Each week I hear from smart, passionate men and women who want to start a side business but are being held back by perfectionism and procrastination. For example, the other day I received this comment on my blog:
“I’ve wanted to make a series of educational videos for a couple of years and have been seriously working on my first video for 6 months! My problem is that I’m too much of a perfectionist when it comes to making a product. That perfectionism is totally holding me back.”
I suppose the politically correct reply would have been to coddle the writer, give them a little ‘you can do it’ pep talk, and send them on their way.
But that’s only part of the truth. Instead, I decided to be blunt (as this seems to be my default method of communication). Here’s what I said:
The reason why you don’t have your product done is because you are selfishly protecting yourself from the criticism of others.
Maybe you’re worried about being labeled a ‘salesman’ by someone on the Internet that you’ll never, ever meet in person. But just understand that while you are selfishly protecting yourself, you are hurting the people who need your help the most.
You are hurting the men and women who need your information and guidance more than you need their money. Every day you hold back on finishing your information product or starting your business is another day of pain for your prospects.
Every day you don’t email your prospects because you don’t want to be thought of as a ‘pushy salesperson’, you are FAILING the very people you’ve devoted your life to helping.
Every day your prospects are out there buying some other product that doesn’t work, they are suffering from MORE and MORE frustration and pain. It’s not only hurting them, but it’s hurting the ones they love.
How do I know this is true?
Let’s go back to one fine day in 1979. I’m sitting in the ‘ugly green boat’ that was my Mom’s car. We lived on a farm on the outskirts of a small city and we were driving home one morning after she attended her weight loss meeting. Even at four years old, as I sat beside her in the front seat I could sense the devastation she was feeling.
I turned to her from my over-sized seat in that giant car and said, “Mom, what’s wrong?”
She looked down at me, and though she wasn’t crying, even as a little boy at 4-years old, I could tell she was upset, and she said, “The scale didn’t change today.”
In my eyes, they failed her, as did everyone else who had a better weight loss solution. Everyone in the world who knew how to help my Mom failed us that day because they hadn’t been able to get their solution into her hands.
Over thirty-two years later I’m still thinking about how that day was ruined because no one was able to solve my Mom’s problem. The pain on my mother’s face crushed me (but has led me to dedicate my life to helping one million men and women transform their bodies and lives with fitness information that really works).
Do you get the point?
You don’t have to sell “weight loss to women” to understand this example.
You could sell advice on rebounding from a divorce, protecting someone’s financial assets, helping someone get a date, or career advice for the newly unemployed.
It doesn’t matter what you sell.
What DOES matter is that you have potential clients out there who NEED your help more than you need their money.
Every day your product or business plan sits half-finished on your computer the pain in your prospects increases dramatically.
For example, every day a ‘credit repair expert’ delays getting their solution into the hands of good folks who are in debt, parents continue to argue at their kitchen table while their poor little children stand at the top of the stairs and listen.
You are scarring those kids for life.
How does it feel to know that your potential clients are going to bed with tears in their eyes tonight?
Listen, this is not about making money. This is not even about YOU.
This is about the people you COULD be helping, but aren’t, because you don’t want anyone to call you a “jerk” because you’re trying to sell something.
You MUST get over that.
Stop thinking about the one or two negative emails you’ll get, and focus on the thousands of people you’ll help, and the hundreds of success stories you’ll receive every year.
If you can help people who were as frustrated as my mom was that day, then you are nothing short of an angel.
You are bringing extreme value to the world by solving other people’s problems. You will be rewarded with the income you deserve, but only when you finally GET IT DONE.
The more people you help, the more you will make.
The more you MAKE, the more you can HELP.
Are you getting this?
No matter what you do – whether you write information products on protecting your family during emergencies, or helping people with fat loss, or helping folks get out of debt, or one of the hundreds of other topics that can help others, please realize you MUST get your product done before it can help someone.
Don’t tell me that your market is too crowded. There is still plenty of opportunity for you if you are a value creator. There will always be opportunity and rewards for you if you can solve someone’s problem.
But first, you have to GET IT DONE.
If that doesn’t motivate you to bolt the doors, turn off the phone, and avoid the Internet for a few hours to finish your product, then frankly nothing I can ever say will help you.
So just remember…
Every day that you don’t have it done…someone out there remains in pain.