Why Can’t Anyone Answer This SIMPLE Question?

Let’s get right to the point today.

There’s a question that’s been bugging me a LOT lately.

Tribe members run into this problem all the time, and try as I might, I can’t figure it out.

Can you help me out? I made a short (~2 min) video explaining the problem.

Leave a comment below with your answer. I’m not going to post the actual question here because I want you to watch first :)

83 comments
JohnVito
JohnVito

I think for me it's "where do I start?" That actually leads to my procrastination

Justin Tan
Justin Tan

That's a pretty powerful story Bill and I thikn it's one that rings true with a lot of us. Nowadays there are more and more shiny pennies out there with the internet, and we just keep getting caught up in them. If we can really learn how to cut thru the bullshit and think about what really matters, then I too believe we can all get a lot more done. Thanks for sharing!


JoeBay
JoeBay

I am an old person.  I have worked for someone else for years and years.  I find the whole thing of creating my own business very unsettling.  It can be a frighting thing to embark upon when you have made the "9 to 5 for someone else" your life's habit.  It's easier to go to a place, let them figure it out then you collect a paycheck.  However as Oprah says,

“Whatever you fear most has no power--it is your fear that has the power”  So I push forward.

TheDarkLlama
TheDarkLlama

Spose I hafta throw my 2 cents in.


If people don't see an exact step by step formula, we don't know it's possible for us.

Until we get step by step FROM someone we trust, we do nothing.  And that first step has to be something we're already really comfortable doing.  Take my website.  I've actually been through several web design college courses, went through a couple programming languages--but when it came down to creating my own I didn't know where to start.  Despite being able to code, I'm not good at it and I actively detest it so I didn't want to create something I'd have to use that skillset for.  Then comes Daniel DiPiazza and his awesome course on starting an online business.  He broke down exactly what to do, made it easy (a la wordpress) way to do it, talked about the hosting, difficulties and all sorts of things I might run across.  I started, got stuck on several parts but because I got started and already sunk money into the hosting--I pressed on.  It took hours because my server is ran by weirdos but I got it.  


Most of us don't want it bad enough to stick it out.

I was a bounty hunter for a little while.  What always amazed me was how many guys quit.  I idealized it and thought I'd love it too... and I did.  BUT... there was a lot of suck.  Most of it is a big HUAW--"hurry up and wait" not unlike the army shout and for the exact same reason.  And if it's not HUAW, it's a lot of boring capped off with a lot of uncomfortable.  Seriously, you've done stiff legged, butt numbing family road trips?  Try prisoner transport from Las Vegas to North Carolina with a person who might hurt you.  Try just sitting in a car on surveillance for 10hours.  Try having cops hate you.  Not just "be suspicious" but to actively hate you.  We've been arrested and jailed for 24hours over "loitering".  Just because they can.  


But I still love it.  The moments of capture range from dull to exciting, the training is fun and despite all the suck, because of the HUAW we got to party in vegas for a night for "professional" reasons.  lol


I'm learning entrepreneurship is the same except it's just you.  You don't have a team.  You don't have any guarantees of $ or making it at all.  Others talk about the bipolar roller coaster of business ownership.  Moments of manic excitement balanced with extreme anxiety as the business takes more of you.  Most of us just don't want it bad enough.  



I'll say one thing, Eckhart Tolle is my saving grace and he (with tactics from Ramit, Ferriss, and Daniel) got me to develop an external goal.  You can either accept, enjoy, get enthusiastic about, or quit doing something.  Enthusiasm is something you enjoy coupled with a goal: I want to teach everybody in the world... bongos for example.  What are you doing for others?  Why should they choose you?  That focus has kept me developing and creating value for the past little while.  Mayhaps it helps you yea?

Oliver Armstrong
Oliver Armstrong

Given all the great comments, I'm motivated to contribute one more thing that I've noticed being self employed and an entrepreneur.

It is VERY VERY VERY VERY hard to wake up every morning and put in a 16hr day on your own business/creation with no boss setting objectives and no guarantee of a paycheck... ever.

