We all know the feeling.
You have great ideas and you start planning. You get started writing that latest article or sales page.
You’re set up and ready to record that extra juicy Instagram story.
And then you stop.
And you struggle to start again.
Because that jerk comparison shows up and tells you that your thing isn’t as good as that other person’s thing.
Because you question if you’re taking your business in the right direction so you go to Google and start looking for coaches and consultants and blogs and YouTube videos that can help.
Because once upon a time you were told you were actually not very good at writing or you shouldn’t speak out loud on video because your voice is annoying (what, just me?).
Because really, at the end of the day, making big decisions for your own business - or someone else’s - is really scary.
And fear is a bitch.
Some days, every decision feels like a big one. Just putting pen to paper and figuring out what to say is a challenge.
If you put out an opinion, people might think you’re wrong. But guess what, (someone told me this recently and I can’t stop thinking about it) even if they think you’re wrong, you’ll still be safe.
Never forget: you know your business better than anyone else.
Taking a step back
When you’re deep in your business, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. The doubt creeps in much faster when you’re lacking clarity. This is why I advocate taking the time to develop things like brand voice guides, messaging strategies, or word banks of common phrases. I advocate doing the research, gathering feedback and keeping it on hand.
You know, doing all those things that mean you have to stop and slow down before you act.
They’re the things that feel like they are taking time away from the “real work” that you have to do.
But let me tell you, when that jerk fear comes knocking on the door, they’re your saviour. You can go back to those documents and throw them in fear’s face.
Rather than trying to plough through and stopping and starting on work, go back to your foundation for inspiration. I bet you’ll get moving faster.
Sometimes, we need someone else in our corner to show us that we really do know what we’re on about.
That’s why the best copywriters are the best listeners.
And why the best coaches are those that hold up a mirror and show you all the great stuff about yourself.
It’s why 80% of what I do is helping people with strategy, systems and processes (the operations side of content) and not the actual writing.
All these people are doing is letting us see the best in ourselves. They’re not giving us the magic solution. Because there isn’t one magic solution.
The magic solution sits in the work that we do between fear and hitting publish.
And people say Sarah is easy for you. You write all the time. You just understand this stuff. HAHAHAHAHA. Well, here is a little story for you…
This email will usually have been in your inbox yesterday. Everything I wrote yesterday was wrong. I thought it didn’t make sense. I was worried that I was adding to the noise. My opinion wasn’t formed. My opinion sucked. People would judge me for what I said.
What I wrote yesterday is in the bin.
But, not to be defeated, this morning I went back to my own foundations. I thought about what people say to me in my Insta DMS, the conversations I’d had with clients this week, and I went back to my notebook where I keep a record of any coaching or training session I do.
I remembered what I wanted to talk about and why I think it’s important.
And then I opened a new Google doc on my phone, I hit the microphone button, and I started speaking what was on my mind.
No one has a magic solution.
But we all keep trying.