If Your Business Doesn't Need It, Ignore It
The self-imposed “rut”
At our most recent huddle, we had two amazing creative entrepreneurs who have run their business entirely via referrals! Our minds were blown further when we learned that one of them wasn’t using a website for their business and the other had no social media accounts.
By all accounts, both of their businesses were thriving just the way they were. Yet both of them still expressed a sense of feeling like they were missing out on some crucial component. As if the success they were finding felt less than complete.
Thanks to technology, there are endless ways to accomplish things. This means more exposure to all those ways to accomplish things, which may be overwhelming. It’s like when you go to get a new iPhone, only to find that besides being able to select from any given 3 given model numbers. Those models also include sub-models and premium models that cater to different users and I get it. In my opinion, why not focus on making one phone that actually works longer than a year - but - maybe I have some things to work through.
The point is, the things that make it easier than ever to connect also cause us to compare, doubt and ultimately feel overwhelmed.
The creative entrepreneurs we look up to may all do something a certain way and that's fine. We’re told that if we don’t implement there tips or strategies, then we’re not maximizing our business. We’re not thriving. We’re missing our full potential. We’re losing money. That our businesses depend on this. It’s hard to not feel the pressure to cave.
Just ignore it.
Compare leads to doubt for creatives
When we compare ourselves, we begin to doubt ourselves. When we doubt ourselves we ask, why am I not doing "that"? When we explore the options, we are overwhelmed with strategies, tools and more.
My business is all referral based and has never needed a website, but everyone says you need a website!
I have never used social media and my business is booming, but it looks like you need social media to survive.
I don’t use a questionnaire in my business, but everyone else does so I should probably create one.
All I use my phone for is texts, emails and web browsing, but I guess I need facial recognition because?
These are the mental gymnastics we put ourselves through because of how connected we all are. We work ourselves up and create anxiety because of false expectations.
When too much information, is not a good thing
When I started writing more for the Dubsado blog and planning the creation of our podcast, I took in as much information from as many sources as possible.
You know that moment when you have 10 tabs open across your screen and all of them are articles sharing a slight variation of the same info? You skim through as much as you can and forget where you read what. Eventually, you just decide to bookmark all of them and call it a day, not really sure what you retained.
Dozens of blog posts told me the exact process I needed to follow when structuring a piece or exactly what I should be writing about to get eyeballs. Other articles told me which microphones were the only options I could consider when trying to record an interview, or what episode length was for sure going to push away listeners.
All I ever retained, was a sense of dread. How could I possibly do all the things that all these people do? How am I going to get my blog posts or podcast episodes to look the way they say it should. It leaves you feeling immobilized or unable to rest in your decisions.
I finally began to make some meaningful traction when:
I cut the number of sources I was taking in.
Narrowed the sources to those that most specifically catered to my needs.
Stopped worrying that my path to launch was "less than" if it didn’t include dozens of other steps I had come across.
If we are allowing comparisons to run our decisions, your business might suffer. That doesn't mean we stop learning. There are so many ways I can improve with writing the blog or hosting our podcast, but I have to be intentional about the path I take to get there.
“The Becca Way”
Something I love about Dubsado co-founders, Jake and Becca Berg, is how confident they are in the way they do things, no matter how “unconventional” it may seem. You don’t really realize how countercultural it is to just be confident in how you do things until you’re around people who are actually doing it.
I’ve shared a little about this before, but at one of our huddles, Becca shared a small example of how she puts this idea into practice. That idea would end up being pretty mind-blowing to me.
A quick Google search of something along the lines of “how to be productive in the morning” will pop back dozens of articles telling you should avoid your phone at all costs after waking up. That seems pretty hard to argue with. You want to get up feeling refreshed and in the right frame of mind; waking up and immediately blasting your eyes with blue light probably isn’t conducive to that.
Or be like Becca and grab your phone as soon as your eyes open.
Becca learned that what everyone “says” is the right way to start your day, may not be best for her. Instead of trying to shoehorn herself into a routine that didn’t work, she found one that did and never looked back.
That’s the most difficult part. When you know something is working for you, but you’re still doubting yourself. This is where the biggest strides are taken in trusting yourself and your process.
Balancing community and self
Now, none of this is to say that you should cover your ears and block out any and all information. Just as important as confidence, is openness. Being willing to hear ideas, consider alternative methods and take constructive feedback from mentors, experts or your community!
Community is a pillar of creative entrepreneurship. We see it elevated so much in social media and that is so beneficial in so many ways. It can also add to our willingness to make whatever our community says, work for our business.
Finding that balance between who and what you trust is so important. At the end of the day, results are results, so don't doubt the ones you're seeing!