Personal Branding

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3 Ways to ACT When You’re Scared to Fail

afraid to fail

We’re jumping right in today, my friends.

I’ve heard from so many people in my online community that fear is holding you back from becoming the entrepreneur you want to be, and as far as I’m concerned, that just WILL NOT DO. Entrepreneurs are action takers at heart, and I think we’d all agree that working for someone else for the rest of our lives is far scarier than building our own personal brands, right?


You shouldn’t be scared to fail.. Ever.

So today, in the spirit of taking action, I’ve got three things you can start doing RIGHT NOW that will help you bust through the fear and the noise and the excuses so you can take meaningful steps toward building a business than changes the world.

3 Ways to ACT

Are you ready? I know you are. You were born ready. Let’s go!

Ask the Opposite Question

If you’ve ever googled “How do I succeed in online business?” and been overwhelmed into inaction by 10 billion results, try this next time: instead of searching for the thing you want, ask the opposite.

You don’t even need Google for this, guys. Instead of “How do I succeed?” ask yourself, “How can I FAIL in online business?”

Notice how different that sounds, and how differently you react to it. And I bet you’ve got answers already, right off the top of your head, don’t you? I bet you see people every day making bad business choices, and maybe you’ve made a few yourself. I can DEFINITELY think of a few ways to fail: how about overplanning without action? Or trying to do it all yourself

Asking the opposite question is powerful because it immediately illuminates the things we’re all doing against our own best interest. Try it. If you see yourself and your choices reflected in the list of ways to fail, I dare you not to feel instantly motivated to start making different choices immediately.

Schedule LESS Time than You Need

So many of our fears are about not having enough time to do the things we want to do. But how much time is ever enough? From my own experience, we will NEVER have all the time we want to perfect our courses, launch pages, books, whatever. We’ll always wish we had “more time” to make things better, but if we’re being serious, a deadline might be the only way to ever get it out the door.

That’s why I love the idea of forcing yourself into action by actually giving yourself LESS time than you think you need to get a thing done.

I’ve been here before, and I know you have as well. When our backs are up against the wall and we need to finish such-and-such by a certain time, we always deliver, don’t we? So let’s capitalize on the adrenaline that accompanies a deadline, and then supercharge it by trimming the deadline even further. I dare you to cut an extra 5-10% off the time you think you have to complete a task.

Enforce Consequences

My friend Jeff Goins has written about this concept before, and the gist is this: when dangling carrots (incentives) aren’t enough to get you past the fear of taking action, it’s time to introduce more stick (consequences). Have a blog post you’ve been procrastinating on, or a product you want to launch? Set your deadline (as above), and then make it more painful NOT to meet that deadline than to just do what you’ve set out to do.

When Jeff’s friend wanted to write a book, but hadn’t made any notable progress on it after two years, he signed a post-dated check to the political candidate he hated the most and then handed it off to a friend. “Mail this if I don’t meet my deadline,” he said. Of course, he then finished his book on time. OF COURSE HE DID.

Less carrot, more stick.

So there you have it!

Ask the opposite question. Schedule less time than you need. Enforce consequences. With these three tools, you’ll be so busy making tracks that you won’t have time to fear failure anymore. You’ll simply never be scared to fail again.

This isn’t rocket science, but I think we both know it’s not easy, either. The hard part starts now, when you turn back to your desk and decide you’re actually going to do them.

I know you will!

If you enjoyed this post, please let me know on my Facebook page or via Twitter. And… if you have some likeminded friends, I’d love for you to share it with them. Thank you!

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