible in your product or service and get it generating money right away so you can then validate your idea. Once the idea is validated, you then know you can invest more time and resources to make your product into the vision you set out for it.

    Don't let fear prevent you from selling.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, to get started you must learn something, but apply your knowledge as you go. Don't let fear hold you back. More importantly, recognize if fear is the thing that is stopping you. Recognizing that you are fearful is powerful because it allows you to acknowledge it and try to reason past it.

    Being blindly fearful, or hiding your fear are some of the most dangerous things to your journey to becoming an entrepreneur. Sometimes, the best way to face that fear is to launch the product or ask others to provide their honest feedback. In short, get other peoples' eyes looking at it.

    My Own Experience With Fear to Ship

    In my own experience, I recall writing an ebook, and I was so afraid that people weren't going to like it. I spent weeks going back and forth on whether to sell it or not. I even remember being relieved when I fixed some capitalization and punctuation errors. Gasp! That would have been embarrassing!

    Then, I finally did it. I put the product up for sale, and you want to know what happened?

    I bet you're expecting me to tell you this amazing story about how many sales I made. Nope. I didn't make a single sale. Nothing. I was fearful for no good reason.

    My First Refund Request

    It took months before the first sale came in, and guess what? No refund request. after that, sales came in kind of steadily, maybe 5/month. After the product had been up for a year and made over $1,000, I finally got my first refund request. And guess what, it didn't hurt. I wasn't even offended. The person wasn't rude, they just knew the information that my book taught. That taught me another important lesson about online business:

    [​IMG]

    With the profit from that ebook, I hired a more talented writer to rewrite the book and add their own experiences and twists. I then put up a product I was truly proud of, and to this day, it still sells about $100-$200 per month. I have only had about 5 refunds in the years the product has sold, and I've sold hundreds of copies. A lot of anxiety for nothing.

    With all of that said, I leave you with these two final quotes:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hope this helps someone, or even a few people. Good luck to you all in your business.
     
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  2. Turhan

    Turhan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    My favorite quote of the bunch. I feel I spend too much time designing my sites and they still never look perfect to me

    I now feel motivated to start a journey I left a while back because I never thought my site looked good enough.
    Will be starting a journey thread and do everything but worry about design

    Thanks @SEO
     
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  3. SEO

    SEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Really glad it inspired you man. Tag me in your thread :)
     
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  4. Turhan

    Turhan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Will do:)
     
  5. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    Yeah, perfectionism is, in essence a symptom of low self esteem. this is a hot topic in the startup world and I've experienced it first hand.

    It's tough to overcome it, but one has to understand that most of the time is better to launch a regular to bad product than launching no product at all. This is specially true in the digital world where improvements can be shipped easily and with no cost added.
     
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  6. Turhan

    Turhan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I really appreciate this post because there are enough guides on BHW. This site has amazing content and guides but this fear of failure, of getting caught, getting banned or not doing it right, is what is stopping most people, not the lack of guides.
     
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