Not many people are willing to go for broke or live out of their car for the time it takes a longshot idea to produce, but they should. The uncertainty can be crippling, so I really don't know that many people who have been able to make the leap.

jasonfranklynking
jasonfranklynking

i think this problem simply comes from biology. as evolved as we are and existentially amazing and insane as our existence is, we still follow many of the basic rules of survival. Rule#1/King of rules: Survival itself. Most of the things we do gets uhhh funneled into the "keep me alive" bucket. Food, shelter, relationships. Once we have those things even at its most basic levels; a six-pack, apartment, couple of good buddies and take-out, once we have those things our survival mechanism is TECHNICALLY satisfied. That push to develop, create, and bulldoze ahead (i believe) lies largely in that survival mechanism. When you have these goals as many of us do, your body is technically saying "dude what the haystacks?! we have everything we need! Why're you trying to create/do things to better yourself/the world? You're fed and sheltered, relax"


Exercise is a good example, why's it so hard for so many people to take that healthy leap? well because animals don't have to exercise, they move and run and blast their bodies simply to catch their food and avoid death. At some point it was the same for humans, where physical fitness was a byproduct of a person's livelihood. BUt now that many of us get our livelihoods from simply working in offices why the fu** do we have to exercise? From a biological standpoint we don't. From a biological standpoint, all our bodies know is that we're well fed, protected and sheltered so for many of us exercise is like delivering all our messages by hand when you have a perfectly good computer. Or resorting to flint and stone when you have a working stove.


So it the same when it comes to motivation I think. As far as our bodies are concerned we've accomplished survival to the fullest. Belly full, check. Body warm, check. But our minds are evolved past this ceiling of satisfaction but it's kinda on it's own. The body is like dude I'm not lifting a finger, i'm goooood. The mind is saying 'dude I have all these good ideas'. so it literally becomes an issue of mind over matter where you practically have to use your will to overcome your biological complacency. It's wild, it's tough, but it's possible. You quite literally have to mentally remind yourself of your goals and desires every second that you can and act on it every second that you can as well. 'Cause in some ways our minds are on their own.

Zach Grove
Zach Grove

I'm gonna disagree slightly with all the "fear" and "no accountability" answers. 


Tim Ferriss said (I paraphrase): you're more likely to save $10,000 to go on vacation in Europe that you REALLY want, than you are to save $1,000 for an "okay" trip to Ohio. In other words, you're more likely to hit a more difficult goal, if it's so mouth-wateringly irresistible that you will crush any obstacles to get there.


For me, none of the guides I see online (and this is no way a slight to your material, Daniel), get me fired up. The bottom line I run into with entrepreneurship stuff is, I don't really care.

Yeah, I can (and do) freelance. But does the prospect of "more client work" really sound exciting? Even $10K feels like the trip to Ohio to me if it means doing crap I don't enjoy for weeks straight. Guess it depends what you're doing.


Rich20Something posts have got me thinking about this lately: What's the "Euro-trip" for most 20-somethings? What's a Euro Trip to me? I feel like our generation wants more play and meaning. How do we earn money at the same time? Ramit's ZTL launch made me run to ING and start saving monthly for it...that sounds like a guide I personally crave and won't need, as Ramit wrote, "someone caressing your shoulder and whispering affirmations in your ear to 'motivate' you".

takechiyo
takechiyo

Our brains like to be busy and when we are not focused on doing something that requires our full attention we are busy constructing scenarios (and excuses). If you have no momentum or small wins behind you then confronting all these possible "what-if" scenarios becomes overwhelming and the easiest thing to do is to put the idea to the side and be passive, telling yourself you will do it when X happens (without taking any steps to even make X happen)...

AnnikaS
AnnikaS

"Why do I think with so many resources available, is it still so hard to take action?" 

Simple: We get in our own way! 

We have our doubts, fears, limiting beliefs that mean that we sabotage ourselves on the journey to success. We feel like we don't deserve it, we think "it can't be that easy" or "s/he can, but not me, because..." 

It's crazy, because each of us has this amazing person inside of us that could really & truly ROCK the WORLD if only we let them get on with it. 

It's something I struggle with massively, and I'm realising that there are a few things we can do to allow ourselves to unleash our true potential and start taking action:

1. Put something on the line. If you invest money in a course, or you're about to lose your house, when you absolutely HAVE to make it work, you're much more incentivised to push through the discomfort of the unknown and get on with it. 
2. Accountability. I know this one's old hat here on this blog, but that's because it's so true. Having people to report to every day about what you're achieving, and people that "get" you and what you're experiencing makes it so much easier to do it - you're not alone, and it lightens the load.

3. Staying Aware. I just spent 2 weeks doing an absolute minimum amount of work, the rest I was watching TV. Was that me unleashing my true potential on the world? No, not really. But I had been on an emotional rollercoaster for those 2 weeks, and the TV was giving me the time I needed to process the emotion. For the first week or so I had no idea why I couldn't get anything done and was beating myself up about it, feeling guilty, etc, which just added to the emotional turmoil. But once I clicked that the TV therapy was what my body needed right now, I was able to snap out of it much faster. Staying aware of what your body & mind need, and of the things you tell yourself and then questioning them is HUGE. If you know that your impulse to "just watch one episode" in the middle of writing your guest post is just you trying to sabotage yourself, it becomes easier to take the action that will move you forward. 


