Digital entrepreneurship is a fast growing industry. Nearly 14% of working Americans are considered entrepreneurs, with more going out on their own each year. With industry leaders like Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, and Rachel Hollis leading the pack, it's no wonder why the online business and coaching industry has massive appeal. I mean, why wouldn't you want to be able to be your own boss, work your own hours, and make your own money? Of course, being a digital entrepreneur is a lot more than that, but those are the kind of perks that makes leaving the corporate rat race so enticing.
To become a digital entrepreneur, the first thing you need is content. And, if you're like many nascent online content developers, you're an expert in your field, you have great ideas, and probably have even started the process of writing them down. But, something always seems to get in the way of you actually FINISHING it. Maybe it's your full-time job, your kids' schedules, or other life obligations. Or, perhaps it's that you have the intention to work on it, but you are just so tired today... so you promise yourself you'll work on it tomorrow. Which turns into the next day, or the next week... Then, you look back and it's been months! Ever have that feeling that you wish the content would just somehow finish writing itself? Me too! (Side note: my brain has this super annoying habit of "working" in my sleep. You know, dreams about editing client projects or redesigning my website. If only I could wake up and voila... here's the output from your work dream!) But let me tell you, barring some massive biotech innovation to make that happen (which I'm hereby claiming IP rights on right here and now)... that ebook, online course, or membership program isn't going to magically appear before you unless you put in the work to get it there.
Another common situation for those with half-baked content is that you start and stop on your project so often that you start to wonder if it's even any good. But you don't really know who to ask. Your family or friends either A) will tell you it's great (because they love you and that's what they're supposed to say), or B) have absolutely no idea whether what you've put together is marketable. So you find yourself "stuck" in between the intention of creating your content and wondering whether you should even bother. I can't tell you how many times I have heard this story. In fact, it's the number one thing I hear from clients who hire me to help them get their projects over the finish line.
The third culprit with partially finished content is analysis paralysis. This is a biggie. Rather than focus on just finishing what you've started, you begin thinking wayyyyyy down the line to: Well, how am I going to sell this? Do I need to build a whole new website? Who is going to design this for me? Do I have to learn how to edit videos? What if people buy this and want more from me? I don't have everything This is too much, gahhhhhhh! If this spiral sounds like you, trust me when I tell you that you are not alone. It happens all. the. damn. time.
So here's the secret to getting "unstuck" with your content....
Do one thing at a time. Basically, you need to finish this shit. I know, it's so trite, right? But it's the honest truth. If you're lacking the follow-through on this one, sometimes all you need is someone who has done this before to sit with you, give you their professional opinion, and then hold you accountable. Getting your content actually completed is most important part of getting it to market. Of course, many times you actually do need assistance with writing, or filling in the gaps, or ensuring your content is staying on track topic-wise, and you can definitely enlist assistance with that. In fact, what I've learned in the many years I've spent creating premium online courses, trainings, and marketing funnels is that the industry is very very small when it comes to the actual players of who is helping to support the top-notch leaders. If you get in with the right person, I can guarantee you that they know someone else who can help with anything you need, whether that's video production, launch strategy, social media marketing, copywriting, graphic design, web development, tech/customer support, etc.
So, let's say that you could trust that all the details would eventually be worked out... where do you start with getting "unstuck"? First, you need an action plan, but to keep you from getting overwhelmed with an action plan for *all the things* related to getting your content out into the world, you need to start with ONE thing. In most cases, this means finishing your content, or enlisting an expert to help you review the existing material and give you direction from where you can restart your journey. In my case, I also help my clients outline phases related to their digital product(s) and what sort of product roadmap/collection they could consider long-term. Sometimes you need someone with fresh eyes to see what you've got going on and tell you: this is what you need to focus on next.
One thing that is often helpful when thinking about whether you should keep going with your content is to think about the impact of NOT completing it. How would that feel? If you're passionate about your project and feel it will bring value into the world, the answer is probably "not good." Then the next thing you should think about is all the people you won't be able to help because you didn't put the time and effort into putting it out into the world. This is a big one for me. When I ask my clients this question, it's usually what pushes them through the barrier of resistance. For many people (especially women!), the idea of helping others is so compelling that it's what gets them out of that self-inflicted inertia.
Here's another little secret... what you put out does not have to be perfect. You can iterate your material over time—you need to start by actually getting it out there! Business coach Brooke Castillo talks about putting out B- work. Gross, says the perfectionist in me. But I promise you it's worth it. Every day you work towards making your content perfect is one less day someone has to be impacted by it. So get it out there, and know that you can come back to iterate it later.
If you are a professional in your field, and bringing your work into an online format is appealing, you have to think like a business person. Which means looking at your content as an investment. An investment generally means you put in time, money, and effort up front and expect to see ROI down the line. What you put into it is what you get out of it. So, if you truly see yourself as playing in this space with the big fish, and you know that what you have to offer will benefit many more people than by swimming in the little pond you're in now, I highly recommend that you take the steps to finish your project. Just one thing. Remember: you do not have to do everything all at once, it does not have to be perfect right now, and this is a long-term opportunity for you. Down the line, you will likely be kicking yourself for not taking the leap. So don't let regret for what could have been get to you. It's time to get "unstuck" and share your valuable insight with the world!