Ask the Readers: What is Holding You Back From Where You Want to Be Online?

  • December 18, 2012 by Caleb Wojcik
  • 66 Comments

One of our favorite things to do at Think Traffic is ask you, the readers, what you think about various topics and debates within blogging, entrepreneurship, and online business.

Some of our “ask the readers“ posts are mentioned all over the web, like this one about pop-ups, and this one was even mentioned on stage at the World Domination Summit by Chris Guillebeau. 

Well, today we’d like to know:

What is holding you back from where you want to be online?

Maybe the answer is financial, physical, or even psychological, but I challenge you to nail down exactly what it is that is holding you back so that you can work to overcome it. If you never find out what is keeping you from achieving your goals, you’ll never reach them.

Let us know in the comments below this post what is holding you back from where you want to be online.

Last Time on “Ask the Readers”

Previously on “ask the readers” we asked, “is it better to publish as a guest post or is posting it on your own site better?”

My favorite answer came from James Clear. Here’s an excerpt:

“If you’re serious about building a brand online, then your absolute best stuff should always go on your site. In my opinion, if you’re not demanding that you deliver your best stuff to your own audience, then you’re not serious about becoming an authority in your area.

Additionally, I think it’s easy for us to get caught up in our tiny section of the blogosphere and forget that it’s a really big world out there. 99.9999999% of the people in the world have never heard of Copyblogger or Problogger or Think Traffic.

Here’s what that means: if a post is going to go truly viral, then it should be on your site. The likelihood of a post going viral simply because it was on a “bigger” site than yours is very unlikely. What are the odds that your post goes up on a big blog, a social media power user happens to see it, and it ends up going viral because of that? Why not just post it on your site and email a group of 10 power users who might be interested? That sounds like a better use of your time and energy.”

***

Back to today’s question: What is holding you back from where you want to be online?

Let us know in the comments below.

Written by . Caleb Wojcik is one of the 3 C's at Think Traffic and Fizzle.co. He writes at CalebWojcik.com and hosts the Cubicle Renegade Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @CalebWojcik.


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Josh December 18, 2012 at 6:03 am

I am. But I’m working on it.

Joe McGonigal December 18, 2012 at 6:19 am

“it’s easy for us to get caught up in our tiny section of the blogosphere and forget that it’s a really big world out there. 99.9999999% of the people in the world have never heard of Copyblogger or Problogger or Think Traffic.”

What great insight. I agree with James comment. It’s important to focus on building your own community or tribe around your own site. Sure guest posting has it’s place and potential, but the real question you have to answer is “what am I building and what is the best way to do that?”

my honest answer December 18, 2012 at 6:44 am

For me, it’s design. I know I need a newly redesigned website, but I’m unsure how to go about it. Which designers should I approach? Do I need a programmer too? How much will it all cost? How long will it take?

Jacko December 18, 2012 at 6:45 am

In my experience nothing holds you back more than NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO.

Things have to be laid out in an easy to understand simplified way that is intuitive and practical.

Once they are presented like this then people take off.

Think Home Depot and their tile workshops.

Samda December 18, 2012 at 6:48 am

My biggest fear / worry is, I am not good at writing. I think m very creative and can come up with really good stuff, but have nt been able to convert it in to a blog or website. I wish to work in a architectural and interior niche.

Angela December 19, 2012 at 2:31 am

Samda, Have you tried a different medium, like video or podcasting? If you’re better at showing people what to do then video would be a great option for you. If you’re talking about architecture then it would make sense to be able to show people what you’re talking about. Some things are hard to write about. Just a thought:-)

Sergej December 18, 2012 at 6:53 am

My biggest problem is that I’m lazy, very lazy. I know that I have to do something with that. Any advise how to overcome laziness? ;)

Well, it sounds like a joke! I know I have to deal with that myself.

My real problem is probably that I’m afraid to reach out to famous people in my niche, I’m afraid that they won’t understand what I want from them…I think.. Maybe I should stop crying and start doing something, writing e-mails…

Thanks

Jesse Lanclos (Cajun Copy) December 18, 2012 at 6:57 am

The biggest thing that holds me back is not having a crystal clear plan before I sit down to work for the day. When I plan my workday the night before, I’m almost always more productive the next day. I experience less stress, too. I just look at the list, take the next item, and go. I don’t worry about figuring out what I should be doing. I know what’s important, and can make better decisions with a clear mind.