Terra_Stardust
Terra_Stardust

Why?  Because, of course!

Personally I know it boils down to fear and lack of experience and support. Sure there are thousands of resources out there to learn from, however when you are switching from workerbee to solopreuner, it is F$*%&)*# scary and easy to allow all those limiting beliefs to hold you back. As to the support part, entreprenurial stuff (especially web based) has a slimy and fantasy land rep.  Those marketers don't care and are trying to make a buck off you.   When I started interacting with you via chat and the website (HAHAHA!! IM TWELVE!!)  I honestly did not believe it was you  and that you really did interact with your tribe the way that you do.

Glad I got past that! 


Another personal reason, right now I am working on my marketing plan.  Developing content for web marketing, planning out a podcast, planning live classes, those things are easy.  Add in the face to face part of it and I am stuck.  I have one major reason, I am relocating in a month to the east coast so it is easy for me to say screw it to attending networking events here in Phoenix.  But  I have to market and it becomes this cycle.  :-(


It fee

DianneJuhl
DianneJuhl

Great Q: Why is it so hard to act?

'Simple' A: Resistance, a human phenomenon

ROSS
ROSS

It's because information does not lead to action. EMOTION leads to action. 

Bill Davis
Bill Davis

Hi Daniel

A very good question and good answers as well.I have one more theory as to why people don’t get started or follow through.I call it my ‘Shiny Penny’ syndrome.You find a shiny penny and you to intend to catalog it and put it in your shiny penny album.But before you do that, youfind another amazing, super shiny penny. Now you have two you need to catalog, but hold up there is a third and a fourth and so on and you never quite get to the cataloging.

As marketers we need to step back and take a look at what the recipients of materials are thinking and doing. Because many of us consumers are right smack dab in the middle of our own “Shiny Penny Syndrome.

How is this related to marketing? Let’s say I have bought a number of world changing products, information, do everything software and amazing secrets from a bunch of gurus over the years. By the way this is true.

These are all very trustworthy folks, whose marketing was so good it reached into my wallet a literally exploded my money into their coffers.Each one assuring me that they were the only one I should be listening to.So compelling were these missives that I stopped and started each new project only to be interrupted by the next.

My inbox is now filled (everyday) with more of these life changing products and secrets.

My information overload is in the stratosphere. My confusion factor has its own confusion factor and though it has been weeks, months or even years; I have yet to make any progress with any of the things I was so enthusiastic about.

This is not a made up story. This is my own.It was not until I stopped buying shiny pennies that I finally had the time to sort out my life and figure out what was real. My information overload went away; I have ended my confusion, and set my sites on a project that neither hell nor high water will deter me from; and here is the most important development of all.I have re-learned how to actually live my life without stress.Of course I still have problems, buthaving a clear mind has made dealing with them a whole lot easier.

Nowadays I discard 99 percent of what comes into my inbox. It seems that there is no end to new secrets and software which will allow me to live in luxury if I will just pony up the funds. Sorry the ‘Davis Bank of buying everything’ is now closed.


TheAjax
TheAjax

Hm. I do that do people a lot. I'm not a very talkative person by nature, I find it emotionally draining to converse with people which is why I don't bother using the chat box. I don't have anything to say. I'm also hyper aware of how awkward and behind I am. I hate that feeling of shock and disbelief people have when they get to know me, and then I have to explain my life (which is completely unpleasant) and then I have to strain myself trying to process how they're interacting with me. I find it more taxing than fun or informative; hence, I don't use the chat box. Or I sound like I'm monologuing when I speak.


But on to your actual question! lol.


Everyone else pretty much covered the general reasons why people don't act, so I'm going to speak personally. I don't act on things because I'm exhausted. I don't have the energy or support I need and end up having to shoulder what 6 or 7 people would be to me and do for me, all on my own. That takes its toll. By the time I've completed the stages of preparation I don't have the energy to engage socially or execute on what I've consumed. I do act on things, but it goes very slowly and it happens in increments at a pace that works in sync with the energy I have.


