Overcoming Fear: How to Break Through and Get Stuff Done

Is fear holding you back in your business?

Are you wondering what you can do to face your fears?

To learn about the kinds of fears we deal with as marketers, I interview two small businesses owners for this 52nd episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, it’s a panel discussion with Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income, and John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire.

Both Pat and John share the fears that could have held them back in their businesses. You’ll learn about the common fears marketers face and practical steps you need to implement.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Overcoming Fear

John, what were some of your doubts when you had the idea of starting a podcast?

John says that he had many doubts and fears when he had the idea for his Entrepreneur on Fire podcast.

The idea for the podcast came about when he was on a commute to work as a commercial real estate agent. He liked to listen to podcasts and soon ran out of content to listen to.

entrepreneur on fire

The Entrepreneur on Fire podcast.

At the time, Pat Flynn had his Smart Passive Income podcast, for which he released one episode every two weeks.

John soon realized that if he was running out of content, then so were others. He had the idea to start Entrepreneur on Fire as a 7-day-a-week podcast featuring interviews with today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs.

In the beginning, John approached Jamie Tardy, The Eventual Millionaire, for mentoring. She agreed but thought he was crazy to commit to 7 days a week. Jamie thought it would be too much for his listeners to consume.

John also joined Cliff Ravencraft’s Podcast Mastermind and was told the exact same thing.

You’ll hear what John did with the advice from mentors and people already in that space.

Listen to the show to hear the fears and doubts John had, and still has today.

Pat, in the early days what were some of your fears?

Pat shares the fears he faced when he first started out. One of the them was that the work wouldn’t be appreciated or seen and whether it was the right thing to do.

One of the biggest was the fear of failure and looking bad. When he was first let go from his job, he had the fear of not being able to provide for his family. He wanted to go down the path that was good for his and his family’s future.

You’ll discover the kind of support Pat received from his wife, family and mentors. It helped him face the fear, doubt and resistance he encountered and got him to take action.

smart passive income home page

Pat had huge support from his family when it came to the launch of his own platform.

When he wrote his first ebook in 2008, which was aimed at the architecture industry, he feared that nobody would buy it. This is one of the things that could have easily stopped him from writing the ebook.

The take-home message is that you may not know John, Pat or me, but one thing is certain: We have all dealt with significant fear. We have all overcome it and gone on to do some pretty exciting things.

Listen to the show to hear my story of when I put my idea for a social media blog out to some extremely influential people. My idea became Social Media Examiner.

What about the fear of missing out?

John believes the fear of missing out is prevalent. As entrepreneurs, it’s the bright, shiny object syndrome. You see all these amazing platforms that you want to try.

With all this going on around him, John always tries to remain focused. His passion is for podcasting and interviewing entrepreneurs. So his focus is to follow one course until he succeeds and it has stood him well.

One of Pat’s mantras is “Be Everywhere.” When Pat first started his podcast and YouTube channel, he went through a lot of fears. He didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities in front of him.

Pat believes we are always our own worst enemy. For Pat with YouTube, the fear was to get behind the camera and use his own voice.

You’ll hear about another fear that held him back when it came to creating YouTube videos.

pat flynn youtube

Pat faced his fears when it came time for him to get behind the camera and create YouTube videos.

It was the fear of missing out that actually drove Pat to go ahead with his podcasts. He knew it was a great way to build relationships with people.

As a marketer, it’s one of the biggest challenges you face. You feel you have to be the first one out there when something new is on the horizon.

You’ll hear Pat talk about how to discover if something is valuable and when to make it a priority.

Since John started out, he has remained focused on podcasting and become very successful. However, John feels in today’s society, whenever anything new pops up, people always want to be the king or queen of the next big thing. People always seem to want that mantle.

You’ll find out why John advises you to create your own avatar and how it worked for him.

You should never look at the space and think you can’t enter it—instead think that there is an opportunity for you to go out there and do something. Remember the market is huge and you’re not alone.

Listen to the show to find out why Pat thinks that you have an advantage if you are coming late to the game.

Why do you think creative people often don’t create? 

Pat feels that creative people find it easier to come up with an idea than take action. The reason is that they don’t want to see their ideas shot down or not work. It’s easier not do them and just dream about them.

