Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stop talking and thinking about getting started...just START!

When I was in Texas, I was talking to my daughter in law about how hard it was to start my video taping. I love teaching, talking and working with people, but just trying to look into that little camera lense seems soooooo hard. I was telling her about what others told me I should try and do. It seems like everyone has a different opinion and so I am trying to do them all. She just laughed and said, "Lynn, you don't have to do everything that everyone tells you, do what you feel is right, just get started and you will learn as you go". This younger generation are wise beyond their years aren't they? Yet someday they too will be in my shoes... a bit older and then maybe a bit timid about starting a brand new adventure at an older age. But then again, everyone's personality is different...I like things that are sure, steady and familiar...that really sums me up!

I now have a young girl who knows something about video taping and she is helping to tutor me in this whole process of mine. In turn I am teaching her to crochet!
 I am shocked at how much better I did when she was here. Maybe because I hadn't shared my fears and anxiety about it all to her. She just got behind the camera, wrote a few notes on the wipe off board for me, and before I knew it she was counting down 3, 2, 1... and I just started. Mostly because I guess I didn't want to let her down. She just believed I could do it, so I finally begun and I am still working at it.

My daughter sent me this article about just getting started on goals that you have had. I have just given you some of it, you can read the whole article HERE:
The reason I took out some parts, is because her language was a bit too colorful for me.
Anyway they were some great tips on how to get started!

Listen, there is no "right way" to start. What's important is that you START.
But starting can be scary, I know. Really scary. And there are a lot of things that might try to hold you back.
You cannot let that happen.
If this is something you want, then grab it by the horns and face it head on. I skirted around my dreams of starting my own blog biz for 3 whole years. Don't waste time like I did.
Today, I'm sharing the 4 main things that held me back, how I overcame them, and how YOU can overcome them too.

1. Focusing on the fear.

I'd always been drawn to the idea of letting my voice be heard, but for an introvert like me, I remained on the sidelines as an observer and nothing more. But I was sick of being an observer. I wanted to be a doer.
But my fear sucked away my energy. I constantly worried about the "what-ifs." 

Try this:

If you're only focusing on the worst case scenario, you're cheating yourself of all the great things that could result instead.
I'll be honest with you, my fear isn't something I've "conquered" or eliminated. It's always there.
Whenever I publish a new post, approach someone new, or push myself out of my comfort zone, I'm always TERRIFIED.
But that's okay. Wanna know why?
Because I do it anyway.

Fear isn't something we can truly eliminate, but it IS something we can overcome.

That's the key. There's no shortcut around it. Accept your fear and acknowledge that it's there, BUT THEN DO IT ANYWAY. Whatever your "it" is.

2. Not knowing where to begin or where to go from there.

I spent hours at a time reading blog post after blog post and book after book trying to learn everything I could. For 3 YEARS.
I'd be a millionaire if I had a penny for every wasted second I spent researching things that wouldn't make a world of a difference in helping me start.
I thought if I could learn more about x, y, or z, THEN I would be ready. THEN I could start. Over and over again I kept thinking like this, all the while not even knowing what "starting" really looked like.
When it came down to it, I was procrastinating.
You learn best by doing. What works for someone else isn't always going to work for you. You have to experiment. The way you create, work, and live is entirely unique to you. Just because you go about things differently doesn't make you wrong.
Try this:

Write out all of your goals.

Take some time to really think about what it is you wish to accomplish, and then WRITE THEM DOWN. Don't just think about them. Make them real. Commit to your goals. Tell your family or friends, create a poster for your wall, or do whatever it is you need to do in order to hold yourself accountable.
I made my goal of starting a blog public when I officially set my launch day. I gave myself a month and a half to get things ready, which might not sound like a lot of time, but it's what got me hustling. I was done with wasting time.

Choose one main goal to focus on and break it down into manageable chunks.

