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Posted on: May 26, 2022

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If you have always wanted to start an online business but have just failed to launch, you’re not alone. 

As much as the idea of earning from home, having flexible hours, and holidays when you want all sounds enticing, why is it so many people put off getting started? 

I have started 3 different businesses with the current business now bringing in over 6 figures per annum. All revenue made in this business is made online. 

It wasn’t always like this. I needed to do a lot of soul searching and step into by ‘big-girl-pants’ many times before I had the courage to deal with many of the things that were stopping me from taking my business to the next level. 

But now that I’ve pushed through and found strategies to keep moving forward, I want to share with you tips on how to break through these barriers so that you too can start a profitable online business. 

In this blog I share 5 key reasons I see others postponing starting an online business and give you strategies on how you can push through these. 

Topics I cover in this blog post:

  1. Overthinking Anxiety
  2. Self-doubt and lack of confidence
  3. Online Haters
  4. Starting an online business with no money
  5. Missed my opportunity

1. Overthinking Anxiety

Girl sitting in chair overthinking and confused

In 2020 Queen’s University in Canada published that they had found that the average person will typically have more than 6,200 thoughts in a single day. 

If you are a born worrier, chances are more than 50% of those thoughts are negative. 

You may be finding that your thoughts are causing high levels of anxiety, stopping you from taking the leap to start on a new path. 

And sadly, many of these thoughts decide to do a merry dance in your head sometime around 2am in the morning!  

It’s like they hold your sleep time to ransom stating that only when you have worked through this problem will you then be allowed to sleep. 

The trouble is at 2am in the morning your thoughts seem to be magnified 10-fold, making it even harder to go to sleep. 

And if your thoughts aren’t holding you to ransom, they are fogging out normal steps during your day. 

If you have ever missed an off-ramp while driving or walked into a room wondering why you were heading there in the first place, you know what I mean.  

Our brains are so filled up with thoughts we switch to autopilot and end up missing things and forgetting stuff.  

And if those thoughts are telling you, “This is too risky”, “I’m going to fail”, “you don’t know what you’re doing”, or the absolute humdinger, “you’re not clever enough”, of course you are not going to want to move forward. That’s totally natural. 

So how can you get your thoughts under control? 

Here are 5 tips to deal with Overthinking Anxiety:

1. Just breathe. Studies have shown that mindful breathing can calm your mind and reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve your concentration and sleep.  

A fantastic breathing exercise that I learned from my yoga instructor is ‘Box breathing’ a.k.a ‘square breathing’.  

To quickly summarize: 

Step 1: Breathe in counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs. 

Step 2: Hold your breath for 4 seconds.  

Step 3: Slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. 

Step 4: Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you feel better. 

Be sure to check that you are taking your breath right down to your belly. If only your chest is rising you are shallow breathing, and the technique won’t be as effective.  

Put your hand on your belly as you breath in. Your belly should push out. If it isn’t, reset and focus on big deep breaths that move your belly. 

Repeat this exercise for at least 30 seconds. 

Now pop a reminder on your phone or in your diary to repeat this exercise every hour. You’re going to love how this one tip helps you calm your mind. 

2. Trick your brain. Live as if you have already achieved your goal and trick your brain.  

I learned this from Jim Fortin’s podcast where you learn to live your life backward.  

When I was ready to go live with my online courses and my head was telling me all kinds of things about what “could” go wrong I started to practice Jim’s teaching.  

I started to tell myself: 

  • I was already a successful online creator 
  • the courses were helping so many people 
  • money was fluid and I had already earned back every cent I had invested 
  • and so much more… 

I can tell you; this really works. My whole body started to react in a way that was upbeat and positive. I developed a ‘just-try-to-stop-me’ attitude. 

Check out Jim’s podcast and learn how you can start to change your thinking to Be-Do-Have and start moving forward now.  

3. Swap a negative thought for a positive. As soon as a negative thought enters your head trap it and flip it. 

What I mean is when you start thinking, “but this might happen instead”, consciously deal with it by flipping it to the opposite.  

For example, if you were thinking, “But people might not like me and unsubscribe from my email list”. 

Now flip and start your next thought with a “BUT” followed by a good thing which is the opposite of what you are thinking, e.g., BUT for every unsubscribe I get I’m going to get 100 subscribes. 

It’s amazing how this can make you feel positive and upbeat as it quickly reframes your thinking. 

4. It is good enough; you are good enough.I’m not ready” can be one thought that will overpower all others. 

You may be thinking: 

  • My website isn’t perfect 
  • My resources aren’t perfect 
  • That promotional pic of me needs to be redone 
  • My office is a mess, and I can’t start until it’s sorted 
  • My branding sucks, or maybe you don’t have a logo or branding at all 
  • My mic and webcam are cheap and not very professional 
  • And so on… 

I’m going to be straight with you. These are all excuses. You don’t need any of the above to be perfect. You just need to start. 