Natalie Sisson January 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Do you have clear goals set up for the year on what you want to achieve? That’s quite often the reason for lack of focus. When you do have them set up anything and everything you do is to achieve those goals, but broken down into your monthly, weekly and daily activities.

It really helps to have that focus trust me.

Matt Giovanisci December 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

Luck.

I believe luck is holding me back. It may sound cynical, but at this point, I’m ready to give up.

I was let go from my job back in April, and I took it as an opportunity to focus on building up my website so that I could make a living off of it. Perhaps, it’s a pipe dream now, because all these months later, nothing has changed – traffic wise.

Don’t get me wrong, I made some great connections in my industry and have been presented with a lot of opportunities, but very few of them are enough to pay my mortgage, which I am slowly drowning in.

I live in a 2 bedroom condo with my dog Reggie that I bought at the height of the market, October 3rd 2008. That Monday was “Black Monday” and the market “crashed.” Since then, I have been underwater on my mortgage, and it keeps going up because of taxes and condo association fees.

I qualify to refinance, but they won’t even look at me unless I have a “real” job or 2 years self-employed. This forces me to get a job just to lower my mortgage rate by a couple hundred dollars a month, thus sacrificing the time spent to build my online business.

I have sat here and contemplated whether or not I just picked the wrong niche. It’s a seasonal niche and I don’t have my own product (yet). I am simply creating, what I think to be, awesome content, and trying to build up traffic so that my affiliate products start generating some real deal income. My industry doesn’t do well in the winter.

With that said, I tend to lose focus. I start to panic. I say, “I need to make money NOW so I can get off unemployment.” Since my site will not accomplish that, or at least hasn’t yet, I decided to offer my website design and graphic services. Problem is, where do I start? Also, the work that comes in is sporadic and not enough to live off of. It’s also extremely time consuming, but that’s ok because I have PLENTY of time. No wife, no kids, just a dog.

So at this point, I have to be lucky. Maybe I just haven’t been doing it long enough and eventually it will pay off, but if anyone has any suggestions, I could certainly use the help. Even if it’s just motivation. I have lost all motivation with my parents and friends pressuring me to get a “real” job. It’s starting to weigh on me now – which is why I will be looking for a “real” job, with benefits, starting in January.

I would like to thank Corbett and everyone at ThinkTraffic.net. I found this site just a few months ago and I love it. Keep up the good work!

Janie December 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

I don’t just want to skip past your comment, and want to say good luck. I hope it works out for you, just the way you need it to x

Matt Giovanisci December 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks Janie :-)

It’s hard to start your own business, especially with no capital. I would love to start doing design work to supplement my income while I work on my blog, but I don’t know how to start. I don’t know the best way, and I won’t know unless I try it. But I FEAR that I will waste my time trying things that won’t work and cost money that I don’t have.

If we fall off this fiscal cliff in January, I will be forced to look for work, which will impact my blogging and web design efforts – basically, my business will be secondary.

Monja December 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Matt,
I got up at 3.30 am today with the same thoughts you have. It’s always the same question in my head: Am I doing the right thing? Can I make the other site as successful as I did with my other site?
I can’t tell you if you should but let me tell you this:
Fear is holding us back.

In 2008 I started – because I loved it – a silly little digital scrapbooking site (yes, absolutely hobby!) and it is still alive and making me one good nearly passive income. It’s just that it’s not enough. When I started that site, I was NOT afraid because I had another job. I just did what I wanted because I LOVED it… I did not care about the money that much – although I could dance every time someone spend $5 on my designs.
Today just with designing I make a $1000 each month – so yes, you can do it, even with such a little site.
If I could do it, you can. The question is just how to multiply that success. So if we lose fear again I guess we’d just make it :-)

Good luck and let no one holding you back!

Matt Giovanisci December 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Thanks for the comment, Monja.

You started a site that sold a product, and it’s not seasonal. I don’t have a product for my website – mainly because I can’t think of one for pool and hot tub customers.

In the summertime, my site does very well. In the past two years it has made over $1,000 in May, June, and July, but those numbers taper off.