What Pat has learned from business is that failure is good. You’re at a huge advantage if you’re creative. You can create and if it fails, it’s all right. Look at failure as an opportunity to move on with more knowledge.

Many writers get writer’s block. In fact there is a creative block for any kind of artist. Once you force yourself and get comfortable, the process of creating starts to flow.

writers desk

It's not only writers who have a creative block. Image source: iStockphoto.

You’ll discover why Pat rewards himself at each milestone and how it helps with distraction.

When it comes to distraction, John is a huge believer in Parkinson’s law, which states that tasks expand to the time you allot to them.

Listen to the show to hear how John’s workweek is scheduled, so he can reward himself the rest of the week.

Let’s talk about jumping off the cliff. What caused you to finally go for it?

The biggest challenge Pat has faced recently is public speaking. Even though he didn’t want to do it, he knew he had to face it for his business to grow.

In preparation for this, he read books about how to become a public speaker, including books by Dale Carnegie and Nancy Duarte. Pat also watched about 100 TED Talks to help him discover what he liked and didn’t like about public speaking.

pat flynn on stage

Pat did a lot of preparation before he was able to do public speaking.

You’ll hear how Pat prepared for his first talk and what techniques he uses now.

Today he still gets nervous, but it’s a healthy nervous. This is how Pat knows it’s right. He uses the fear as proof to move forward.

Once you can prove to yourself that you are capable of whatever you set your mind to, it makes it easier to do the next thing.

Listen to the show to learn what fears I faced when preparing for my first physical conference, Social Media Marketing World.

John, now that you’ve achieved success, how do you stop the fear from preventing you from starting new projects?

Even though John has achieved success and is viewed as successful by others, he still has the same fears and in some ways they are even worse. The pressure now is to have a launch that doesn’t fail in front of everyone. It’s the fear of embarrassment.

You’ll hear John tell a story about the fear he had for his new launch, Fire Nation Elite.

fire nation elite

The launch of Fire Nation Elite was a huge fear for John.

Listen to the show to find out the reason why John set up Fire Nation Elite.

What are some practical things people can do to help overcome their fear?

Pat explains what works best for him is to talk to other people. He’s in three different mastermind groups. Each week they meet and talk about what they are up to and what challenges they face. It’s a great way to get other people involved, especially people you trust and have relationships with.

If you don’t face your fears, then you will do a disservice to your audience.

You’ll discover what other people you could go to for advice and why you should be careful.

John advises you to get out there and surround yourself with like-minded people. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

When this happens, it will help you overcome your fears. It’s a great way to share what scares you and you’ll motivate each other. More importantly, you’ll hold each other accountable.

Listen to the show to find out why you should go with your gut when you seek advice.

This Week’s Social Media Question

Mike Kawula of Self Employed King noted the jQuery Pin It Button For Images mentioned last week. He asked, “It looks great, but is there a golden rule about the maximum number of plugins to have on your site?”

It’s important to note that it only takes one bad plugin to kill your site. The reason why plugins create havoc is either they make external third-party calls from your website, or they access your database a lot.

Most bloggers use WordPress, so it’s useful to read the reviews on WordPress.org for any mention of how a plugin impacts website performance.

Here’s how you can find out more. Go to GTmetrix, type in your website address and run an analysis of your site. Make a note of your results. Then turn off all of your plugins except your caching ones and make a note of changes you see.

The stats to note are the page load time and the total number of requests. You may want to run the test three or four times and take an average of the results. Any significant changes are a sign that one of your plugins is impacting the performance of your website. The next step is to add your plugins back one at a time and run the test. This will help you identify which plugin is causing issues on your site.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Other Show Mentions

Social Media Success Summit 2013

Social Media Success Summit 2013 is a special online conference designed to help you master social media marketing (brought to you by Social Media Examiner).

Social Media Success Summit 2013.

Forty-five of the world’s leading social media pros will show you how. Instructors include Jay Baer (author, Youtility), Chris Brogan (co-author, Impact Equation), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner), Mark Schaefer (author, Return on Influence), Jesse Stay (author, Google+ for Dummies), Amy Porterfield (co-author, Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies) and experts from General Electric, Sony, E! Online, Kelly Services and Discovery Channel–just to mention a few. Fully online. Click here to learn more.

Episode 52

This is episode 52 of the Social Media Marketing Podcast. We’ve had more than 1 million downloads. In July, 600 people downloaded every episode of the show. The podcast has been listened to by people from every country in the world.

This is the most rewarding thing I’ve done. Thank you for tuning in!

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on overcoming fears? Please leave your comments below.

Image from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Mike,

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to come on and talk about that ever present elephant in the room…FEAR. SME readers…what are your thoughts on overcoming fears? I look forward to interacting with you here today in the comments section!

  • http://theclosetgeek.net/ Barry Ricks

    Well it might seem cliche, but the best way to overcome fears is to face your fears. Fear is a choice, when we choose to fear we shut down and limit our potential.

  • http://boutiquejapan.com/ Andres Zuleta

    All-star episode, two of my favorite podcast dominators, sharing vulnerability and how it is so powerful in growth, connecting with others, and breaking through. This is one of the best podcast episodes I have listened to in a while. Period. Gracias!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks John for being a great guest!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Andres – Thank you so much for your feedback :)

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    First a HUGE THANK YOU Michael for answering my question. Will definitely be doing this tonight.

    John, Pat & Michael this was a great discussion from amazing entrepreneurs. I’m going to add some thoughts and if anyone has further issues on fears I’d be happy to talk to see if I can help.

    First: Read The Power of You Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. Read the book multiple times but first go to the chapter near the end on “How to Use Your Subconscious Mind to Remove Fears.” I’m telling you this works. If you change the way you consciously talk to yourself your Subconscious mind will create a non fearful realty. Practice these techniques daily.

    The fact is you are not born with fears, you create them mentally as you get older and you can therefore uncreate them.

    Watch a young child how they try anything, why ….no fears, but as we get older we develop them from our surroundings. Thats why as John and Pat said it is CRUCIAL to surround yourself with positive people. Go on diet for 30 days from anyone negative in your life. Turn off the news, don’t read the paper and just take in positive podcast, books and people …you’ll notice a huge difference.

    “Replace your fear of the unknown with curiosity.”

    This was sincerely an amazing episode. One more added tip, to listen to another great discussion on this topic, visit this episode of Lewis Howes. It’s a solo episode, but truly one of his best on “Beliefs” http://lewishowes.com/podcast/the-power-of-belief/

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    I have a fear this episode may be too awesome to listen too…

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    @barryricks:disqus I totally agree. Face your fears, or you’ll be left wondering “What if?…”

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    @erikjfisher:disqus You’re the man! Excited for our panel session at NMX, which will definitely be “too awesome”. No fear.

  • josh brown

    Great topic! Great interview! Fear impacts everyone! It took me 2+ years to finally get over my fears and launch my own law firm. I pushed through the fear after realizing that the worst thing that could happen is that I failed in the endeavor. Not that big of a deal. And I would rather fail trying that not have tried at all. Love this topic as I know counsel a lot of newer attorneys on getting over their own fears so they can breakthrough and create a law practice they are proud of and passionate about……..great stuff

  • http://www.becomeablogger.com/ Leslie Samuel

    I know right – I might have to pray before listening to this one ;)

  • http://www.pixelhappy.com/ Steve Young

    What?! 3 big hitters on one podcast. Love this!

    Great topic, @mikestelzner:disqus! Thanks for putting this together.

    Question for you guys, is it good to share your fears with your audience? Especially if you haven’t “made it”?

  • saritlotem

    What a great podcast! Thanks guys for sharing your stories.

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Thanks for listening in and for the kind words @andreszuleta:disqus!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Erik!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for sharing your story Josh!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Steve – Yea for sure, why not? I guess if you do it in a healthy way.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for your feedback :)

  • saritlotem

    From my experience the first step is to be sincere and serious. If I don’t take my self and serious, nobody will…

  • http://www.pixelhappy.com/ Steve Young

    Don’t know Mike. I’ve mentioned my fears to a few folks and on my podcast and then I always ask myself “should I have shared all that”?

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Absolutely Steve, the key is to resonate with your audience, and what better way than to find common ground, and FEAR is a common ground we ALL tread upon.

