We all know the importance of eliminating distractions – but it’s hard to do that when we are unable to identify what’s actually distracting us.
Sometimes, we may believe something we are doing is beneficial, but it is actually pulling us off our desired path. Worst of all, we often don’t realize it until it’s too late.
While certainly not a complete list, I wanted to use this article to draw attention to some of the most common distractions I see bloggers get sucked into, so we can avoid them when we come across them!
There is actually such a thing as ‘too much learning.’
Now let me tell you, I do not think there is anything wrong with spending a lot of time learning all you can about a given subject. I actually encourage it, and feel everybody should be reading as much as possible.
There comes a time however where you actually need to go out and apply the knowledge you’ve learned. Knowledge that you’ve learned that you never apply anywhere does not do you much good, and you’ll find that some of the most valuable knowledge you gain is through actually doing things.
You could spend hundreds of hours learning about affiliate marketing for example – reading articles, books, taking video courses, so on and so forth, but until you actually go out and try affiliate marketing, you won’t know exactly what works for you.
There’s a huge difference in learning theory and learning through practical application. During my brief spell at college, I enrolled in several business classes. The problem was everything I ‘learned’ was theory, and was being taught by people who had never actually ran a business before.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather learn by doing, or if I am going to learn from somebody else, it makes far more sense to learn from somebody who has actually started and ran successful businesses than somebody with an MBA. Learning through application teaches you what’s actually important to you as an individual – and often does a better job at it too.
I have a rule for anybody that enters my workspace – no negativity. If you’re going to be negative where I’m working, get the f— out.
Negativity clouds our minds and impacts our judgment. It kills our ambition and makes it difficult to focus. Fortunately for us, much of our negativity in our lives comes from outside sources, which means we have the power to block it out.
You do not have the mental capacity for negativity, because your mind should be filled to the brim with strategies, plans, and outlines towards achieving your goals. You don’t have time to think about doubt or ‘what-ifs’ – or even worse, random negative events in the news that have nothing at all to do with us.
I published a video shortly after the Paris attacks detailing why you should quit watching the news immediately. I highly recommend listening through it.
You would be surprised how drastically simply refusing to let negativity in your life will improve your mood and your productivity.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “shiny object syndrome?”
In a similar way that a shiny object would distract a child from completing a given task, chasing ‘shiny objects’ on the internet distracts aspiring bloggers from building a solid business.
For example, an ‘internet guru’ claiming to have some secret method of making quick easy cash is a shiny object, and unfortunately, one that many people end up falling for.
It’s very important to understand that blogging is a job just like any other job, and it requires hard work and grinding. There is no ‘secret’ to take advantage of, no magical ‘loophole’ to exploit. With the right knowledge you can get yourself on the right track quicker (which is why I created my blogging course) but there is no push-button solution that will lead to instant riches. Sorry to disappoint.
Stay away from shiny objects and focus on solid, long-term business models that work. Don’t let shiny objects lead you astray – you’ll only end up wasting your time and money.
An Abundance Of Ideas (And Thus, A Lack Of Focus)
Having an abundance of ideas, even if they are good ideas, can also distract you and pull you off the path towards blogging success. This is why I consider focus to be one of the most important skills all solopreneurs share.
The problem with pursuing lots of projects, even if they are all great projects on their own, is you usually don’t have enough time to dedicate to each one of them to make any of them a success. With entrepreneurship, you have to be laser focused. Because if you’re not, somebody else there will be, giving one project their all, and they will master it and steal your customers.
Even as someone experienced with blogging and running online businesses, I have made this mistake. Earlier in 2015 I launched a podcast thinking I’d be able to handle that alongside all the other work I was doing. I was able to keep it up at first, but I found after a while I just didn’t have the time for it. It would have been beneficial, it would have helped me grow my business, it was a great idea, but it pulled me away from everything else I was working on. And that was bad.
Focus entirely on one business when you are just starting out, because that business needs all the attention it can get to grow and thrive. Branch out when you have the time and financial capacity to do so.
Some may think I am making the same mistake I did with my podcast starting my membership site, but the difference between then and now is I have outsourced much of the work I used to do myself. Paying other to free up my time has allowed me to pursue many great ideas – but if I were to have tried this earlier on in my blogging career, I know with no uncertainty I would have failed on all fronts.
Focus. Build up one project before moving onto another. You will thank me later.
A “Good Enough” Mindset
Perhaps the worst of all is having a ‘good enough’ mindset. An idea that you only have to do what’s necessary, and you don’t have to continue working beyond that.
This mindset is OK for employees that don’t care about getting fired. It is not ok for entrepreneurs who are in a results-oriented profession like blogging.
Average people strive to do ‘good enough’ and just enough. That is why they are average. And let me tell you, average is in such a high supply that it’s practically worthless. You aren’t going to get anywhere being average. You must work harder than most people are willing to in order to reap the rewards most people can’t have.
Always remember that you are in a very competitive field. If you aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to achieve success, somebody out their will, and they will make sure you are kept below them. You’ve got to hustle. Strive for more. Set bigger goals, and create steps to get there.
Settle for being average and you’ll end up being average. I can promise you that.
I’m sure all of us have had our own unique distractions throughout our blogging journeys – these are only a few of the most common ones.
What has distracted you in your past, and how were you able to ignore it and keep pushing forward?
I’d love to hear your story!