I am starting another blog on January 1st that will focus on marketing for the pool industry. I’ve already started marketing by guest posting on industry trade websites and have gotten about 100 people to sign up for a site that only has a logo and a sign up box – pretty proud of that one.

I’m hoping I can turn those people into loyal readers and start selling digital products to those businesses.

It’s a slow process, and if we go over this fiscal cliff, I will be forced to get a job extremely fast just so I don’t go into foreclosure – as much as I don’t want to live here anymore. I would like to keep my credit in good standing.

William December 28, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hey Matt,

What about an ebook about year-round pool care? And people have indoor pools and hot tubs so it’s not necessarily a seasonal niche.

Also, have you ever thought about getting a mentor? I joined Terry Dean’s Monthly Mentor Club and it’s really helped me develop my business. Terry’s been building profitable businesses since 1996 so he knows what he’s doing. His membership site is only $30 a month so it’s not too expensive.

Check it out: MonthlyMentorClub.com

Hope this helps and good luck.

William

Kyle December 18, 2012 at 7:02 am

The main things that hold ME back are:

1. Doubt that my venture will actually work (I’ve failed so many times)
2. Lack of confidence that I actually have the expertise to back up my claims

One thing that’s helped me is to set aside time, a few minutes each day, to remind myself of what my ultimate goals are with my business, what it will feel like to achieve them, and why giving-in to my insecurities will only stop or slow my progress towards these goals.

iskra December 18, 2012 at 7:12 am

I think it’s the fear of not succeeding. I’ve never not do what I wanted,but the web is a different type of a sphere…web couldn’t care less about your desire to make money, it’s all up to YOU! That part scares the hell out of me

Ricardo Caicedo December 18, 2012 at 7:16 am

Traffic to my website is slowly increasing, but conversions are almost non-existing. I think I need more traffic, it’s too low yet.
Not sure if I should keep working on that, or perhaps make my own product, maybe then I’ll get to see a bit more income?

Paul Hill December 18, 2012 at 7:21 am

Hi,

When I first got in to IM, I spent a long time researching into the success of others and the strategies they used to get there. Sometimes it is more important to make you own mistakes than trying to emulate the success of others. What held me back was trying to walk the same path as the people I looked up to online. Rather than trying to rehash someone else’s USP, be your own!

Mike Yasieniuk December 18, 2012 at 7:41 am

I’d have to go with Jacko on this one. NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO holds many people back from chasing their dreams including myself. This leads to fear because if you don’t know what to do and the path you’re going to take to success, how do you know you’ll make money at it?

Not knowing what to do made me sign up for your Million Dollar Blog Project. This project of yours was going to be a roadmap to success showing people how successful bloggers start with nothing and create a money making website. My blog http://www.bestpsdfreebies.com is currently first for traffic on the blog leaderboard thanks to great advice from Think Traffic. I’m hoping to see more posts about this project now and how to take my blog to the next level now.

Emily December 18, 2012 at 7:49 am

What has been holding me back in the past three years has been chronic eye strain and lack of focus. Now that my eyes are a lot better (thank God for herbal remedies!) and I have chosen an area of focus, I expect to do much better this year than I have in the past three years combined.

Timothy Walls December 18, 2012 at 7:52 am

Hello to All,

I can share with you what my most basic challenge has been, ever since I first started into internet marketing. It is a failure to stay focused on one good idea, or set of two or three good ideas. Then it has been a failure to learn how to market and advertise my ideas and products. It is further a failure to develop multiple streams of income, so that if one dries up, I am not let broke and wondering what to do… The answer…? It is finding a lead generating and email marketing system that is superior, even if it requires an initial investment that is a bit hard to endure investment-wise. The end result is this… Once you begin to comprehend how to set up a leads / marketing / advertising and sales funnel, and promote your ideas and products / offers, day and night, growing into the role of a seasoned marketing professional, your whole life will change seemingly “overnight…”

Stephanie December 18, 2012 at 7:59 am

Two things, lack of technical know how and figuring out where I belong. I am currently working through your blog course which is a great help but I still have moments of being totally lost technically. It is hard to start when you have no IT knowledge. Things that seem obvious to others are like a foreign language to me. Secondly I am not sure where I belong in the Internet world. I am not a business person, it’s more a creative project for me. I don’t want to spend too long thinking though so getting started was important.

