The Secret Ingredient For A Successful Online Business No One Ever Talks About: Dealing With Anxiety
So, you’ve recently watched Tony Robbins on stage talking about pursuing your dreams and designing your future? Or, you read Crushing it by Garry Vee and your ass inflame every time you hear the words entrepreneur and hustle? Or, you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed and the only thing you see are half-naked girls traveling all around the world, seemingly not doing anything productive but are somehow making more money than you? You see this and you think it’s super easy to start a business on your own.
Even if you don’t particularly like motivational speeches, corny encouraging websites, you don’t believe in earning money online. Nowadays, you simply can’t ignore all the solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, hustlers, investors, and etc.
When you open your social media or when you search online, you can’t unsee the “successfulness” happening around. It’s like everyone is bathing in benjies and making it rain by “selling their expertise” or by running their own online businesses. Probably the neighborhood kid just made more money than you by simply talking about video games on YouTube.1
Personally, I feel like everyone around me is having the time of his life, besides me. In the rare cases I access Facebook or Instagram, the only things I see are pictures of excessive prosperity and ultra happiness, which I don’t consider normal. Either people are indeed living fucking awesome lives or these mediums ban pics containing even the slightest taste of angst.
Since the latter is not the case – I’ve I tested it by posting a picture of me crying one time. It seems that the former should be true. Meaning, everyone around is truly happy and all the entrepreneurs are awfully rich. But after digging deeper, I saw that this is not always the case.
Why Others Make It Sound So Easy To Become Ultra Rich Online?
At the moment, there are 3 different ways, according to the famous speakers – slash – podcasters – slash – influencers – slash – everything else included – to earn the big bucks and live the dream life.2
Starting a YouTube channel;
Boosting your Instagram profile;
Creating an online business of some sort.
Along with the recommendation to start a business, all influencers offer a course of some sort. This training program should supposedly rocket your ass on the top page of Google and make you instantly rich and sexy – because why not also sexy. And since a lot of people are too lazy to smell the scam behind all of the fake testimonials, they comply and quickly buy the “exclusive” promotion available.
Or in other words, people make it seem so easy to start a business because they want to sell you their services. If they share what’s really involved in the process of creating a business. I mean, share how hard it is; Explain that you’ll need years to actually make a profit; You’ll often have to work for years till someone notices your work; You’ll fight with your spouse; Won’t spend enough time with your kids, you’ll never buy their course. That’s why statements like the ones below dominate the internet:
“Become a better version of yourself and take ownership of your life”… by subscribing to my one-on-one coaching sessions.
“Close the gap between where you are today – and where you want to be. Achieve your true balance”… by getting my book.
“Do you want to build the life you always dreamed of? I’ll mentor you in the areas you most need guidance in, in order to achieve success in your life and become a TITAN of your industry”… by attending my seminars.
But behind all of those filtered pictures, there is one thing no one is allowed to share. Not a single online guru is willing to speak about the monster in the closet. To talk about the ingredient that you absolutely need, before you even consider starting an online business of some sort.
They are all afraid of this. That’s why they never speak about it. It’s like they signed some sort of virtual contract: “Hey guys. So, we won’t speak about this. We’ll make it sound super easy to start a business and we all get rich. Capish?”
But if you really think about it. If you spent some time observing, you’ll eventually see behind the curtains. You’ll understand what everyone around is protecting like it’s the fucking area 51.
The Spiral Of Failure
Let’s imagine that you’ll start a business. You’ll be selling eco-friendly slippers to environmentalists and their siblings online. It’s an AMAZING idea. You talk to your wife about this. You share with her that your online mentor said that “anything is possible and since she made it doing what she likes, you can do the same as well.”
After backing up the above with a few quotes by famous entrepreneurs, she is convinced. You both kiss and open a bottle of sparklers to pre-celebrate your future success. Then, after a quick trip to the bank to get a loan, you begin your journey in the spiral of failure.
Why spiral of failure? Let me explain.
The Outer Ring:
Initially, everything seems so easy and fun. The sky is the limit. You’re working on something you love. Your brain is bombarded with thoughts about wealth and prosperity. You’re 100% convinced that this business is going to crush the competitors and help you quit your 9 to 5 job. Additionally, you add in your Twitter bio stuff like CEO, founder, entrepreneur. “Finally, I’m one of the few chosen ones who are changing the world,” you tell to yourself.
You spare no resources. “New laptop so I can show off online?” Sure. “A new outfit for my photoshoot?” Of course. “Should I hire one or two guys so they can help me with supporting my potential clients?” Only two? You hire 5. After all, there is more where that came from. If you fall short of money, you’ll get another loan. That’s why you spend money like crazy. You pamper your business like a newborn. After all, your new business is going to dominate the market. That’s what your mentor told you. Anything is possible, right?
The Messy Middle:
The bill for your Facebook ads is now bigger than your ego. You’re not getting as much as business as you’ve expected and things are getting a bit irritating.
