Most of the entrepreneurs that I know are:
Really prone to over-thinking, over-analyzing, fretting, ruminating, and worrying.
Maybe it’s because so many of us work alone at home, wearing stained yoga pants, in a state of semi-isolation, and we start to go a little crazy. Maybe it’s because we can’t rely on the promise of a bi-weekly paycheck, and our stress levels are continually rising and falling. Maybe it’s because we’re very imaginative—which means we can imagine amazing possibilities, as well as horrifying catastrophes.
Whatever the reason may be, so many entrepreneurs have a tendency to worry endlessly about what might happen or not happen, what might sell or not sell.
If you add up all of the hours that you’ve spent wondering, “Will this work? Will anybody buy this? Is this stupid? Should I do this? Maybe somebody else has already done this better than I ever could?” it would be a massive chunk of time. Probably enough time to watch the entire Game of Thrones series from start to finish.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Worrying doesn’t solve anything.
Worrying doesn’t provide clarity.
Worrying doesn’t generate money.
Worrying is just… tiring.
Worrying is, ultimately, a form of procrastination. You might not be doing it intentionally, but if it’s happening, it’s really important to shake yourself out of that paralyzed state.
Instead of worrying, get to work! Start putting together a plan, a timeline, and a budget for your project. Start talking about your idea publicly. Start asking clients/customers what they think about your idea, and refine the concept based on their feedback.
Here are 3 super-simple ways to snap yourself out of worry-mode and into action mode:
1) Email and ask.
Make a list of 10 people who have been, or could be, your “dream client.” Email each person individually. Describe your latest idea briefly. Ask, “What do you think of this? Does this excite you? If not, why not? No pressure—I’m just collecting reactions. I’m curious to know what you honestly think.”
2) Do a survey.
At least once a year, I send a quickto my mailing list peeps—like you! I always leave a space where peeps can ask questions, leave suggestions, or mention topics that they’d love to see me cover in the future.
This type of survey provides a gold mine of information. After reading everybody’s responses, I clearly see what the people in my business community want and need. Instead of guessing haphazardly—and worrying that I’m missing the mark—I can proceed with a reasonable degree of confidence.
It doesn’t matter if you currently have 5 people in your business community or 50,000—I strongly encourage you to send out a survey. Any information is better than zero information!
3) Just try it!
Once you’ve described your idea to a couple of potential customers—either via email, in person, on the phone, or through some type of survey—then, it’s time to try it out.
If you’re feeling uneasy, start by doing a small, private, by-invitation-only trial run. Like a “beta test.” You could do a small workshop for 5 people in your living room, for example. It’s totally fine to start small. What’s important is that you’re getting your idea out of your head and into the marketplace, and seeing what actually happens—rather than worrying about what “might” happen. You never know what’s going to happen until you try.
The next time you’re sinking into a whirlwind of worrying, stand up, stamp your feet, shake it out,(seriously, it’s better than transcendental meditation) and remind yourself:
“This is all in my head. Everything I’m worried about… there’s no way of knowing if any of that stuff is actually going to happen. And I’m not going to get any answers by sitting here fretting about it. I have to DO something and see what happens.”
If you’ve got 40 hours to spend on your business this week, you might as well spend that time actually working instead of worrying. You’ll feel better, you’ll sleep better, your shoulders will un-crunch, and you’ll reach your business goals faster.
Nothing slays anxiety like action. I pinkie-swear promise.