MaryLou December 18, 2012 at 8:06 am

I am not real sure what the problem is with my site. I know that I am not focused enough with my day to day blogging efforts…problem is, what exactly to focus on. There are so many variables to making a blog successful, where do I start and what gives the most bang for my buck?

Help!

~MaryLou

Janet Abercrombie December 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

I have the opposite problem of Jacko and Mike: I think about ALL the things I should be doing – and realize that traffic-building in my niche will be a slow, deliberate process.

And, I have to be satisfied with slow, deliberate growth if I am going to continue working full time.

Goals for January: Develop an eBook to give away for email subscriptions. Goal for February: get a self-hosted site and modify my site design.

Those two things alone are big.

Then I want to do podcasts and guest blogs and…

Darius December 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

I firmly believe that we are the only “factor” holding us back.

That being said, as my blog is launched quite recently, having those first 50 – 100 “true fans” to work with, would mean a true quantum leap in progress.

Cheers

Rodrigo Flamenco December 18, 2012 at 8:28 am

I think Location, since many of my clients live in the US and I’m not living there it’s hard for me to get new clients, many of my friends can send a hand written letter first, then call and then get a coffee meeting with their clients, doing that helps so much more to close deals.

But it’s harder doing everything online, now I have some friends who will help me sending the letters, but I will have to do meetings using Skype. Which have less power.

Joe Cassandra December 18, 2012 at 9:08 am

Love the honesty in many answers…I just started my site a couple months ago, but I plan on being on it for the long-haul…

My subscriber base has been pretty sluggish, so I’ve tested different copy, opt-in forms and such but nothing much yet. Seen traffic slowly growing bit by bit

I’m trying to search for that idea that is “epic post” weight, I read to find new ideas but haven’t networked enough with top bloggers to get big spikes.

So 4 things I believe:

1) Sluggish subscribers
2)The post that goes viral
3) More networking with bloggers bigger than myself (always working on that!)
4) Haven’t made as much an effort to guest post as I should (that’s what I’m focusing on in the New Year)

Not complaining, I’m new so I know it takes a while and excited for the future

AfricaInside December 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

Nothing is holding me back but the challenge of finding the right SEO keywords because I am in the Africa, WIldlife, Safari genre and those are dominated by HUGE players. Plus the word safari on google is searched for in terms of the internet safari and not an african safari. That being said, I continue to plug away refining my keywords and building my audience. I love a challenge, and creating a blog from scratch is definitely a challenge.

Scott @ TwitterHQ December 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

I have been running online businesses for the past few years and one of the biggest challenges I faced early on was driving traffic. I think you obviously do a great job of addressing that!

In my experience if you can add value (great content), hustle (market), and develop relationships, everything else will fall into place. Just my .02 :)

Sapna December 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

Hi corbett

What an insightful news, 99.9% of people are not aware of the great bloggers. I am trying to follow some communities and trying to create around those. I have been trying my best to achieve that goal and the path to glory.

Thanks
Sapna

Carlos Ramos December 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

As stated before by some, I think the biggest problem we can have is ourselves. At least I know that is my case: lack of security in what I am doing, doubts in the content I can create, wondering if I will ever level up my writing skills, dealing with people that says “Are you serious? That is a total waste of time”. But, all in all, if I do not believe in myself, who will? More than skills and techniques, I think I have to begin reframing my mind, believe in my project, in what I do. And that is where I plan to begin, attack my negative ideas and build up from there.

Racheal December 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

For me its finances. I need to get my blog in its next steps as far as designing and branding but I think about the cost and then I think of what else my finances should be used for. I also think it may be a bit psychological as well.

Joy December 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

If I am held back, it is solely my mind. But I eventually create through it– by doing inner work, learning what I need to, accessing moxie, surrounding myself with like-energy creators–because I recognize I am living the dream, right now, and it the feel of the experience is in my hands.

Janie December 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Wow, have to say this is the first post I have ever read where the readers comments are as interesting as the original post!

Other peoples answers make me realise how much I have worked through over the past 5 years of blogging. I am now confident in my own style of writing, I know my niche, I have a relationship with readers on the blog and on several social media platforms. I’m not saying this to blow my own trumpet, rather to nudge all of you to look at how much you’ve actually already accomplished!