Your clients return some of the orders because they’re not made from recycled plastic – as you advertised. “Well, I had to ditch the idea for 100% eco-friendly slippers because I had to cut some costs. Still, people underestimate the quality of the products made in China!”
Your employees are looking for a raise. You blame them for the lack of business. They blame you.
Your spouse is getting nervous.
And you, you still listen to your online mentor – which you pay $100 a month – who insist to keep things going. After all, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
The Bitter Ending:
Selling eco-friendly slippers is no longer fun. You don’t have enough money to expand your vision. The sales are stagnant. Your online following is not raising. The initial attention towards yourself is long gone.
Besides the hundreds of boxes of slippers you have left, you also have a bank loan to take care of, wages to pay, a job to look for. On top of that, your spouse is mad at you.
Emotionally, you feel like an armored vehicle carrying dumbbells just hit you at full speed. Not only your financial situation is a mess, but you dream of becoming the next Steve Jobs of slippers is now shattered. “How is this possible? My idea was flawless. Everyone should wear my eco-friendly slippers. They are unique and innovative. Made in China and not entirely, eco-friendly, but who cares. OMG, people are crazy!”
So, you call your online mentor to cancel your subscription but after hearing stuff like: “Quitting is for losers.”; “Failures are the stairs we climb to reach success.”; “Are you going to let a simple misfortune stand between you, and your dream life?” You’re back in business, planning your new venture. Taking more money from the bank. After all, anything is possible. Remember.
Then, you sink further down the rabbit hole.
Dealing With Anxiety. The Secret Ingredient For Succeeding – In about everything
Starting a business is always accompanied by uneasiness and apprehension. With uncertainty, and fear resulting often into depression and lack of creativity.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, was able to reach the fame he’s currently enjoying by publishing two articles per week – for 3 years. That’s 3 full years of writing two pieces of content, every week!3
Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit, successfully published 3 eBooks in less than 9 months by writing 1000 words per day. A lot of people call him “the guy who writes a thousand words a day!”4
The stories above sound exiting, and to some even unreal. But besides the unhuman commitment, there is something else a lot of people don’t see behind the curtains – dealing with stress.
Do you think that both, James Clear and Nathan Barry, and everyone else participating in the “Show Up Every Day” club, are a lot different than you? Do you think that they don’t often feel tired, doubt, unease, nervousness? Do you think that they are immune to these feelings?
Nope, they are humans like us, with feelings similar to ours. The big difference is the way they handle stress and all the shitting situations coming along running a business, no matter online or offline.
Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist, said in an interview, “But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.”5
Hiring a mentor, getting a big loan from the bank, reading self-help books, won’t destine you for achieving your goals. These things might help, but the only thing that will keep you in business is the ability to endure all the struggles coming along with running a business.
This deserves a tweet:
The only thing that will keep you in business is your ability to endure all the struggles coming along with running a business.”
The Spiral Of Success is the opposite of the Spiral of Failure. Literally the reversed spiral:
It’s much simpler and less complicated. And also, it doesn’t sound nor looks phenomenal. It doesn’t include free money (loans) and a staff of 20 people to get you off the ground. It also doesn’t include online fame and motivational hashtags.
You start small. You stay small for a long period of time. Often you feel tired and depressed. The slow progress, or the no progress in most of the cases, feels like you’re all alone in the world. Even if you talk with people who made it, the moment you sit down to write, or to do whatever you’re doing, feeling of anxiety will quickly quench the creative spark.
The only way to emerge from the gray everyday life is to accept the boringness coming along. To understand that part of the business building process is to make it a permanent part of your life. To think, before you even start a business, about the lifestyle you truly want. Then, to reverse engineering and find something you love doing that can potentially make you money.
Only by doing so, you’ll slowly but surely climb. Rise above the uncertain mist and reach the success you were hoping for, and beyond.
Some Closing Thoughts
If you’re thinking about “what the hell was this post all about,” let me clarify.
It’s surely not to demotivate you or scare you to start doing something you love. Something that might potentially become a full-time job. It’s more of a note for preparation. A sneak peek behind the curtains of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Something very few people talk about, but all go through.
Don’t believe the online gurus telling you how their course will change your life. It won’t. You might learn a thing or two, but it will surely won’t help when you’re feeling like a total failure. When you’re hustling for months and still no sales are coming. The online courses won’t also pay for a shrink – and you’ll need one at some point.
The only way for you to move forward is to get more comfortable with doing the same thing, over and over again, for a long period of time. To understand, right in the beginning, that it will take a long period of time and probably a lot of stress. That’s the only way you can stay long enough in the business so others can notice you and later trust you with their money.
Fall in love with the process and the results will come.” Sean McCabe
Yep, things like that happen in the 21st century. Some are trying to create an automated system for filtering water in Africa but can’t find investors. While others are donating millions of dollars to kids playing video games online.
By living the dream I mean traveling all around the world while wearing only designer clothes: