When people start thinking about trying a side hustle, many get stuck on the thinking and never get to taking action. The same can often be said for those who have a business and are thinking about leveling up… lots of thinking. Today we’re talking about why action will get you farther than thinking (and faster), how to get over your fears of starting, and simple ways to gain some momentum!
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Why is it wrong to think about things?
It’s not. At all.
However, weighing your options, considering your choices, and thinking over the variables is supposed to be a step towards taking action. Instead, many people get stuck on thinking and never get to the action part.
Let me give you some examples:
- You go to a store and pick out two new shirts, and are trying to decide which one to buy. You look at the shirts, compare the sleeve lengths, the colors, the cuts… maybe you even hold them up in front of you in the mirror. But the only way to know for sure which of those two shirts you should spend your money on, is to try them on. That’s the only way to know how they look on you, how the fabric feels, whether the cut of the shirt pinches your armpit, or if the shirt is going to reveal a little too much when you bend down or lift your arms. Now you can decide which shirt to get, or if neither of them work.
- It’s date night. You and your spouse are going to go to dinner without the kids and you can’t wait! You’ve thought about where to go all week, and now it’s time to leave… but you haven’t decided where to go. The Italian place has great bread, but the Asian fusion place has amazing atmosphere. Essentially, you can’t make a bad choice because you’re going to have a good time no matter where you go. But, you have to make a choice. Otherwise date night is going to be spent in your driveway and no food or fun will be had.
Thinking isn’t wrong. It’s an important step in the process. You just have to remember it’s not the last step. You’re thinking so you can feel more confident about taking action.
“I can’t get out of my head”
I hear ya. We all suffer from analysis paralysis from time to time. We become like those kids who can’t answer multiple choice questions because they can arguably make some circular logic case for why the answer could be B: the sky is purple.
When you find yourself spinning out, talking yourself into and out of multiple options over and over again, it’s usually because of one thing: fear.
You’re afraid of making the wrong choice. Afraid of looking foolish. Afraid of failure, and maybe even a bit afraid of success and what it would do to the life you’ve built.
This fear can paralyze everyone in different ways. For some it means you keep coming up with idea after idea and every time you eliminate one idea, another one comes to you. For others, you can’t think of anything. Your mind is a complete blank. And still others will knock out every possibility because you can see every possible pitfall down the road.
That’s fear’s way of keeping you “safe.” Fear knows that where you are right now is safe. It might not be happy, proud, fulfilling, or financially stable, but it’s learned to deal with this situation, and anything else is… well… unknown. But as the wise koala in Sing said (I’m paraphrasing), the way to get over your fear is by taking action. You can’t be afraid of speaking in public once you start talking, because you’re already doing it, which means you can do it, which means, you’ve got this!
What can you do to start taking action?
The good news is that you can move past fear. A few episodes back I shared a few ways you can get experience in a side hustle before you launch your business. If you haven’t listened to that episode, episode 31, check it out. By test driving your side hustle before you fully invest you can quiet that fear because you’ll have some experience to draw on and fear won’t have so much to argue about.
Another great strategy for getting out of thinking mode and into taking action mode is to give yourself a deadline. Give yourself a week to research your side hustle options and, if there are a lot of them, narrow it down to the top two. If not, just make a choice. Then give yourself a set amount of time to decide if you’re going to jump in or get some experience first (and what that experience will be)
Remember that baby steps are still steps. You don’t have to take massive action all at once – quit your job, downsize to a tiny house, and live on Ramen until you make your dream come true. Honestly, the people who do that aren’t normal. They’re the kind of people tv shows are made about, but so are the people on Jerry Springer, so…
In season 2, I chatted with Michelle Paul, a member of the Side Hustle Teachers community, about how she built her very successful business slowly, over time, with baby steps. The fact that it happened slowly doesn’t make her success any less valid or impressive. It makes it achievable!
So this week I challenge you to start taking action on something that gets you one step closer to starting or growing your business.