Anyway, what’s holding me back?
- Being repeatedly overwhelmed by the task of writing an ebook (which has been on the back burner for 2 years now!)
- Getting products on my site (although my little shop finally went live yesterday :)
- Not having the balls to approach media agencies to sell ad space, but rather waiting for them to come and find me.
- There is also a teeny little part of me that is a bit embarrassed to admit I’m a blogger. I’ve never thought about this until sitting here answering your question, but it’s true! When asked recently what I do, I really stumbled to answer, and even then I didn’t proudly state ‘I’m a food blogger’. Instead I mumbled something about having a blog that I’m trying to make an income from!!! Aaarrrghhhhh! What a dimwit!!! I ran my own acupuncture business for 10 years and I NEVER would have told a client that I was ‘trying to make a living doing acupuncture!’

Well, thank you. That was possibly the most thought provoking blog post I’ve ever read!

Janie x

Monja December 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Janie,
That’s funny, same here! When someone asks me what I do for a living now I try to talk around because more often than not I get the answer “Affiliate programs – is that not where you get a few pence by working your butt of?”
That’s kinda frustrating – because YES, that’s how it is first so I really don’t want to get into that discussion… Ah well, guess once we crushed it we will be more confident stating that we are bloggers!

Rob December 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm

There are so many distractions online it’s very easy to hold yourself back without even knowing it! Anything that isn’t adding value to your online endeavors or engaging with your customers is a waste of time. Yes reading blogs, researching and social media are important in the big picture but are they the most important thing you could be doing right now?

In the past I spent more time wasting time than anything else, no more! I schedule reading time, researching time and interacting time but that never comes before doing something productive, if I haven’t done something productive I do not allow myself to do any of the income limiting distractions.

Rob

Tim December 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I agree re: it is not knowing what to do.

I run a few little businesses, one of which is a cycling travel website. I write and publish ebooks, sell training programs, but really need to monetise the very loyal visitors I have and my mailing list (circa 1000). The site does low hundreds in affiliate income every month and anywhere from 200-400/m in ebooks/training etc.

I just can’t work out how to really monetise eyeballs and traffic.

Paid ecourse? Some sort of classifieds? It does my head in.

Perhaps it’s a case of more compelling sales pages? Example: velonomad.com/cycling-in-france-guide

Also for me it’s capital. I used to be on 6 figures as a telco engineer in Melbourne and could afford to sink money into my iPhone app (Wherespress), and cycling travel website and coffee of the month club.

My fiancee and I moved to 10 acres outside Byron Bay and income is about 1/10th what it was. So, no $ for dev.

This forces you to REALLY graft and rely on existing income and direct revenue to only the true bang for buck activities.

Allie December 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

ME! OK, You made me say it.

I’m holding me back. No excuses.

:-)
~Allie

Christopher Walker December 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I think it’s really just time.

All of the information is out there: everything needed to learn to be successful. What really stands in a lot of people’s way is this the time and dedication required for a sustained effort over the long run.

Tenacity and channeled productivity, focused on what matters and is proven to work, over time will bring the results we’re looking for. Lots of people give up though.

Monja December 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Hi Christopher,
When I launched my first business I felt exactly like you – it’s just time. But actually it’s not, it’s more what you make of the time you have. Even a small step every day will make you reach your goal one day.
I know it sounds strange from someone who is launching another business but I always need to tell me that to stay on track.

Aurooba Ahmed December 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm

This is such a great question. What’s holding me back (and this is about a 3-week old realization, so fairly new):

Wanting to be a certain “type” of blogger when really that’s not who I am naturally.

I follow a lot of bloggers, many of them “big name” bloggers. ThinkTraffic, Copyblogger, Chris Guillebeau, Marie Forleo, Penelope Trunk, Ramit Sethi, Justine Musk..etc.

All of these blogs update a few times a week or sometimes only once in a while, erratically, but every time with great thoughtful, long posts with ideas that have obviously seen some marination time. They mostly keep their personal life out of the blogs and are very ‘niched’ down.

But I’ve tried that. I’ve tried it for just over a year, and that’s not the kind of blogger I am. In fact, in some ways that has made me resent blogging. There are all these people ready to tell you that these are the “best practices” of blogging. There is a huge obsession with statistics. There is the whole ‘create a thriving online business around blogging!” hype.There is all that talk of authenticity.

But the problem is, all this is thinking in reverse. Authenticity comes first. Then connection. Then business. Trying to be authentic to generate business is not authentic. Generating business because you’ve been authentic and real with your audience is authenticity at its best.

We have to remember that no amount of “best practices” and “techniques” are going to get us where we want to go if we aren’t putting all of us into it. Our quirks, our personality, our particular style. Incorporating all that means you will break “Rules” of blogging and business blogging. But ultimately that will help you attract the right kind of people. Organically. Without force. And without ending up hating your blog.

I’ve been unconsciously trying to fit myself into a mold, trying to become the type of blogger that I’ve seen become big in BlogLand.

I’m not going to do that anymore. If I break rules, so be it. I will blog in the way I want to, the way that seems natural to me, in the way that makes me happy. No more forced style, forced topics, forced techniques, forced style.

Sarah (Saturday Sequins) December 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm

The biggest thing holding me back is that I’m not listening to myself.

I read a lot of advice. Blogging advice, business advice. I know all about what other people think makes great blogging and great business, and while I agree with some of it, a lot of it makes me want to run away and join the circus.

And I feel guilty. I assume I’m deficient in some way. But maybe I should follow my own instincts, even if they tell me that I’d rather eat a pile of bricks than focus on my Facebook page. I’ve digested a lot of information (and no bricks) at this point, and I’m a fairly creative person — I need to give myself more room to make my own decisions and learn from my own successes and failures.

This goes double when it comes to friends and family. I have these big, crazy ideas that keep me up at night because they have me so excited. And then I let the people close to me talk me out of them and settle for projects that are more conventional. Mostly because I’m petrified of other people’s disapproval more than I am of my own misery, which is its own crazy, complicated, scary issue.

So I’ve got to stop looking outward for approval so much and focus inward. Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but I also have the right to listen selectively — or not at all.

Monja December 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

It seems that every few weeks I’m going through this question. And every time I get to the same answer: I usually get distracted. There are days were I scratch off tons from my To-Do list and then there are days where I just wish I get things done but actually it´s no more than that – wishing.

So whenever I feel that I get nothing accomplished I try to sit down and think why this is happening. And usually I come to the one and only point:
I’m afraid.
I’m overwhelmed.
I’m not on track.

Once I realize that is – once again – the problem I try to break down my tasks to even smaller once. Tasks I can accomplish that day. For example, launching my new site where I’m now working on since September, 3rd is a HUGE project for me. All the fears which come with it (will it work out? will I find enough JV partners to launch successfully? Will I get a return on the investment I made?) Sometimes I’m so lost and I’m sure I can’t overcome the fears to get things done but once I break stuff down and know I got something accomplished on the evening I feel much better and I’m back on track.

Steve December 19, 2012 at 2:06 am

I have ideas. Some I think are even okay! I could write a several thousand word essay (don’t worry, I won’t!) telling you guys all about the growth in my ideas over the past year or two from, “I don’t have any ideas and I’m not good at anything…” to “I have 15 different ideas and don’t know which to go for”.

From there, I’ve narrowed it down, which is great. But even with the “one idea” I’ve settled on…I have different possible angles on HOW to start / which way it should go.

And – because I have no prior experience in the online business side of things – I have no idea which way to go. “Just do it” and “learn as you go” is fine. But I also know that I don’t know what I don’t know!

I need a roundtable of experts to ‘decide for me!’ (Kidding). But, if not decide for me…offer some serious direction!

joe December 19, 2012 at 3:59 am

Knowing what I know:

Work at it everyday, and somewhere between 9 and 38 months you will see a hockey stick of traffic happen. Have product in place to be ready for the hockey stick. Work at other jobs for income until that happens.

Post everyday. We are involved in “positive” water torture here folks. One drip at a time. And then something snaps.

Baby steps EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Figure out how to make the rest of your life happen in the meantime. I made posts on my smartphone at lunch for a year, before I started to see the snowball take shape.

Do you have that kind of patience?

