Remember when you were a teenager and you faced enormous peer pressure to “fit in” with everybody else?
One thing I’ve learned over the last decade in business is that peer pressure isn’t just for teens. Entrepreneurs often succumb to that too. It just looks a little different.
It’s jumping on the bandwagon of the latest, greatest marketing technique.
It’s creating a presence on Instagram because all the “experts” say it’s the place to be if you want to earn 6-figures!
It’s signing up for every Facebook challenge that comes along.
It’s attending every marketing conference, and then buying one (or more!) programs being sold at the event.
I’ve been there, done that. And it’s cost me plenty of lost time and money in the process.
Falling Victim to “Fear of Missing Out”
For teens, it’s peer pressure. For entrepreneurs, it’s more a case of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.
And it’s not only entrepreneurs that fall into the trap of wanting to emulate successful people by doing what they do.
The other day, I read an article in AARP magazine (Yes, I am old enough to be a member!) about musician Carlos Santana. He talked about how he got started in music, and that when he was young, he wanted to sound like B.B. King and Otis Rush. So he would go in the closet and play his guitar, and try to sound like them. But Carlos realized he didn’t sound like them. He sounded like himself.
As he explains, “I didn’t realize it was a blessing instead of a curse. But when I stopped trying to sound like somebody else and really paid attention to me, I heard that sound that goes through all people’s hearts.”
The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to become a key part of the flourishing psychedelic rock scene in the late 1960s and played at Woodstock when he was only 22, which really ignited his career.
I love the lesson he shared in the article that it was only when he stopped trying to sound like someone else that he was able to come up with a sound that touched people’s hearts.
Put Your Customers First
That’s the lesson we, as entrepreneurs, need to embrace.
Attending events and taking courses is helpful for growing your business. Unless that’s all you’re doing!
There comes a time when you need to stop paying so much attention to what everyone else is doing, and concentrate on what will serve your customers the best.
After all, if you’re not paying attention to what they want and need, you’re not going to be in business very long.
How do you find out what they want that you can deliver?
Do a poll on social media. Create a survey (I like SurveyMonkey for this) and email it to your subscribers.
And pay attention to your intuition. I believe your heart is a powerful compass for directing your actions.
Finally, relax. You’re going to make mistakes. That’s ok. It’s part of the entrepreneurial journey.
Focus on doing your best every day. Recite positive affirmations. Visualize your success. And most important of all, have fun!
Life is too short to spend on FOMO, when you could spend it on LOVE.