Hey there Rainmaker, let’s talk. I hear something may be holding you back in business and in life.
You see, I did that copywriting survey last week. And I’ll have some announcements soon about what’s going to come from it. But today, I wanted to take a little diversion to talk about something I’ve noticed in the answers.
You see, there was a big difference in the answers of folks who aren’t making things happen yet, and those who are.
A huge gulf.
On one side of the gulf — the side we ALL want to get to, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading and email like Breakthrough Marketing Secrets — is success.
Now, for different folks, this means different things. But basically, it’s making good money, spending your time doing work that you enjoy.
On the other side of this gulf, is…
Now, this actually applies to EVERYBODY. Not just copywriters. And not just folks who haven’t reached their desired level of success, yet.
You see, you could be a success in business (whether that’s in the copywriting business or some other) and still be held back ELSEWHERE by fear.
Maybe it’s on a new project that could 10X your business, and take you to a whole new level of success.
Maybe it’s in your personal relationships.
Maybe it’s in your health.
Maybe somewhere else.
I don’t know where you’re held back.
I just know that if you’re growing, you’re going to hit some roadblocks along the way. And one of the most common has to do with fear.
And the better you can do to get through the fear and act with confidence, the more you’re going to get everything you want in life.
By the way, you’ve probably noticed this lesson isn’t diving into a book chapter — and it won’t. I’m shaking things up today, writing today’s email as a standalone — stay tuned for a shift in how I’m going to continue with writing a book while you watch.
Back to today’s topic: Fear, and its opposite, Confidence.
This has come up a ton recently.
I’ve been involved in quite a few conversations among successful entrepreneurs and business owners. Where they’re talking about how they went from getting basically no results — or nowhere near the results they wanted — up to a tremendous level of success.
And there’s been ONE thing, over and over again, that’s been the secret.
ONE thing that’s transformed their fortunes.
ONE thing that’s made all the difference in the world.
And from what I’ve heard from my readers, this one thing is sorely needed.
Whether it’s to breakout and get started, or take that next giant leap ahead.
Here’s the BIG PICTURE view for what you need to do to break through fear (before I give you a proven 4-step method)…
I’ve told you this before, and I’ll tell it to you again.
“Just do it.”
Nike (actually, their ad agency) nailed it.
If you want to get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go, it’s time to get moving.
Let me take it out of the business world for a moment, because this applies EVERYWHERE.
My wife, a few years back, decided she wanted to start running half marathons. Now, she’d run before. But nowhere close to the 13.1 miles you have to run to complete a “half.”
So — how did she go from maybe being able to run 3, 4, 5 miles to being able to consistently and relatively easily completing a 13.1-mile run?
Well, she ran. A lot.
First, she ran a bunch of 3-, 4-, and 5-mile runs. Then, a bunch of 4-, 5-, and 6-mile runs. And she kept increasing the run lengths, in line with the training routine she’d established.
Until leading up to the half, she was running 9-, 10-, 12-mile runs.
And then in later training, for later half marathons, she was running 14- and 15-mile training runs, to prep for running 13.1.
All along though, the secret to getting closer and closer to her goal was lacing up those running shoes at 6 AM, and going out there, putting one foot in front of the other, and just doing it.
This same “just do it” process is so consistent among successful entrepreneurs, that I believe your choice to ignore it or not take it seriously is pretty much a sure sign you’re going to fail…
It’s not easy. And the end result will NOT come immediately. You will likely struggle.
You don’t decide you’re going to run a half marathon, and get up and do a 13.1-mile training run tomorrow.
There’s going to be sweat and agony and disappointment and failure and sore muscles and the occasional win and moments where you feel like you’re finally succeeding only to run into yet another roadblock.
Victory isn’t claimed by those who show up for the 3-mile or the 7-mile or even the 12-mile training runs.
Victory is claimed by those who follow through with every training run, and then get up on race day and carry themselves from start to finish. (And if they fail or falter on this race, they sign up for the next one.)
Ryan Levesque, who I respect immensely and whose book Ask I recommended the other day (get it free + S&H here — marketing education bargain of the year), adds a little color to the words…
Ryan says, “Screw it, Just DO IT!”
Others are spicier still!
Either way, the message is the same.
You need to lace up your shoes, and keep training.
