Black Friday is coming to an end as I write this post, and all I can think is – whew.
It’s amazing how quickly I can go from thankful to discontent, and Black Friday made that obvious. Not in the way you’d expect, though. I’m something of a minimalist, and when I’m overwhelmed, I back away. As a result, I wasn’t tempted to buy anything…but I was tempted to offer something.
Nothing wrong with offering deals on special days, but we’ve had a lot going on in our family, and I just couldn’t put my brainpower toward Cyber Monday – Black Friday – Thanksgiving – whatever. Important things have been happening, and I decided to leave the thought of any “special deals” alone until mid-December, at least.
My inbox and social media feed started going nuts. Black Friday this, Cyber Monday that, 50% off this tool, 30% off this great course, $50 off that awesome resource. It was crazy! And all of a sudden, I felt like I was missing out. Not on the tools, but on the money.
FOMO = Fear of Missing Out.
Surely everybody in my industry was now raking in the big bucks, and there I sat with nothing. Crap.
Cursing my lack of planning, I wrestled with myself. Doing nothing was simply not an option. I was obviously just being lazy and needed to get to work. What could I do, though?
Should I throw out some random offer, I wondered? What could I possibly offer that wouldn’t make me dread work if it was actually successful? Let’s be real, here. My kids like to eat, and I like to create things that are valuable. My rates are set so both of those things can happen at the same time. Cutting them too drastically just wasn’t an option I could get behind.
I know! An ebook! Only one tiny problem: I haven’t actually written an ebook yet. It’s on my list. How hard could it be, though? I could write an ebook about how to write an ebook and successfully launch it in 4 hours or less. Boom.
Ok, no. Back to the drawing board.
Maybe I could offer a free consultation. Free website audit. Uhh, maybe I should spin up some kind of course. People are always asking me how to start a blog, I can do that! I mean, there aren’t nearly enough courses out there about how to start a blog. (yes, that’s sarcasm) (no, I’m not hating on those courses)
In the end, I wasted hours putting together a landing page for a vague offer that I ended up scrapping altogether. It wasn’t completely wasted though, because I refreshed my services page, finally set up a MailChimp account for this site, and took care of a few other odds and ends. That’s something, at least.
I learned a few things from this experience, though.
We can get just as carried away with trying to “keep up with the Joneses” in business as we can personally.
Kate Toon talked about this on her podcast, Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur. The episode is about imposter syndrome, and she says something about how we are more likely to feel “less than” when next to our peers, than we are when we are around regular people.
I hadn’t even considered it like that before she said it, and now I see it everywhere. I’d like to say I was inspired by my peers, but really I felt worried I’d be left behind if I didn’t at least pretend to have it all together.
Successful launches take time and planning.
The people who offer those deals typically prepared for them. They planned, they prepared, and they hopefully reaped the benefits of that planning. Why should I think that I could come sliding in with zero planning and have any real success?
I try to rush this all the time, and I always regret it. My brain just jumps into “go-mode” and I try to launch a brand new idea within 24 hours. This isn’t always a bad thing, to be honest. Sometimes, it stretches my creativity and jumpstarts my motivation to work on other projects.
However, today I really should have spent the day relaxing with my family. Instead, I was obsessing over discounts and feeling threatened by my awesome friends. I feel gross and vulnerable just typing that, but it’s truth.
Fear and jealousy are not good foundations for business decisions.
I’m all about being Captain Obvious in this post, clearly. And maybe there are very successful products out there that came from fear or jealousy. For me though, I don’t want to go that route.
It wouldn’t be very good for me to start tripping over myself while I’m trying to build a business, so I’m not about to start that now. I’m going to have to be ok with being me and doing things the way I want to do them. Whodathunkit?
And on that note, I’m going to go finish my midnight bowl of cereal. Because I do what I want. Muahaha.