For me, starting a blog was my main goal. Now that's all well and good, but unless I had taken the time to map out exactly what steps I needed to take to get there, I probably wouldn't be writing this post.
I had to do some reverse engineering that looked something like this:
  • Start writing blog posts (what do I write about?)
  • Topics in my niche (how do I find my niche?)
  • Figure out what it is I really want to do and who I want to help (how will I share these things?)
  • Develop my brand (how do I raise awareness?)
  • Network and form meaningful relationships with others (where do I find people?)
  • Become more active on social media (but how do I get over my fear and stick with it?)
  • Make a public commitment (what will hold me accountable?)
  • Set a launch date (what do I do now?)
  • Set up a website (how do I start a website?)
  • Find a hosting provider (how do I find out which one is right for me?)
  • Start a trial with Squarespace (how do I set it up in time?)
  • Set a schedule and stick to it (what if I'm not ready?)
  • Launch and learn
By breaking things down one step at a time, it's much easier to visualize where you're headed and what you need to do to get there. From this basic outline, I was able to make a plan that covered the main points I needed to make my goals a reality.
Were there some unexpected surprises? Of course. There always will be. But since I had already carved myself a rough path, I was much better equipped to face them.

3. Fear of networking.

I used to be straight up terrified of anything that could be remotely categorized as networking. Facebook groups were intimidating. Twitter was overwhelming (sending out a tweet was out of the question, let alone tweeting TO someone). And emails? Ohhh man, the thought of sending one of those was a nightmare.
But I knew that if I ever wanted this to become a real thing, I had to start reaching out to others. My blog would not have launched with the same impact it did if I hadn't been actively utilizing social media.
You shouldn't have to run your blog biz alone. You DON'T have to.

Try this:

Share other's content on social media.

Even if your website is not anywhere near launch, start sharing. You can never start sharing too soon. By sharing other's content, you're supporting your fellow bloggers by spreading the word, easing yourself into the flow of social media, and opening doors to future connections and friendships.
One of my favorite tools for this is Buffer, which allows you to schedule updates in advance as well as shorten URLs. It's played a big part in helping me stay active by consistently sharing useful content with my followers.

Comment on other blogs.

I know this is almost like a blogger cliché, but that's because commenting on other blogs is such an essential part to building relationships and extending your outreach.
Be sure your comments offer something of value to the post's author. Don't just say things like "Wow, great post!" or worse "Nice! Come check out my blog now!" 
Show that you actually put in the effort to read through their post. Talk about points that resonated with you most, your experiences, or any questions you might have.

4. Lack of confidence.

Second guessing myself is something I've always struggled with. I'll even second guess the dumbest of things.
In addition to the blog, I also run a music studio business. One time when I was shopping for supplies, I was struggling to decide on which stickers would get me the most for my money while still appealing to my students. Safari animals with 251 stickers or cute little owls with 248? Or maybe springtime flowers with 257??? WHICH DO I CHOOSE?!?!
Did I mention they were only $1 each? ....Yeaaahhhh.
So I'm sure you can imagine how indecisive I was when it came to launching an entire website.
I doubted everything and gave into the excessive amount of worries I had. Not to mention the fact that everyone and their cat seemed like they had already jumped on the blogging bandwagon. Why should I?
But the thing is, every single one of us has something unique to offer. You have your own voice, stories, experiences, personality, and opinions that are unlike those of anyone else. These are the things you need to hold onto.

Try this:

Define your WHY.

This is one of, if not THE most important step of starting your blog biz. I mentioned in last week's newsletter how your WHY is the driving force behind everything you do - every blog post, every product, every service, every single piece of content you create. It's the very core of your entire brand.
  • Your WHY defines your purpose.
  • Your WHY shapes who you are and what you do.
  • Your WHY makes you stand out from the crowd.
  • Your WHY connects you with other like-minded people and those you can help most.
  • Your WHY prevents you from giving up when things get tough.
Since this is such an essential part of your blog biz no matter what stage you're at with it.
As you can tell, I'm no stranger to the fear that comes along with blogging, starting your own business, and putting yourself out there. It's not easy, but I promise you it's so worth it!

What fears have held you back?
How have you overcome them?

Anyway there were some great points in this article that really made me think!

For all of you who continue to wait and support me in this new adventure...thank you!
Thanks for believing in me!
Good night dear friends

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