So, I DO act on things. Sometimes it takes longer because I'm exhausted and spread too thin, sometimes it's because the people who ARE in my life are draining my energy and not putting anything into me, sometimes it's because I'm shouldering things alone and I simply don't wanna pick up another burden. I don't know if that applies to other people, but for myself? Between the moments of "okay, I have the information" and "okay, time to act"... THAT'S what I'm experiencing.

Sunil
Sunil

Having the idea on purpose can be difficult.  Some people have an idea come to them and execute but what if that idea never comes to someone? How do you create an idea on purpose?  I think many people would like to become an entrepreneur but lack the idea to get started although we all know there are opportunities around, how do you spot them? Maybe that's what separates the best from the rest?? Or is it just a shift in mindset that is required to spot these opportunities?

LolaB
LolaB

I think it's related to Newton's Laws of Motion -- you know, a body in motion tends to stay in motion, a body at rest tends to stay at rest.  Internet surfing FEELS like you're actually doing something, and I guess in a way, you are, but really, you're just sittin' there, reading and not DOING.  You're that body at rest and I guess you stay that way until an external force is applied..

Tiffany Lee
Tiffany Lee

This is a complex one.  Most of the comments already have touched on the big areas though.  I know for me fear and lack of self-confidence is a big factor.  I just keep having all of these limiting beliefs about what's possible for me because of my mindset.  When I see it happening for others, I sometimes wonder "Why can't I do that?" even though deep down I know that I can, it's just a matter of implementation.  

Oliver Armstrong
Oliver Armstrong

We really haven't been conditioned to take chances. The opposite is true for a majority of people, from having your 3rd grade teacher jump down your throat when don't follow directions all the way to adulthood where your boss shoots down creative solutions in case they might not work. Pain aversion is a powerful motivator, but the truth is starting something is not that painful, even if it fails.


I can say from personal experience that what @Pavinder said: "b) make us lose credibility (and thereby prevent any future success)" can happen when you fail at a business, but its not nearly as bad in reality as it is in your own head. And it won't prevent any future success unless it gets us killed. 

Kathryn999
Kathryn999

Wow all good comments so far - definitely agree with the 'fear' and the 'info overload,' maybe add into that the downer, pain, bee yotch, whatever you want to call it of trying and failing, i.e.  IS your site good enough? IS your blog getting eyeballs? ARE you spread too thin? Just being out there is not good enough, you need to stand out, and that is getting harder and harder to do. 


Once a technique is out there, then everyone starts doing it, then you have to sort through endless hype to get to the nut of goodness. Or, like FreshFaya said, blowing a bunch of money on courses and etc., all of which say they WILL ABSOLUTELY SHOW YOU HOW TO....(whatever) can't last forever.



Justin Tan
Justin Tan

@TheDarkLlama  I gotta say I agree too. For the majority of our young lives, we're taught what to do and shown the way forward. Because of this, we lose our ability to be comfortable in the unknown, and when we have to deal with the unknown, we find the safest thing to do and cling to it as long as possible. It's that unknown that can really get to us, and if we let it affect us too much, we'll never achieve what we set out to do. 

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@TheDarkLlama SO GOOD! And thanks for the contribution (and compliments ;p) — always a pleasure to have your voice in the community.


Hey...did you ever share the link to your site with us yet? I know we talked about it, but can't remember!

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Oliver Armstrong Man, thanks so much for jumping into the discussion :) Agreed — now to play devil's advocate — do you think all entrepreneurs need to be putting in 16 hour days, or are there systems to help streamline that?



Justin Tan
Justin Tan

@jasonfranklynking Yea it's actually almost like we have to put ourselves in a biologically difficult situation before we can really find that motivation to always keep moving forward.

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@jasonfranklynking I understand your angle — now here's an interesting question: do you think the pain of leaving the comfort zone actually simulates the "near death" experience that our biology naturally wants to avoid?



Oliver Armstrong
Oliver Armstrong

Also a healthy amount of self imposed guilt/shame for not getting things done does a lot for me :)

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Zach Grove So, in other words, it's not necessarily about becoming more affluent, but the meaning BEHIND that affluence?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@AnnikaS I couldn't have said it better myself.  The fact that we can have these thoughts about our thoughts makes us uniquely human. Have you ever caught yourself right in the middle of self-sabotage and just had to laugh because it was so obvious what your subconscious mind was doing?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Terra_Stardust Thanks for this, and I want to point out something important — it's VITAL that I actually become friends with as many members of the tribe as possible.


Have you ever tried to get help from someone online, only to be redirected through a hellhole of automation and outsourcing?


How did that make you feel?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Bill Davis Dude that was freaking POWERFUL.


Ok, so how did you get to the point where you were able to stop buying shiny pennies? And what are you working on now.


