I have a single sticky note on my computer that says this:
Don’t be an asshole.
This sticky note has nothing to do with anuses…
Or “being a stupid, mean, or contemptible person”.
(The definitions you’ll find in a dictionary).
And it has everything to do with growing your online business in 2018.
In fact, this single sentence is so important to me that I decided to make it my theme for 2018.
I wrote about why I did that (and what it means) in this post.
This one sticky note could literally change your life.
Apply it to your online business and you’ll…
- Make more money than ever before
- Help more people than ever before
- And be the happiest you’ve ever been
It’ll help you make 2018 the best year in business ever (and it’s not even close).
And no, I’m not making this up.
Read on, and you’ll find out all about why you should put that sticky note on your computer as well.
But first, let me ask you something.
How many ideas did you have last year that never saw the light of day?
How many business ideas did you think of pursuing, but never explored?
How many blog posts did you think of writing, but never wrote (or published)?
How many products did you think of creating, but never tested or launched?
Think about it.
In fact, ask yourself a few more questions.
How many emails did you think of writing (to your friends, clients, mentors or readers) that you never wrote (or sent out)?
How many podcasts, guest posts or publicity opportunities did you think about pursuing, but never did anything about?
How many influential people did you want to connect with, but never did?
If you’re like me, just thinking about these questions will make you sick in your stomach.
It’ll make you want to hide the answer to these questions, because you’re ashamed of it.
For example, I have a note on my phone that includes 186 blog post ideas:
That’s a 10-page Google Document full of ideas (or exactly 2037 words of ideas).
These are just the ideas from the last 5 months (when I got a new phone).
There’re hundreds of more ideas scattered throughout my phone, notebooks, and computers.
How many of these blog post ideas did I actually end up writing?
Maybe about 10.
That’s a lot of blog posts that I’ve never written.
A lot of blog posts that could have brought more readers to my online business, and helped my existing readers live a lot better lives.
And it’s not just blog posts.
I’ve had tens of ideas for online programs that I never got around to creating.
I’ve had tens of podcasts that I could go on or reach out to but never did.
I even had a few guest post opportunities for major publications that I never wrote or submitted.
All of these things would help me further grow my online business.
And yet they didn’t, because they never saw the light of day.
And if you’re reading this, I bet you’re in the exact same boat.
You have your own wall of shame of ideas that you never acted on.
And you know that if you did, your business would be in a very different place than it is today.
So the question is…
Why do we have so many ideas that we never follow through with?
The easiest thing to say would be:
“I didn’t have the time”.
But come on. We ALL know that’s not true.
I know that if I had time to watch the whole Game of Thrones season, to spend more than 15 hours a week in the gym, and to spend more hours than I’d like to admit on emails, social media and reading travel blogs, I had more time to write as well.
If it wasn’t time, was it energy?
Was I so burned out and exhausted that I couldn’t physically make myself act on ideas?
To be honest, no.
I had plenty of times when I felt perfectly fine, but still didn’t act on my ideas (and instead invited friends over for the evening to lose myself in board games).
So if it’s not time, and not energy, then what the hell is it?
For me, it’s…
This might come as a surprise to some, because I’m generally known for “making things good enough and moving on”, and “executing on ideas fast”.
But that’s because of the ideas that people SEE come to life.
With those, I’m able to break away from perfectionism and launch them – fast.
But nobody sees the ideas that I don’t execute on (or follow through with) – but me.
And the reason why these ideas don’t come to life is pretty simple.
I don’t let them.
Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies.
I don’t write blog posts because I think they’re not interesting enough.
Because I don’t think anyone will read them.
Because I don’t think they’ll make a huge impact on my business.
And obviously, the better alternative according my brain is to just spend time THINKING about blog post ideas and writing them down into my little note document.
I don’t create or launch new products because I’m afraid that nobody will want to buy them.
Because I’m afraid that I’ll spend hundreds of hours on them that will go to waste.
Because I’m afraid that they won’t work as well as I would have wanted them to.
Again, the better alternative according to my brain is to spend time PLANNING new products, rather than actually testing and launching them.
Luckily, there’s silver lining to all of this.
When we DO follow through with our ideas, magic happens.
You might remember how I started my first online business a few years ago (productivity coaching for online poker players).
I had this idea for “The Quick Guide to Skyrocketing Your Poker Productivity” at 6am in my parents’ apartment.
I woke up, I logged into a poker forum, and I wrote it.
A year later, that single idea I acted on has helped me bring in over $38k in coaching and freelance revenues – more than DOUBLE the average annual salary in Slovenia.
Or, you might recall a story of how my business idea of teaching online entrepreneurs how to write Ultimate Guides came to life.
I had an idea to do this, brought it up to a few friends, and got my first paying clients for it within hours of thinking of the idea.
Then, I sent out the idea to my email list and got a total of 7 paying clients for 1on1 coaching (and over $20k in revenue).
A year later, my Ultimate Guide System has brought in over 6 figures to my online business.
The crazy part?
I had this same idea to teach entrepreneurs how to write Ultimate Guides back in 2015, but never acted on it because I didn’t think it would work out.
Another random idea was The Top Performer Club, my group coaching program for online entrepreneurs.