(Side note, for those who are following… I continue to play piano very poorly with my “1% improvement per week” approach, mainly practicing scales. This morning, I actually played chords plus melody — again, very poorly — for “London Bridge Is Falling Down.” It was the first time I [kind of] got my hands working together. And a little victory in the “Just do it!” approach.)
Okay, but I hear the chorus…
“Roy, that’s GREAT, but if I’m totally honest with myself I’m afraid to ‘Just do it!’ because I’ve tried and failed before and it’s painful and I don’t know if I can take another…”
Trust me, I get it!
It’s hard to fail.
Even harder publicly — especially failing FOR a paying client.
Been there, done that. More often than I really want to admit!
But this is EXACTLY when you need to “Just do it” the most.
This is exactly when you need to lace up your shoes, and start running again.
It’s easy to keep doing it after you’ve succeeded. It’s ridiculously hard to do it immediately after you’ve failed.
Which do you think defines success?
But let me make it a little easier for you.
A 4-step system for busting through fear and reaching confidence, courtesy of Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach…
I can’t help sharing lessons I’ve learned from Dan. He’s a very sharp business thinker — especially when it comes to the mindset and methods of successful entrepreneurship.
And so in giving credit where credit is due, this is something Dan came up with while working with thousands of entrepreneurs, helping them break through roadblocks that have come up in their businesses. (And this applies equally whether we’re talking about getting started, or moving from $1 million to $10 million, or any other big breakthrough that requires “taking it to the next level.”)
Like all of us, Dan’s clients want confidence.
And, for those of us who’ve been succeeding for a while, we can look at what we do today and look how confident we are at it.
Then we look at the things we want to do, and wish we were confident at those.
This causes a gap. And it causes a roadblock.
We’ll continue succeeding at what got us to this level, because that allows us to act in our circle of confidence.
But those new things that we could do that would have a 2X or 10X or 100X impact on our career, our business, our life, our world… We choose not to do because they are outside of our circle of confidence.
What we forget in this process is that everything we are confident at today, we were incompetent at, fearful of, and certainly not confident in at one point in our lives.
Even simple things like walking, eating, or using our hands to pick things up are LEARNED. Yes, we may be wired to learn them, but we don’t know them when we are born.
We tried, and we failed, to do those things many, many times before we could do them at even a moderate level of competence — much less doing them really well.
If we’d waited, as babies, to be CONFIDENT in walking before we tried to take our first step, we’d still be laying on our backs, in our cribs, in a diaper full of our own poo.
Confidence is not what you need to “Just do it.”
Confidence is what you get AFTER you “Just do it.”
Here’s what you need to do to develop confidence at anything…
This is Dan Sullivan’s 4 C’s to Confidence…
Decide you’re going to do it. I was certainly not confident in writing a world-class essay every day on business, marketing, selling, life when I started doing it over a year ago.
But I asked one person to be my first subscriber, and I committed that I would do it.
At other times, I’ve written that you should “feel the fear, do it anyway.” Courage is certainly NOT acting without fear. It’s acting with fear. Acting before you have the confidence. Acting when you know failure is possible, even likely.
The result of acting with courage is that through trial, error, and success you start to develop competence in what you’re doing. You may not be great to start, but you get good through practice and dedication to action.
Finally, the reward. And only AFTER the hard work. Confidence in doing something you worked at before, something you failed at, is as good a measure of success as anything else.
Yes, the money is nice, too. But this confidence lasts even when money doesn’t.
And here’s the really important part… The better you get at this ENTIRE PROCESS, the more easily success will come.
They say the second million is easier than the first (even if you lost the first entirely).
This is why. This process is a feedback loop. What that means is, the more you do it (intentionally), the easier it is to use over and over again.
If you get good at going through commitment, courage, competence, and confidence at individual tasks, you’ll have more confidence to take on bigger and more impactful tasks in the future.
When you’re confident you can build your confidence through saying “Screw it, Just DO IT!,” you’ll step into and through your fear more readily with the next thing you want to take on.
Confidence begets confidence. Success begets success.
But it all starts when you commit to taking action, and acting with courage, in the face of fear.
“Just do it.”
That’s the most powerful, most universal, most impactful lesson I’ve ever learned.
And I promise it will be for you.
What are you going to commit to today?
Leaver you comment and let me know.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets