To build an online business you not only have to have the tools, patience, knowledge and resources; you also have to be prepared to deal the overwhelming emotions that come with it. I found that the greatest emotions to conquer are envy and frustration.
You go online and there they are, websites that look better and are more creative and innovative than yours! They all seem to have it all figured out. They’re up and running and most of all, they seem to be making money! Sometimes it feels like there’s some sort of secret online business club where they give you all the secrets to success and everyone’s a member but you!
And there YOU are, struggling along. You’ve made some progress but you’re nowhere near where you want to be. Then to make it worse, you start to have those days when you question yourself. Is this it? Why isn’t it happening for me yet? Why is it taking me so long? What do they have that I don’t have? Why can’t I seem to get my sh*t together?! Ugh!!
Bottom line is, if you’re not careful, you’ll become so obsessed with what’s going on with everyone else’s business, that you’ll lose focus on your own and before you know it. So here’s how I’ve been able to minimize my bouts of envy and frustration.
1. Limit Your Surfing: It’s important to have examples of websites or entrepreneurs that you aspire to. The problem comes in when you’re just all over the place. Looking at everybody’s stuff for no rhyme or reason. Narrow your exposure to specifically those sites that you might want to model your site after. Ask yourself what can I learn from this site? How can it help me move forward? Look at them with this eye and with this in mind. When you do this, these sites will serve as resources for learning and development of your own ideas and strategies. So, once you discover 2 or 3 sites that inspire you, let these be your muse and envy and frustration will be replaced by motivation and creativity.
2. Know What You’re Looking For: Before you start googling other sites, know why and what you’re looking for. What do you want to know? Be specific. Are you looking for ideas for themes, content , topics or structure, etc.? If you do this, then you’re more likely to only see what you’re there to find and you’ll also ensure that you’re using your time constructively.
3. Know going in that sometimes, theirs will be better than yours. It’s ok! In fact, when you’re starting out, you want to discover those sites that have their shit together. But instead of wallowing in all the things they got that you don’t got, figure out how they got it! Again, start with a mindset that says, “what can I learn from them?” This way, each visit has the potential to make you better!
4. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. I know we all know this so just humor me. Nobody is going to tell you the details about everything that’s going wrong with their business. All you know is what they want you to know and even that can be subject to exaggeration. So the reality is, you don’t know the inside story about other people’s perceive success but you can best believe there is a lot of good and bad going on behind the scenes. So relax, everybody’s going through somethin’….happy now?
5. Beware of that wolf in sheep’s clothing… INSTAGRAM!
Ok, we all love it. It’s filled with beautiful people and places, happy families, encouraging words, vegan meals and Starbuck cups! But you have to stay conscious of the fact that these images depict a single moment and they are in no way a complete representation of the reality of people’s lives. If you can do this, then enjoy yourself. But if you tend to get caught up in the number of followers people have compared to yours, then you may need to pull back because this can be a big time killer. But if Instagram is a major weapon in your business arsenal, then simply invest the appropriate time and resources into making yours better.
6. Greatness takes time. Give yourself credit for enduring the process, for successfully making the step-by-step effort. There is real value in trying. As long as you can honestly say you are consistently committed and doing your best, be patient; it’s coming!
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Author: Robin Oxford-Davis
Robin is a the creator of begintobelieve.com - a prayerful & practical guide to believing in yourself! She's also the author of the ebook How to Begin to Believe!