Why Focused Education Will Annihilate Your Doubts

Focused Education

You put in the long hours, up early in the morning, working all through the day and don’t finish till late at night. Each and every day you’re putting in your best, making sacrifices, slogging it out in the trenches; but for all your great efforts, you’re not getting results and the doubt demons are drawing closer, closer and closer.

You know the feeling right? You’ve:

  • Bought the books
  • Listened to webinars and podcasts
  • Watched screencasts

But no matter what, it’s just not turning around for you. You’re not getting the results you need.

To make this simple and concise, I’m going to use the analogy of a blog in explaining what you can do about it. In fact, I’m going to tell you a bit of my story.

A Walk Down Agony Lane

I’m a blogger and I have three blogs:

During the course of the development of them, I’ve invested heavily in my education. I’ve:

I’ve spent hours crafting ideas, writing posts, investing in my education, but despite all that, the results that I’ve achieved, up until recently, just haven’t been turning out the way I’d expected.

I just couldn’t understand it. I was taking in so much content from who I believed were the best in the industry, but the results weren’t stacking up. Why, Why, Why?????!!!

I looked at myself, looked at my lack of success and strongly considered just giving up. I think, from a pragmatic stand-point, it could have been seen as the right thing to do. But was it?

I told myself, I’ll write just one more post, I’ll listen to just one more webinar and finally I’ll crack it, finally the magic will come. But, alas, it didn’t.

What Was I Doing Wrong?

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results – Rita Mae Brown

Have you read the quote just above? Have you really read it? That was what I was doing. As I became increasingly embittered with my misfortune, I bitterly clung to what I thought was the answer.

Each time I put in less and less effort; I behaved in a decreasingly enthusiastic and committed way. Despite all this, I somehow expecting things to miraculously change for me. It was, almost literally, insane.

Gladly, I have a loving wife and she sat me down and we talked at length about what was going on, what I was seeking to achieve and why.

Through that conversation, I decided to be honest with myself. Was I in this or not? If I was in it, then I was in it for real, not half-hearted. If I was leaving it behind, it was time to wind it all up.

So I had a think and by, arguably, sheer coincidence, the next morning in my email inbox, was a webinar recording from Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing – who I am hugely indebted to and I can’t speak enough about the webinar.

The Solution Was Blindingly Simple

Now if you’re not a blogger, don’t worry. In the webinar, whether it was his intention or not, Danny was talking about how he, in part, stumbled upon the key to massive traffic in blogging when he got started.

On listening to his story, I saw how very close I’d been myself to achieving that success, yet I’d not realised it. What was the difference? Whereas I’d thought I’d had the answers, Danny knew he didn’t and kept trying new things. He was forever open to new ideas, new insights, learning from those that had come before, whereas I assumed I had the solution.

I’d blindly keep on taking the same course of action that I’d convinced myself was right. But the actions spoke louder than that conviction – The actions were wrong.

So what do you do, when you find yourself in the same predicament. How do you avoid falling in to the trap that I did? Let’s work through 3 simple questions:

  • Why Aren’t Your Efforts Paying Off?
  • What Are You Doing Wrong?
  • How Can You Change?

Why Aren’t Your Efforts Paying Off?

Have you stopped to consider that the actions you’re taking are the wrong ones? Just because you’ve always done them, your neighbour, mother, sister, cousin, city, state or country has always done them, doesn’t make them right. We could all be under a false cloud of belief in what we’re doing. Should we continue – no.

Have you stopped to look around and see what your successful competitors are doing, what successful sports teams, organisations, governments, non-profits, and small to medium businesses are doing? Tony Robbins said it best:

Success Leaves Clues

You don’t have to invent the wheel. Many successful people from all walks of life have trodden the path that you’re on before you. Don’t waste your time and the precious opportunity their lives and success deliver by trying to figure it out again.

Instead, as Einstein said, stand on the shoulders of giants, and refine the systems they’ve put together. You’ll save yourself months, likely years of slog and you’ll achieve so much.

What Are You Doing Wrong?

Now maybe some of what you’re doing is working and some isn’t. It’s unlikely that all of it’s not working. So don’t go throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes in Australia. Ask yourself a few more questions:

  • Do you know what isn’t working?
  • Do you know what is working?
  • What analysis have you been keeping?

Analysis is essential. If you’ve not started, START NOW! It’s of utmost importance that you track as much as you can and review it on a regular basis. How?

  • If you’re blogger do you record your website stats – and do you regularly review them?
  • Do you know how to understand the information that you have recorded. If you need help understanding Google Analytics information btw, get in touch with me.
  • Do you track your email opens and engagement?
  • Do you do this regularly?
  • Do you split test your emails across a range of options to see the differences and then measure the changes, both positive and negative?

Maybe you have a traditional, bricks-and-mortar, business? Do you ask your clientele:

  • Where they heard of you?
  • What about your business brought them in
  • What about your business keeps them coming back?
  • What about your business makes them come to you over your competitors?

Do you regularly record and analyse this?

How Can You Change?

This leads to the crux of this post – how can you change, what can you do? Well, it’s not just education, but focused education! Don’t just take this knowledge that you’ve garnered and do what you’ve always done. Don’t just listen to another podcast, watch another webinar, read another tweet, post another update to Facebook or LinkedIn.

Find the people that are having success, compare what they’re doing to what you’re doing and notice the difference. Look at the practical differences in their actions and attitudes, what they do do and what they don’t and consider what that means to you.

This way, you’ll be armed with both amazing information as well as insights in to your business. You have a unique point of difference to approach what you’re doing in new, more effective ways. If nothing else, you will get new results.

If these don’t work, keep on re-assessing and trying over. When you keep doing the same old actions, you’ll keep getting the same results. Take it one step further – keep a daily journal and make it a game.

Each day, write down what you’ve done that day, the good the bad and the ugly. Then, at the end of the week, review what you’ve done and compare it to the success you’ve had or the lack thereof. At least you know more. Over time this information will be invaluable.

Test Yourself

During your review each week, did you step outside your comfort zone and try new things? Were you critical of what you did or didn’t do and drop what wasn’t working? Do you have meaningful data about what is working and why? Have you gotten in touch with industry experts and talked over your situation? Hey, it may cost you a bit of time, money and effort, but it will help.

In Conclusion

In this post we’ve considered the point that just because you expend unlimited energy in the pursuit of your dreams, are totally passionate about what you’re doing, that’s not enough to keep doubts at bay.

I hope that you see that just because you’re not succeeding and you’re having doubts, that you can do something about it. And that the best way to do that is with better education – from those who have been there before.

Have you turned your success around? How did you do it? What changes did you make to get the success you’re after?

image copyright (c) Aston University

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