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Our pleasure! Also, I agree with your comment “If I don’t take myself serious, nobody will…” Thanks for sharing!

  • Justin Williams

    What an amazing podcast! First off to have the 3 top people I follow and listen to in the media field all on the same show was incredible in and of itself!

    I’ve only been following the “tech” scene for about 7 weeks now and will be starting a podcast on House Flipping in 2 months so to hear you 3 rock stars admit fears you have dealt with has really helped me continue to push through some of the fears I can currently experiencing!

    Thanks for all of your advice and inspiration and willingness to put yourself out there!

  • http://www.betterblogimages.com/ Joseph Michael

    Great podcast guys! Michael, Pat, & John thank you for being so transparent and open about your fears. I think people really connect with vulnerability and this will help a lot of people including myself.

    It takes courage to face your fears head on but it seems like the more you do it the easier it gets. Maybe because you realize that most of the fear you had was all exaggerated in your head? At least that’s how it is for me anyways. Have you guys found that to be true too?

  • http://www.autofocusmarketing.com/ Roger Graves

    Michael, John and Pat thanks for an AWESOME interview! Oh man, you don’t realize how many fears you have until you really force yourself to analyze and face your fears. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Justin, thank you for your kind words! Good luck on your journey!

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Joseph,

    I have found that most of the fear I had was exaggerated in my head. We always dream of that WORST case scenario that rarely plays out. So take a leap! Overcome fear…at least for today ;-)

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Roger,

    SO true! Analyze and face your fears. That is a sure way to take that first step towards ACTION!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Justin very much. Glad you found value

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Joseph – Now work through it and make stuff happen ;)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Yep, it happens to all of us. Glad you found the stories helpful

  • Shelia

    Excellent Interview Mike, Pat, and John! Very timely for me, as I am facing my own fears related to the fork in road I’m facing. I appreciate your honest on a topic most people are uncomfortable with having. Your discussion helped nudge me in the direction I really wanted to go, but feared the unknown. Thanks again guys!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad this provided the motivation you needed Shelia

  • Lena

    WOW! This was exactly was I needed!
    Todays morning powerwalk right now seems to lift me to the next step.
    Working on a new product, in a new invironment is scary and I ask myself all the time if I’m doing the right thing, will it work?
    But now, knowing that even you – the Masters – that I look up to and listen to every week had the same thoughts and fears just makes me stronger than ever.
    Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Lena and glad it was helpful. We are all human and we all have fears. It’s natural. Now embrace them and move ahead.

  • Eric Leszkowicz

    Impeccable timing.

    Right now as I prepare to launch into a crowded space, but I had forgotten about the “proof on concept” principle.

    Pat and John thanks for your insight.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you found the interview useful Eric

  • Kelly Orchard

    I subscribed to your training on blogging a little over a year ago – which has launched numerous methods which I am developing my digital footprint. I blog, podcast, and submit articles to other sites – THANKS for all the content that you provide. I now have my team subscribing to your newsletter – so that they can take on some of the tasks as we prepare to launch, and grow!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Kelly!

  • http://www.seomasterexpert.com/ Swapan Kumar

    Amazing podcasting Tutorial!! Great post to overcome the fear factor. Thanks to all for the great interview. Thanks for sharing the post.

  • AMGil

    One of my favorite podcasts and interviews. Very inspiring! Thank you so much for reminding us that even the “greats” are humans and had/have fears throughout their failures and successes. Truly important and has really made a difference to me.

  • Andreas K. Giermaier

    Wow just Pat or John as an interviewee alone would have been awesome as both of them can teach you quite a bot by what they have learnt over the years or months in Johns case (John is in the SUPER PURSUIT MODE, do you remember Knight Rider from 1980s? hihi)

    so lets put the turbo booster in and FOCUS on what it is that hepls OTHERs and OURSELVES…
    thanks Michael for sharing :)

  • Pingback: What have I gotten myself into?? | It's an Entrepreneur Thing

  • Vikki

    Talk about a gut check (literally). While listening to this podcast by stomach got tied up in knots as I finally recognized what I’ve been experiencing the past couple of weeks. Thanks for giving it a name and a way to handle it – good work. Love the podcasts
    VB







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