I’ve put myself through many courses that were created by people who are now making 7 figures per annum. 

Yes, their presentation now is amazing. Star quality!  

But when I did some research and went searching for what their content looked like when they started it really made me smile. 

So many of them started from the same place as you and then gradually made improvements. 

James Wedmore is an online creator and entrepreneur. Check out James in 2010 and James in 2022. James started out teaching bartending on YouTube. He now makes 8 figures teaching other online entrepreneurs how to grow and scale their business so that they can earn the same. 

Big difference, right?! The key thing here is that James started, learned, grew, refined, and grew again. 

So, stop trying to be perfect and get started today. 

5. Stop looking for the “new shiny thing”. Stop moving from one new shiny thing to another. 

There will always be new things, new ideas, new strategies. However, when you are just getting started you don’t really have the resources to waste trying new things all the time. 

Instead, you would be better off sticking with things that have been tested and proven to work. 

New doesn’t necessarily mean better. In fact, in some cases new should be avoided.  

Let other businesses test it while you sit safely on the fence watching. 

If it flies, then jump in. But in the meantime, you can save yourself a lot of time and money just being patient. 

Keep your focus in one area and get good at it before moving on to something new. 

2. Self-doubt and lack of confidence

Girl confused with what decision to make. Self-doubt creating confusion.

When self-doubt moves in it brings with it its entire family- uncertainty, hesitation, criticism, and helplessness.  

And as it fills your thoughts it takes over and kicks confidence, certainty and trust out the door on their backsides. 

If you’re feeling this, you’re not alone. 

Anything new is scary, and it take a lot of courage to step into something new. 

So how can you do this when ugly self-doubt takes over your thoughts. 

Here’s 5 tips on how to overcome self-doubt and lack of confidence

1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Check if you are telling yourself that everyone is doing this, and they are so much better than me. If you are, stop!  

There is only one person who is wonderfully, uniquely you.  

Go look in the mirror and you will find that person.  

Forget about everyone else. You don’t need to look like them, act like them or sound like them.  

Just be you. This is one of the most powerful lessons I have learned. 

2. Niche down. Find an audience who you totally click with.  

When you are helping others, self-doubt disappears.  

You may not believe you can do it, but as soon as you start assisting others to do better, be better and up their happiness levels, yours will move too.  

Once you do this your self-doubt will start to fad, and before long you will send it packing.  

3. Change your thoughts from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I’m learning’. Things you don’t understand or are out of your control will scare the cr*p out of you. That’s normal.  

So, when you start to doubt if you can do something, change your thought pattern to ‘I’m willing to learn this’.  

Be kind to yourself. You’re not expected to know everything.  

And believe it or not, your audience LOVE it if you admit you are learning too. It shows you are authentic. 

Give yourself permission to just do it, even if it isn’t perfect.  

While you are learning and growing accept that imperfect action is better than no action at all.  

Even if you totally bomb on first attempt, just know that you are joining a tribe of high achievers who did the same when they started. We all have our ‘I sucked’ stories. 

The true winners are the people who get knocked down, and then get back up again... and again, and again. 

Be Brave! 

Encouraging quote by Winston Churchill

4. Find a supportive buddy or community. If you are having doubts because you feel alone find buddy or a community that will support you and lift you up when you need it.  

When I first started creating YouTube video and video for my online courses, I joined Justin and Mike Brown’s Primal Video Accelerator course.  

The course content was AMAZING. But along with the outstanding guidance within the course, I found gold inside their closed Facebook group.  

When I had challenges or needed advice I’d reach out to Justin and Mike’s FB community and found myself supported by the most amazing people.  

Not only did they offer help and advice, but they also shared my wins and boosted my confidence to try things that were way out of my comfort zone.  

Fast-forward 3 years and I now have support buddies in in Makyla and Shania. We share ideas, wins, and challenges and hold each other accountable. 

Buddies and communities are gold. Go find one today! 

5. Start small. You don’t need to take on the world.  

You can start small and build.  

Whether you are doing everything yourself and earning $100 a month or have a team helping you and earning $100k a month - if you feel it’s enough, it is.  

Many online creators want to go big fast, and that’s OK.  

I’m a plodder. I start small and try out my ideas first to see if they fly.  

Once I can feel my confidence growing I then I take it to the next level.  

Doing this has helped me smash self-doubt on so many levels. It also keeps my stress levels under control. 