If you don’t have a job or income. Go get one as you do this IM stuff. Any good business takes YEARS of work to get going. Any good idea can sometimes take 5 to 10 years to make a passive income upon which one can retire.

Hang in there.

I have a part time for one half of my income, and passive income for the other. I’m not there yet, but after 3 years – I’m on my way.

Betsy Talbot December 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm

What holds me back is putting a vague intention where there should be a specific action. It’s not enough to want something or do the surface busywork on social media to let everyone know what you want. It’s the behind-the-scenes, deadline-driven, measured action that propels success.

It’s not sexy, but it works for me. And it’s why I gladly take advice from action-oriented, metric-driven sites like Think Traffic and Conversion XL.

jr cline December 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

The only thing holding me back is me. I’m not ready to jump in with both feet just yet. Other projects require my time.

Chris O'Byrne December 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

What holds me back, Caleb, is time. I have a successful online business that has grow to support five people other than my wife and I. I’ve finally made it to the point where I’m having everyone else on my team do the services while I answer emails, get business, and manage client projects. As soon as I started doing that, the business grew even more and now I’m to the point where I can’t even handle all of that myself. Once I hire a manager and focus on building relationships, along with the business, I’m sure it will grow even more. I feel like I’ve created a monster. A very loving and supportive monster, mind you, but the dang thing won’t stop growing! Once the momentum starts, it doesn’t want to stop.

My focus has gone from how to get my business off the ground to how do I help my employees grow, how do I learn business finances and economics, and how to I prepare now for some unknown future in the growth of my company.

Trevor December 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

24. The number haunts me. Why couldn’t it be 30. Or 34 . . . or even more yet. 24 is what holds me back. I’m powerless against it.

How can anything great be accomplished when you’re limited to just 24? I know it can be done. I see it here all the time. Yet I’m stuck.

Every day I’m bound by 24. But it can’t hold me back forever.

Cheers!

Leonard "Leo" Jackson December 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I’m not sure how to explain this but I’m gonna say motivation or even discipline. I have my checklist for what I need to do for the day all ready to go and really it should only take a couple hours.

Of course it doesn’t.

I hardly get it all done and if I do it takes all day (or night depending on when I start)

What sucks is I’ve already been (semi) successful online but after some unforeseen circumstances I had to start over. So really this should be easier this time around. But regardless of the fact I know what I’m doing it’s still not getting done.

So ya, I’d say I need discipline or maybe even an accountability partber or something to challenge me and/or keep me motivated.

Thanks,

Leo

Sebastian December 20, 2012 at 1:54 am

Fantastic comments already. I guess for me it is two things that are holding me back:
1. FEAR:
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being able to support my family, fear of having to go back to a job that i hate…
2. The new shiny object syndrome
There seems to be so many things to try out, so many ideas to implent and all of them seem to be worth it and interesting.

Both have held me back in the past. But not anymore. This time I will do everything I can until it works…and of that I am certain.

Matthew Insardi December 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

I think the biggest killer for bloggers and believe me I fall into this category sometimes, is not focusing on IPA’s…

If you are not focused on Income Producing Activities you are wasting your time… don’t worry about what your site looks like, or what colors to make your theme. Those don’t make you money.

Put on the blinders and blog and than share your blog with the world. Market the hell out of it and you will build your following.

Keep doing IPA’s consistently and you will see a dramaitc change in your blog traffic, sales and in your life.

Ashe Abbott December 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I’m on Week two of the Start a Blog that Matters course, and I have a great idea, but I feel iffy about my name and logo. I’m a designer, and doing this stuff for other people is a piece of cake, but when it comes time to do my own branding, I am paralyzed with fear that I’m not creating the right thing…and that if I am creating the wrong thing, it will keep me from being successful.

Justin Westbrooks December 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I would love to hear/see the results of what you’ve done once you finish the course! It’s something I’ve been interested in doing before, just never taken that step!

Make it a great day!