Even though it took me more than 6 months to test out the idea through my email list, the 3 emails I sent out about it ended up bringing over $18k in coaching revenue to my online business.
It’s crazy to see how most of the big breakthroughs in my online business can be traced down to these small moments of courage…
…When I gave myself permission to stop worrying and just act on my ideas.
It’s scary to think how much more my business would grow if I acted on even more of my ideas.
Which begs the question…
What if we could follow through with our ideas ALL the time?
What would that do for our business?
How much faster would we be able to grow it?
How many more people would be able to help?
And how much happier would we be because we’d know we’re really giving our business EVERYTHING we can?
I know that for me, the answer is A LOT.
My business would grow a lot faster, I’d help a lot more people, and I’d be a lot happier.
But there’s also a trickier question that we need to address.
Is it even possible to follow through with our ideas ALL the time?
It’s easy to dream about the perfect world, especially in the beginning of each year when we’re all excited and motivated.
It’s much harder when the reality hits us and we actually need to do the work, especially when times get tough, life comes in the way or we fall off track.
And let’s be honest, no matter what technique I would use, I wouldn’t be able to write 186 great blog posts last year PLUS launch 10 incredible online programs last year.
Unless I cloned myself. Which would be super cool, but unfortunately I don’t know how to do that yet.
So it’s safe to say that following through with all of your ideas is pretty much impossible, and while that’s something we could strive for, it’s something we’ll never ever really achieve.
Especially since acting on our ideas successfully usually sparks MORE ideas for what we could do.
Luckily, there’s something we CAN do instead.
We can follow through with (a lot) MORE of our ideas.
And we can spend less time THINKING about them and REFINING them.
We can spend less time THINKING about writing that blog post, and actually sit down to write it.
We can spend less time EDITING that blog post, and publish it to see what our readers think about it.
We can spend less time doing the work that NEVER sees the light of day…
…And spend more time creating work that DOES.
And that’s what I’m committed to doing more of this year.
I’m committed to making more of my ideas come to life, even if all of them are not “perfect”.
Because I know that as I do this, I’ll open myself to finding ideas that ARE amazing, AND I’ll help more people in the process (rather than just keeping the ideas for myself).
There’s just one problem.
Following through with your ideas is a lot easier said than done.
I mean, think about it.
You’ve probably had times when you made the exact same commitment to yourself.
You said you’d stop being a perfectionist, and put your ideas out into the world faster.
In the moment, it felt great…
…But in the end, you didn’t actually do it.
A few days later, you forgot about it, and went back into your old habits.
THINK, THINK, THINK.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.
REFINE, REFINE, REFINE.
…over and over again.
So how will 2018 be different?
That’s where this little sticky note comes into play:
I got the idea for this sticky note through a conversation with my client that struggled with the exact same issue.
She spent months and months creating and refining a blog post that never saw the light of day.
This felt crazy to me, because I read her blog post and though it was awesome.
I asked her:
“Why don’t you just publish it?”
And of course, her response was predictable:
“I don’t think it’s any good.”
“I don’t think anyone will read it.”
“I think I need to spend some more time on it.”
She was her own worst critic, and her own worst enemy.
As I listened to her thoughts, I thought to myself:
“Wow, she’s focusing a lot on what SHE thinks about her blog post… And is completely ignoring what her READERS would think about it.”
Then I recommended her to make a sticky note like this one – and put it on her computer screen.
She finished her blog post shortly after that.
Here’s the truth:
Your readers don’t care about your blog posts not being perfect.
Especially if you’re just starting out with your online business.
They CAN’T and WON’T be perfect. (as you’re still learning how to write great content).
But what your readers DO care about is your IDEAS.
They want to hear your ideas, and implement them in their lives.
Just like this blog post that I’m writing right now, which by the way is an idea from about 6 months ago.
They don’t really care if the grammar in your blog posts isn’t perfect.
They don’t really care if your powerpoint slides for your online program has a typo.
They don’t even care if your ideas are 100% refined or not, as long as they can actually hear them.
That’s because they’ll take your ideas, and apply them to their own lives, in their own ways.
But if they never HEAR ABOUT your ideas, they can never do that.
They can never SEE them in a post that’s shared or social media, or HEAR them in a podcast where you talk about them.
They can never READ the blog post that you never wrote (or published) for them.
They can never APPLY your ideas if you don’t create that online program that will help them put them into action.
Your readers cannot care about the things they never hear about.
So by not putting your ideas out into the world, you’re not just letting yourself down.
You’re letting your readers down.
You possess all of this knowledge that could help them change their lives, and you’re not sharing it with them.
And that makes you kind of an asshole.
You’re putting yourself first, not your customers.
At the end of the day, running an online business isn’t about you.
It’s about your customers, who NEED to hear what you have to say.
So every time you catch yourself keeping your ideas for yourself, remember that you’re doing this to help people.
And then share your ideas with the world, even if they’re not perfect.
Because doing that is infinitely better than not sharing them at all.
That’s what I’m doing, and that’s why I have that post it note on my screen.
I encourage you to make one too – and send it my way. I’d love to see it.
In 2018, all I ask you is to do one thing…
Don’t be an asshole.
Share your ideas with the world.
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