3. Online Haters

Girl sitting curled up and sad from negative social media comments

When people ask me what I do for a living so many of them let me know that there is no way they could do what I do because they aren’t the type of person that could take the heat from online haters. 

I reply with, “Well I’m pretty sure most of us are just like you. I’ve just learnt how to manage it.” 

When I first started out as an online creator I was devastated when someone sent me hurtful comments.  

However, I can honestly say that some of the comments made me even better at what I do because even though the comments were made in a nasty way, they were valid.  

I hate to admit it but the people making them were right and they helped me improve. 

I’m sure most people would be happy with a bit of constructive criticism delivered using kind words crafted into thoughtful, helpful ideas. 

But sadly, many comments are filled with heavy, mean words that really pack a punch. 

Comments that are just outright nasty.  

These are the comments that spew nasty feedback on things you can’t do anything about. The ones that say nasty things about your hair, your accent, your office décor, how long it took you to ‘get to the point’.  

Honestly, if this point is holding you back, you’re trying to avoid the inevitable.  

Yes, you can delete them. But sadly, if you have read them, you may already feel like you have been kicked in the chest. 

The best move is to work out a plan where you can manage them in a way that helps you to stay positive, and focused. 

Here’s 5 tips on how to manage online haters and negative comments: 

1. Turn off comments. If you think feedback will be ‘the hand brake’ that will stop, you from starting your Blog or Online Shop just turn them off.  

Stay away from Facebook and Instagram too. There are other ways you can build an awesome audience who want to hear from you. 

2. Get someone else to deal with comments. This is an excellent way to filter out the comments you want to reply to and the ones you would rather ignore. 

I have a colleague who pays someone to do this for him.  

Another friend has her husband filter out the nasty comments leaving her to reply to the ones that are genuine and respectful. 

3. Ignore them. These aren’t the type of people you want to engage with. In fact, it’s better if they don’t know what you’re thinking.  

Just let the comment go cold and move on.  

Remember that their comments have more to do with them and their unhappiness in life than anything you did. 

4. Do the statistics – I bet when you do the stats you will notice that 90%+ of the comments are “thank you, you are amazing”.  

Then accept that you can’t please everyone, smile and move on. 

5. Turn them into a game. A fellow content creator told me that he now sends his worst comments to other content creators, and they have a competition where the worst comment wins. 

I love this idea as it turns what could be a negative experience into fun and it’s nice to know that other people are dealing with the this too. 

BTW, this course creator is one of the best in his field. He really knows his stuff. And yet he still gets a truckload of hurtful comments every time he publishes. 

Don’t let negativity stop you from shining. You can do this! All you need is a strategy to manage the comments. 

And BTW, it’s all relative. As you grow your business online the number of negative comments you receive will grow. 

I guess you should look forward to negative comments because once they start flowing you will know you’ve finally made it! 

4. Starting an online business with No money 

Smartphone and books that can be used to research when money is tight

This is a very valid reason to put the brakes on. Even though there are probably a million people who would tell you this shouldn’t hold you back, I will be the one that sides with you and agrees that this most probably could be a very real factor in holding you back. 

I get how tough it can be when cash is tight. Living from pay day to pay day is one of the most stressful things you can experience. 

So, let’s look at some safe strategies you can use to try to get going even if you have no money to start your own online business. 

1. Use your library. Many libraries offer free use of computers and free Internet access. You may be reading this right now in your local library. 

2. Start creating using your smart phone. If you can’t afford a computer start by using your Smartphone. There are so many ways you can use your Smartphone to get started. You can easily record video and publish blogs straight from your phone. 

3. If you are currently employed ask your employer if it would be OK to use a computer for personal use during your lunch break. Keep your day job and start earning on the side. 

4. Use free apps. When you are just starting out you can setup accounts with WordPress.com and YouTube for free. You can start blogging or creating video and start publishing straight away with absolutely no fees required. 

5. Missed my opportunity 

Woman with plant stemming from her head, clock and light bulb to symbolise growth and knowledge over time

You may be thinking you have already missed your opportunity.  

Not true! No matter what stage of life you are at right now, you are ready! 

Experience – you have life skills, experience and maturity that allows you to give great advice. You may not be ‘in-the-ring’ anymore, but that shouldn’t stop you from coaching from the side-line.  

Your experience and advice will be a catalyst to so many others who would rather learn from well-earned experience, than from having to learn the hard way themselves. 

To Sum up 

I’m now going to ask you “how much do you want to do this”? 

If your heart just started beating faster and you started to get excited, or even a little panicked, you’re ready to start right now. 

If you are ready to learn, grow, help and earn. You’ve got this! 

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About the Author

Online business owner, online coach and course creator. Cheerleader to anyone working towards creating a business online.

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