Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Brian Clark just hit a home run with his post about how we let fear harm our productivity.

I want to create more things like The Blogger's Guide to SEO, with the goal of pushing myself up the value chain by creating better brand touch points. I am hoping to launch a big site in the next month and want to add some cool new features to SEO Book.

Many of my projects have went far slower than they should have, largely because I have been far too busy, but also because I have let fear, laziness, and routine guide me toward accepting the needed excuses to wait until tomorrow. Once you get beyond self sustaining it is easy to sit comfortable and make up fake work just to keep yourself busy.

One of my favorite parts about being somewhat well known online is that I get to talk to others that are well known and far more successful than I am, and hear what they think in a way that is unfiltered by the need for professionalism or public relations. Tips, strategies, ideas, motivations, and human flaws unmasked - stuff you just wouldn't read on a blog - because if you did they would lose money for sharing. Unfiltered conversations where people are human and real to a level that inspires me to do better things and curb the fears that hold me back. In the end it makes you more confident because you know you can help others out, they can help you out, and everyone has some amount of fear guiding them toward action or inaction.

At the end of the day, Google and other market participants are not our biggest competitors, we are. Having said that, I might take a break from blogging for a week or two and slow down blogging for the rest of the year so I can start digging in on doing some of those big projects that have been lingering about.

[Update: A friend of mine recommended I read Dan Kennedy's The Ultimate Success Secret, which states that control = responsibility and responsibility = control. If this post resonates with you this book is well worth a read.]

Published: December 2, 2007 by Aaron Wall in publishing & media


December 2, 2007 - 4:33am

Great post Aaron, especially the making up of 'fake work.' Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, at least I am. I often find myself doing research, reading blogs, forums, etc... instead of just doing.

December 3, 2007 - 4:08am

There's nothing wrong with carrying out research but if your research phase overlaps your delivery for results, that's when "research" becomes aversive.

December 2, 2007 - 6:45am

Much as we all love the daily post or two, I'd sure be at least as excited to hear about your new big projects. Go for it!

December 2, 2007 - 8:31am

Mark Twain Nailed it:

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

We all have "blocks" which are on some level or other a

  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Ill Health, Death, Old age
  • Fear of criticism
  • and a few other fears that may not concern our work

Realizing that these are the fears will help overcome a lot of blocks. Many of the "will not works" were all illusions.

It is amazing how the reasons we find to not do something is actually very "logical" and "reasonable".

December 2, 2007 - 12:07pm

So true, Aaron. We delay our best ideas because of doing little activities who keep our everyday cash-flow (and not only such activities of course). Often it's best to sacrifice part of the current income in order to spend more time on new stuff. But yes, the feat - what if it doesn't work? Well, the world will not stop.

Good luck with your new projects, can't wait to see them. You are one of the very few genuine, not-hyped "gurus" out there, so I guess if you say "big project" it will be really big.

kid disco
December 2, 2007 - 9:54pm

I'm also going to be launching a big project in the next month or so... hopefully it's not too late, after reading your last post!

December 2, 2007 - 10:01pm

I am sure you will do great kid disco. See you in a couple days. :)

December 3, 2007 - 4:06am

Couldn't your entire article be summarized into a single word called "procrastination"?

The word procrastination might be vaguely form of translation for your article of being afraid of excelling or completing a task but isn't procrastination widely used towards our halt in action?

December 3, 2007 - 6:34pm

Procrastination by itself is not adequate to encompass this article properly.

He also talks about how we create perfectly "legitimate" reasons to put off things that should have been done. Procrastination would be doing this consciously. Fear would be you subconsciously doing stuff now that is going to cause hurdles in the future to your progress.

You get in your own way without knowing it because you subconsciously believe you shouldn't be doing what you consciously want to do.

December 3, 2007 - 8:50pm

Reading about this I would recommend a book I read recently "Time Management for Entrepreneurs" by Dan Kennedy. I like most of his ideas, though some seem to be very radical. In some cases to deliver projects we have to get rid of unnecessary interruptions. There are really very few emergency situation which need immediate attention.

December 5, 2007 - 2:24am


I'm going to print this post and put it in my desktop, TV, freezer, everywhere.

Just Great!

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