Phil December 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

My biggest obstacle is not knowing the right thing to do next. There are so much advice out there and much of it is contradictory and incomplete. “Your website should be well designed/It doesn’t matter if your website is badly designed”; “Your website should be black and white with no graphics/You website should be colourful and full of pictures”; “You should only work with paid traffic/Paid traffic is a waste of time”; etc, etc, etc. It is clear to me that many of these “advisors” don’t have any experience of their own and are just repeating what they have read on the net.
As for the rest, I have come to the very annoying conclusion that it is all correct in the context of the RIGHT subject material and with the RIGHT person. So I am left with the task of asking myself “Under what circumstances does this piece of advice work and is that circumstance consistent with my situation?” In other words, “Is this advice right for me in my business?” Unfortunately, because the advice is incomplete, I cannot answer those questions unless I try them and see what results I get and it means that I am not much better off than just using trial and error.
Still, I don’t want you to think I’m downcast. That “not much better off than just using trial and error” is still an edge. So every tidbit or throwaway comment I collect and examine to see if it holds the clue for my next action

Justin Westbrooks December 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Paralysis by analysis. I spend so much time considering which method or strategies will work best that I usually waste more time than necessary or simply don’t take action. It’s something I’m getting better at – and fortunately I have an awesome team to work with – but when it comes down to it the only thing holding me back is me. :)

Make it a great day!

Jane Manthorpe December 24, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Great question…Whats hold me back from expressing myself on line?
It is a work in progress to overcome my consistent lack of attention and focus on one thing and get that done and then on to the next lol!
I suffer greatly from many ideas coming at me from all different directions and not being able to focus completely on one thing and complete it.
Stuck in this loop hole of writing down all my ideas as they come and then getting overwhelmed on what one is top priority to work on.
I know…. plan and execute, and that’s another area I dislike, planning of which I need to overcome.
Taking action everyday but its a slow process due to this ADD symptom but I have great intention to overcome this by listening to brainwave entrainment, its seems to help but I have to ensure to listen to it when I am working.
Onwards and upwards :)

Sunny December 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm

What seems to be holding me back from doing all I can online in my writing career has to be the fact that I find it hard to focus on just one thing, I am interested in everything to a point of distraction. I think that if I could focus on that one profitable thing and just spend my time growing it bigger, then I would see the success that I seek. Thanks for asking because now I will have to really look into what I should do about it.

igbalaye Olayemi December 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I agree with you because everything should start right away from your own site. guest post is good and is one of the common way to gain traffic but doing guest post when you are not working on how your own site will be develop is not going to help the site. i think the work should start right away from your own site. thank you for sharing this important post.

Samantha December 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Oh man, just thinking about this question is going to help get me past what is holding me back. I have just realised that what is holding me back is thinking about myself … What I want to get out of my blog and podcast, how I want it to look, what order I should do things in.

What will get me to take action is thinking about the people I want to help, rather than myself. I have been procrastinating for months I am going to get started right now. I don’t have my banner yet, or layout or anything, but I am going to go and get started on writing something that I think will help others.

It will be my first post. I have no followers, no likes, no nothing but a name and an idea to help others achieve their dreams. And instead of being embarrassed by these stats to the extent that it prevents me from starting, I feel a whole lot better about starting from nothing because its not about me, my status, or my popularity. It’s about how much I can help someone else.

I am so excited, I’m off to get started. Thanks Corbett for posing this question and getting me to take action!

Deji R Yusuf December 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I am the one holding myself back, that’s just the truth. :)

Jeremiah Say December 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Well, too be honest. Nothing is holding me back. I am my own limitation. Sometimes I’m lazy, sometimes I’m not motivated enough. The problem is me. Not the situation nor the environment.

My goal in IM is to help people quit their tedious full-time job. Today, finally.. I’ve launched my website that could hopefully help many others. I’ll do whatever I can to help as much people as possible.

Nothing is holding me back from helping people. I’ll do whatever I can do make it happen.

Angela December 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm

The thing that’s holding me back is the lack of marketing knowledge. I’m also ready to reach out to get help and get a business coach though have been burnt in the past by really expensive online courses from the online marketing ‘gurus’ so have a bit of a psychological block on just who to trust. I enjoy learning new things, technology and new ideas of doing things excite me so I’m really up for the challenge. As I said I think it comes down to who can you really trust and I expect big things from a Coach and from my business when I’m paying that much money for a 1 hour session. Which I’m more than happy to do, if it gets the results.

Siegfried February 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Well, all my previous projects were something i didn’t feel to comfortable in which resulted in me unable to write good content. now i am writing about sth i really like and i hope it is gonna change. wish me luck!

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