What if instead of sitting down to write this blog post, I trimmed my houseplants, then looked up the cost of the ferry to Poland or flights to Italy for a couple of trips I have on the horizon, then watched a few episodes of Narcos, and then, because I felt guilty for not working, jumped into a Facebook group for freelancers to help some folks with idea generation?
By the end of the day, I’d have done nothing of real value for my business. While this scenario might sound ridiculous to some of you, others of you are nodding along in recognition.
Call it procrastination, call it self-sabotage…whatever. We’re all guilty of it to varying degrees. In my years of coaching clients, I’ve seen a lot of different ways this can manifest. But generally speaking, self-sabotage has three buckets:
1. Spending too much (fruitless) time on the internet
2. Avoiding actually doing the work
3. An inability to get over yourself
Believe me, I’m not sitting here in judgment – I’ve been…lived…breathed…drowned…in all three buckets. And the only way to get out of them is to name it and claim it, sister.
It’s time to stop being an obstacle to your own success.
If you’re not sure where you’re stuck – or if you do know but need some solutions – read on.
Problem #1: Getting Sucked into the Black Hole (aka the Internet)
Look, we all know that an online presence is mandatory if you operate in the digital economy. (Who doesn’t? Even people with brick and mortar businesses need to be online) The internet is a great (and necessary) marketing tool.
But don’t take that to mean that you have to be online or accessible all the time. You don’t. (Take it from someone who disappears to Antarctica every year.)
If you feel like you’re spending too much time on social media, you probably are. It’s tempting to get involved in all the relevant Facebook groups, have a presence on several social media platforms, and while you’re there, read All The Blog Posts.
What’s worse, it’s easy to rationalize the time spent as “marketing” or “education,” but if you’re spending hours on social media instead of doing the work, you’re really just procrastinating and pretending that you’re not.
Those of you rubbernecking on the information highway?
…slow your roll.
Darlin’, it’s easy to get sidetracked on social media when you don’t actually know what you’re supposed to be doing there to grow your business.
Do you have a social media strategy for your business? Be honest.
Do you know what you should be posting and how often, in order to grow your business?
If not, hit me up in the comments and let’s talk.
Second thing with social media is limit your play time. Set a timer if you need to, but get in and hold yourself accountable to getting out. If you’re hopeless like me, here are a few other tools to help you control the addiction…
News Feed Eradicator (Chrome App specifically to block Facebook)
Rescue Time (there’s a free version but the paid one is the best)
Stay Focused App (Chrome App to block anything distracting)
Self Control App (for Mac users)
Bottom line? Be protective of your online time and strategic with your marketing.
Problem #2: Actually Doing the Work
Be it a problem with time management, project management, or procrastination…whatever you call it, shit ain’t getting done. I talk about this a lot on the blog because I see it a lot.
Know that you need better systems in place? By all means, block out some time and get it done.
Struggling with procrastination? Try some of these techniques.
Still grappling with how to work for yourself? I’ve laid out some pointers.
Paralyzed by comparisonitis? Read this, Three Things that Happen When You Break the Comparison Habit or this, Make Competition Irrelevant.
If you need further insight and motivation, definitely read my favourite book ever: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
But if none of that works, do a gut check. Are you creating the business you truly want? And more importantly, do you know your bigger WHY? If your business isn’t deeply rooted in a larger Why then you might have to rethink things.
Bottom line? Figure out what’s holding you back and make a plan to do something about it. Not a one-and-done solution…but the creation of a new habit to overcome your blocks.
Problem #3: Getting Over Yourself
Ok ok, maybe the social media vortex or shipping your work isn’t an issue for you. Maybe you just need to get out of your own damn way.
That could mean:
- Becoming more comfortable with promoting your services online
- Developing your own confidence and believing that you belong at the table
- Understanding how you can legitimately charge more for your services
- Hiring help (much more economical than you’d think and a HUGE time saver)
- Getting a part-time job to make ends meet
- Admitting that your marketing plan isn’t working and trying something else
- Reaching out to ideal clients to learn more about them so that your offering lines up with their needs
- Scrapping a service that you don’t enjoy anymore
This is the worst! It’s the hardest! There’s no straight line from A to B and no one teaches us this stuff in school. Argh…who has time to figure all this out when you’re already busy trying to do All The Things?
I’ll be the first to tell you that this never goes away. You’ll always be the biggest thing in your own way. Which means you have to pay attention to that.
In order to grow you must must must do a regular assessment of where you’re stopping yourself up…where your thought processes are preventing you from growing bigger and developing your business smarter.
Bottom line? As tough as it feels to stare this down, I implore you to TAKE ACTION NOW. Pick one thing either from the list above or whatever’s been hanging over your head and decide to change your approach. Make getting over yourself a habit.