On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I share with you some insight I’ve recently discovered about myself. It’s something that I’ve always known on some level, but I’ve just recently really owned it and started to be actively aware of it. I decided to share it with you, because maybe you can relate.
Here’s the deal. Sometimes my mind is a pretty scary place to live as a result of the stories that I create about my experiences. When I’m in my head, these stories are completely true and real, but in reality, they are just perceptions.
As an example, in the early years of my business if I promoted something and it didn’t go as well as I thought it should, the story that would play in my mind was that I’m just not as good as my peers, that I didn’t have what it takes to be a success, that I’m in over my head, and that I should have never left Tony Robbins. These stories crushed my confidence!
Now that I’m more aware of these stories, I try to spend as much time as possible in the present moment, where life is actually happening, rather than focusing on these stories that I’ve made up. This approach has helped me quiet fears, doubts, and worries as they pop up as I’m building my business.
I’m sharing this with you because these stories are something we all have to deal with from time to time. Because of that, I invited my good friend and mentor, Marie Forleo, founder of B-School, best selling author and the creator of the award-winning web show MarieTV.com, back to the show as my first repeat guest.
I specifically asked Marie to come on the show to explore these mindset pitfalls, because Marie is not only a marketing pro, she also has a great way of pulling you out of your head and into the present moment where things tend to look very different than they do in our minds.
Marie and I discuss the following three mindset pitfalls that entrepreneur’s tend to face as they’re building their business:
Competition can be destructive, especially when you’re first starting out and are vulnerable. It can cause a downward spiral that Marie refers to as “the comparison hangover.” You may be tempted to look at someone else’s videos, Facebook Page, Twitter stream and so on and feel like you’ll never get there. The comparison hangover can make people feel like crap and some people even use it to take themselves out of the game.
But competition is actually a very positive thing that can fuel you and drive you to succeed. It can be a healthy form of peer pressure that can actually push you to strive for more.
One thing I learned when I was working with Tony Robbins is that it’s important to surround yourself with people who are more successful than you so that it motivates you to strive to do even better. While you’re doing so, it’s important to remind yourself that they used to be right where you are and didn’t attain their level of success overnight.
It’s up to each of us to pay attention to these signals and the type of story we’re making up in our minds regarding our competition, and choose to make competition a positive thing.
If criticism shows up on the doorstep of your blog or your Facebook Page, it’s important to deal with it head on. In many cases, critics just want to be heard, so if you acknowledge them and their point of view, and tell them you respect where they’re coming from and perhaps even find a point in their criticism that you agree with and acknowledge it, it works wonders.
By doing so, you completely disarm them and open up a dialogue. When you respond with something like, “I completely agree with you on that point” or “I can really see where you’re coming from,” both of you may actually end up learning something!
Naturally, we’re not talking about rude and tasteless comments or things that are sexually offensive, but criticism where someone is legitimately upset or doesn’t agree with your point of view.
Marie shared a saying that is important to remember:
All human communication is either a loving response or a cry for help. [Tweet This]
This perception is a very helpful tool for all of us to remember. When someone’s criticism is a cry for help, showing respect and acknowledging them can really help.
In addition to this, constructive criticism – if you don’t shy away from it – can make you better in the same way that competition can. It can help you to raise your game and grow considerably.
Now remember, we’re not talking about rude comments on YouTube where people criticize your appearance or things that have no basis in truth.
Another tip is that when someone criticizes you, take a look at what they’ve created in their own life or business. People who are truly successful themselves are unlikely to hatefully critique someone else, especially online.
Follow through is one of the most important lessons that Marie has ever learned. She shared some thoughts from a friend of hers and one of her favorite authors, Steven Pressfield.
It’s important to ask yourself, “Am I operating like an amateur or a pro?” It’s a simple question, but the answer is profound and changes everything.
Amateurs are people who show up every now and then, flake on their commitments, don’t take their work seriously and are more likely to get lost in things like addiction, drama, negativity, or eating constantly. They may have a lot to do, but have a ton of excuses about why it doesn’t get done.
We all know amateurs and in fact have all been an amateur at some time in our lives.
In contrast, a pro is someone who shows up no matter what, who gets results no matter what, and figures out how to make things work. Pros take themselves seriously and are dependable.
A pro is different from a perfectionist. Pros produce no matter what, even if it can’t be done perfectly. For example, if a pro has made a commitment to publish content a certain day of the week, death is about the only thing that could keep it from happening. A pro also understands that the only way to get good at something is to do it consistently.
If you’re struggling with perfectionism, focus more on the actual content, rather than the bells and whistles that are nice to have, but not 100% necessary.
It also helps to get things started, knowing that everything is going to be an iteration. For example, when you initially release a course, it may not be just the way you want it to be, but you can keep making improvements.
This is what Marie did when she first launched B-School, her online school for modern entrepreneurs. B-School has now been out for five years, and has grown into a comprehensive soup to nuts program that changes people’s lives.