Calling My Own Bluff

I got a chance to hang out with some great friends of mine that I haven’t talked to much in years on Saturday. We spent about 5 hours catching up; what we’re trying to do with our lives, girl problems, crazy drunken nights….you know, the usual.

When my chance came to tell them how my life’s been, I took full advantage. I told them all about this blog, my plans for it, how I consult people, and how I want to eventually turn this into my main source of income. I told them that I basically want to be a micro business consultant. And somewhere in between, I had a harsh realization…I’m not a micro business consultant. That really bothered me. Here I was, talking their ears off about consulting and everything involved, and I wasn’t yet a consultant. I was all talk and no action. Yes, I have consulted people in the past, but you can’t “officially” call it that; I’ve been doing this for free for about half a year and they’ve usually just been casual interactions.

I’ve been terribly procrastinating in becoming a real business consultant. Reflecting back on my struggle to start, a common theme started to emerge; fear. This overall sense of fear has led me to procrastinate for months on end. My first fear was how will people realize that I’m credible and worth my value? Others were how do I actually get started? Do I need to create a contract? Do I really know what I’m doing? What exactly kind of services should I offer? I’m sure there were others, too.

Another good friend of mine has been in a rut for a while and the advice that I’ve given her can be summed up with “just try something. Inaction only leads to inaction. Action can lead to many possibilities, opportunities, experiences, and learning.” I should start taking my advice more often, huh?

So I came up with a new mantra; the basic formula for success: less talk, more action= success

Since I am now consciously aware of my fears, I can try to cure those fears! My biggest fear was having people realize my credibility and my value. Yes, I don’t have a college degree or any conventional indications of credibility. But I have something much better than that; 4 years of hands-on experience and a bunch of awesome testimonials from people who I’ve already consulted with and that list is always expanding.

The cure to my fear of actually getting started is actually quite simple. I’ve used the site Elance to find and hire great freelance designers and copywriters. Why don’t I offer my consulting services on here? I can use my blog and my testimonials to create credibility for myself!

The next fear was if I needed to create a contract or not? I’ve heard horror stories from other free lancers who did great work but ended up never getting paid! To dig a little deeper, this fear can be summed up with, “Will I get paid or will I get screwed?” I can’t totally cure this fear but there are ways that I can prevent this from happening. By working on Elance, I have some protection in this matter. If, for some reason, a client doesn’t pay, Elance can act as a middle man to get things figured out. I can also “screen” my clients before hand to find out about their character so I can feel more at ease about this possibility. Remember, just because it happens to someone else, it doesn’t mean it will happen to you. You don’t know until you try, right?

The fear of actually knowing if I know what I’m doing is a fear that is grown out of self-doubt. I’ve constantly heard from others that they enjoy interacting with me, that I’ve really helped them, etc. Some of the testimonials I’ve received have reinforced that. If at first you don’t totally believe in yourself, at least believe in what others have to say about you!

What exactly kind of services should I offer is another tricky fear! Instead of focusing on what services I should provide, I should focus on what kind of services clients want and need! That cancels out this fear completely.

Now that I’ve cured my fears, I am no longer frozen by them. I can now actually take action to becoming an “official” micro business consultant. So I did. You can check out my profile here!

What a HUGE weight lifted from my shoulders!

* * *

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow, cool. Great for him but how does this help me out?”

To sum up what I did:

If you ever find yourself procrastinating, try to figure out why. It’s usually because you are afraid of something. Think of all the things that could make you scared to start. Write those down. Next, think of ways that can cure those fears. This is a pretty simple activity but it has a huge effect. It will enable you to finally start what you’ve procrastinated with forever and it will put you at ease. This might make you a little uncomfortable at first, but what do you have to lose?

If this helped you out in any way, please share with others who may benefit from it as well. Thanks in advance!

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