Holy crap this was a great comment!!

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@TheAjax Good one. How do you "recharge" your energy after feeling like others have sucked it from you? 


That's an important one.

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Sunil Why do people think an idea has to be completely original for it to work?


Why not take something that's already working and put a slight twist on it that makes it your own?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@LolaB This is a BIG ONE!!!


Surfing the "researching", making "to-do" lists, brainstorming (for too long), etc...all empty actions that FEEL like work.


So how do you snap out of pseudo work and into real productivity?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Tiffany Lee if you see something work even a little bit, that breaks down the entire barrier.


For instnace, if you set out to start your own freelancing biz, and you have a goal of making $500/month...but you only make $300...you're euphoric. You don't care that you didn't hit $500, because $300 proves that the money is possible, and it's just a matter of "tweaking" your system.


How are the kids, btw @Tiffany Lee ? :)

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@Kathryn999 I'm going to lovingly disagree with you here:


1.) "Just being out there is not good enough, you need to stand out, and that is getting harder and harder to do. "


Yes and no — sure, coming up with original ideas is great, and necessary. But more than anything...and BECAUSE of all the reasons listed in these awesome comments...the BIGGEST thing you can do to stand out is just to be there, day after day, month after month, year after year.


99% of people give up. 


Don't.


You'll stand out.


You guys know that 2-3x/week, every single week you will hear from me at the exact same time, unless i'm dead.


Over time, the other non-committed people slowly fade away, and it's much easier for your message to ring through, whether you think it's "unique" or not.


2.) "Once a technique is out there, then everyone starts doing it"


Actually, false. Once a technique is out there, everyone THINKS that everyone starts doing it....then NOBODY does it for that exact reason. When I released the Elance strategy, my friends said I was dumb because I was releasing the "secret sauce" and that I was going to get flooded out of the market.


They were wrong. 2 years later, I STILL get emails that it works...because although thousands read it, only a handful will actually apply it, then test it, then tweak it until it works.


The crowd is thin at the top.

Oliver Armstrong
Oliver Armstrong

There certainly are lots of things that can streamline long hours. I love the whole Tim Ferris thing, and what you're doing here. Not every business will require an entrepreneur to put in 16hr days, but you have to be willing to do that when it's needed, because no one is going to make your business successful for you.

I'm also just speaking from my personal experience with my last business (now defunct) where I once had to make new hires, have 3am international calls, purchase equipment, clear visas, set up an international supply chain, raise $40k in capital, and get myself to a first round of meetings in Sri Lanka all in about 5 weeks. It was more like 18hr days.

jasonfranklynking
jasonfranklynking

Dude, totes mcgotes. Whether or not it's dramatic as that near death feeling leaving your comfort zone kinda tells your body you're no longer doing the things that already ensured your survival. For some reason that tickles me. So maybeee all those wack hold-back things; slacking, nervousness, are just our bodies saying "chill bro don't mess up what works".

Terra_Stardust
Terra_Stardust

@Rich20Something @Terra_Stardust

OH GOD YES!  Not online but with IVRs... those things suck ass.


Correct me if i am wrong with this line of thinking, but you are your brand.  You are your product and if you are not accessible and genuine, how can you expect to not only find clients, but retain them?


I appreciate that you interact with us!  

Tiffany Lee
Tiffany Lee

@Rich20Something @Tiffany Lee That's a good point!  I'll have to keep that in mind as I move forward with my freelancing efforts.


Thanks for asking - they're doing great! Right now my oldest is sitting on the floor eating dry Frosted Flakes and making a wonderful mess and we're waiting on my second to arrive any day now. :)

chloe138
chloe138

I hope you don't mind me butting in here. We put a greater premium on a loss than a gain. We get more upset from an unexpected £100 bill than happiness from a £100 win. Striving for something exciting can be powerful but I think that avoiding more pain can be more motivational. Chloe

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@chloe138 I tend to agree. Do you think that's something biological, or a conditioned response.


You're not butting in at all. I love it!!!

chloe138
chloe138

I would say it's conditioned which is quite sad. A lot of people are afraid to dream and a lot of people can feel very unlucky. If an individual is surrounded by these people then it can be difficult to be motivated to an exciting goal that may not happen. Better to be pessimistic so you don't get disappointed ay?! When I talk to people about my dreams of working for myself and creating a business a few people have been negative and tried to bring me down. The positives I take from this are that there aren't that many people brave enough to really strive and go for it, which means there will hopefully be more room for me to dance around at the top :) Chloe