If this is your first ‘Friyay Scribbles#FriyayScribbles, here’s the deal: I get a lot of questions from clients each week, and (usually) I pick one of those to share here with the answer. I might also share something else like an article or video I made or some great training that’s available right now.

At the end are random tidbits. Scroll down to see what’s there this time. [TL;DR]

How to take action that’s necessary but scary

The most common example of this in business is narrowing down your target customer. It can feel like you’re losing potential sales if you target fewer people, but most people know it’s necessary for their marketing to be effective.

That’s not nearly the only example. Advertising can feel scary. Writing a guest post can feel scary. Even starting to talk about what you sell at the end of a presentation can feel scary.

But you might need to do those things. So, here are three practical things you can do to deal with the feelings. The last one is my favorite by far.

First, think all the way to the end—what will happen if you don’t take the scary action.

For example, maybe you don’t have a clear target customer. Or maybe you’ve only defined it based on location, company size, industry, etc., instead of things that affect their buying decision (e.g., problems, goals, fears, expectations). If you think of how you’ll make sales, the problems become clear. You can’t create ads they’d want to click. You can’t write articles they’d be interested in. You can’t create a free offer they’d want. And so on. Everything you’d do would be bland because it would try to cater to a non-specific group of people.

So, looking at what will happen if you don’t take the scary action makes it clear you need to do it. If you were in a cart rolling toward a cliff, would you jump off (even though it’s scary) or wait to fall off the cliff?

Second, try “fear setting.” It’s a great exercise. Simply put, you think through what might happen, how you can minimize those risks, and how you can get back to where you started from if things do go wrong. Tim Ferriss has a good TED talk about it.

Third, choose the problems you want to have. Usually people only choose goals. They think of what good things they want. That’s quite easy. But it’s also quite misleading. For example, many people think they want to lead an 8-figure company, but they don’t want to deal with having a team. Usually those two go hand in hand.

So, rather choose the problems you want. For example, a problem I enjoy (to the point of it not feeling like a problem) is “being presented with a business situation that I need to quickly make sense of, so I can show what the next practical steps should be, why those steps make sense, and how to take them in the simplest way possible.” That’s what I do when I talk with people about their business—whether it’s a single paid coaching call or a call for deciding if I’d be able to help them grow their business. Many people would call it a problem. I just find it interesting and exciting.

I have friends who want the problems that come with having a team of people. Some rather struggle with learning every detail about a single marketing tactic. Some prefer to study a single skill for decades. Others choose to compete in the speaking market. Some choose to write a book. And so on.

If you choose the problems you enjoy solving, many of the scary choices you need to make will feel a lot easier (because you chose them).

If you don’t have a clear plan of how to get your business moving forward, maybe I can help. At least I can offer a new perspective and clarity to what would make a difference. If you’re interested in talking about it, just reply to this email and tell me a little about your business. What you sell, to whom, how things are going? If I think I could help, we can schedule a time to talk.

Tidbits:

  • The coolest (tech) product ever: https://bit.ly/coolesttechproduct
  • A quick business thought: We just came back from a Cirque du Soleil show (“Toruk”). I didn’t know it’s not a circus show, but instead a theater show with some circus elements. There was nothing wrong with the show per se, but I wonder how many people see it and decide not to go to more of their shows “because it wasn’t circus.” It’s a risk whenever you sell something that isn’t quite what you normally sell. The less focused you are with what you sell, the harder it is for people to understand what you’re about. That might be a perfectly acceptable downside, but you need to remember to think about it when creating new offers.
  • A fun word I had forgotten: “Habitus” and specifically its Finnish slang meaning. It refers to how someone looks, posture, movement, expressions, etc. Everything you can see from a distance is a part of someone’s “habitus.” It also includes clothes, but less than everything else. E.g., “His habitus doesn’t match his t-shirt” was a sentence a friend of mine said when a very slow and tired-looking guy wore a t-shirt with a text “the most excited.”

Have an epic weekend!

P.S. – Until next week, if you want practical instructions for your situation, so you know exactly what to do next to get better marketing results? Maybe I can help. If you just have a clear, single question, a single call is likely enough to solve it and figure out the next steps. If you want longer-term help, reply, so we can talk about it. Tell me a bit about your business, how things are going now, and where you’d like to get to.