How do you approach building your business?
Do you wait until everything is 100% perfect before you talk about it? Over-analyze every opportunity before you make a decision?
Do you start things and never finish them? Think of hundreds of ideas but never act on any of them?
Do you feel a pang of jealousy when you see other people doing things you wish you could do?
My friend Bev Barnes describes people who think (and think… and think… and think… ) as “freezers.”
That’s because when it’s time for them to stop planning and start doing they—you guessed it—freeze.
And when you’re frozen as a business owner, everything freezes: the clients don’t come, opportunities disappear, and the money stops flowing.Click to TweetWhen you’re frozen as a business owner, everything freezes: the clients don’t come, opportunities disappear, and the money stops flowing.
The good news is, there’s a way to get out of the tundra and take confident action.
The bad news is, it’s also 100% possible to take too much action. (Bev calls those people tornadoes.) And that’s just as bad for business.
So how do you find your action-taking sweet spot and grow your business with more ease?
Keep reading to find out.
Don’t start tornado-ing
If you’re a freezer, the answer to taking more action isn’t to transform into a tornado.
It’s easy to think that learning more and trying out new strategies will help you overcome the fear. But that flurry of action can be just as detrimental.
Know this: Not all action is good action. Especially when your actions aren’t moving you toward a specific goal.
Tornados, just like their namesake, operate in a state of complete chaos. Sometimes, this means the actions they’re taking are actually moving them sideways or backwards. They don’t take the time to stop, check in, and make sure they’re on the right track.
That’s how I created the wrong business when I was just starting out! I was so busy just moving, moving, moving that I didn’t check in to see if I even liked career coaching.
But here’s the thing: Tornados are my most successful clients.
It’s not because their way of dealing with fear is better than how freezers process discomfort. It’s because that energy and willingness to take action can be channeled in a very powerful way.
So if you’re a freezer, the first thing you can do to channel a little more of that tornado energy and finally stop letting perfectionism get the best of you is…
Notice when perfectionistic thoughts and tendencies crop up
“I’m not ready.”
“I tried this before and it didn’t work.”
“What if this flops?”
“What’s the “right” way to do this?”
I have good news and bad news for you: These thoughts are completely normal and totally understandable when you’re facing a new challenge. That nervous, sweaty, squirmy feeling you get happens to every business owner… you’re not alone!
But that fear and discomfort never really go away. You’ll notice that discomfort continues to show up when you’re upleveling your business.
Instead of letting those crappy thoughts keep you stuck, know that it’s just the fear talking!
You can’t give in to those thoughts and stay stuck. It doesn’t pay off to spend all your time thinking about the consequences of what’s going to happen and what’s not going to happen… without actually doing anything.
It’s impossible to wait (or think) your way to success. You can only work your way to success. And it’s better to try something big and fail than attempt nothing and succeed.Click to TweetIt’s impossible to wait (or think) your way to success. You can only work your way to success.
Remember you’re braver and smarter than you give yourself credit for. You had the guts to start your own business. You’ve done hard things before, and you’ve used your creativity, resilience, and determination to overcome challenges.
You get to choose your path and the thoughts you believe. You can decide to move in the direction of truth—not fear.
And the best way to silence that nasty inner critic and get moving is to take imperfect action!
I have two foolproof strategies that will help you.
Action Strategy #1: Adopt a scientist’s mindset
When something doesn’t go quite as you planned (after all that planning!), what’s your first thought?
“I’m destined to be a failure.”
“I must be in the wrong niche.”
Or, “Hmm, that’s interesting. I wonder why that happened.”
Please pick the third one!
It’s this natural curiosity—what I call a scientist’s mindset—that is really going to serve your business.
Scientists don’t jump to conclusions or think their experiment was a failure after one attempt, and they don’t take the results personally. Instead, they ask questions about the results and use that information to figure out their next steps.
It’s time to adopt a scientist’s mindset. When you try a new idea, a new service, a new marketing plan, simply say to yourself, “Let’s see how this goes.”
Decide to take action, look at your actions and the results objectively, course correct…and then try again!
Another way to do this is…
Action Strategy #2: Serve and learn model
You know I’m a huge fan of the serve and learn approach to building a business.
In a nutshell, it goes like this:
Every time you take an action, even if you fall flat on your face, you get clearer and clearer on your next steps.
And somewhere in between all that amazing action taking, you’ll have an ah-ha moment. Something that makes you think, “Oh, I should try this…”
And that’s when things click into place, and your business skyrockets. You get more opportunities, you build trust with your audience, and you build your confidence as a business owner.
None of that is possible if you freeze.
A final thought
Freezers absolutely need to take imperfect action. But recognize that not all action is good action. Any action you take needs to be focused, productive, and deliberate rather than frantic and frenzied. It is possible to go too crazy!
Remember, the remedy will always, always be to take action, even if it’s imperfect. You’ll get clients faster, you’ll make money faster, and you’ll learn faster… but it only happens if you take action!