Module 02 – Headspace
Okay in this module I’m going to talk a little bit outside of SEO.
This is something that I do spend a bit of time on with my coaching clients and I do it because I think it really matters. This may not be applicable for those of you who are already somewhat established or running digital marketing agencies and providing SEO services as part of that. But certainly for a lot of freelancers because I see a lot of common traits or habits amongst freelancers in particular where they’re really struggling.
The reasons why they struggle are all very, very similar and a lot of that has to do with their mindset. So I wanted to dedicate this module in particular to address a couple of those issues that I see and try and touch on a few of those things. Just explain to you, because I’m certainly no exception to the rule, when I first started I made all of these mistakes. So I want and try and bring some, highlight some of the reasons why a lot of people struggle in their SEO businesses and what you can do to be more self aware of these things and improve on them over time.
By no means I’m not going to get all Tony Robbins on you here but mindset is absolutely critical. It just amazes me the amount of coaching clients that I work with that have this not so much negative mindset but who’s going to want to work with me or I’m not going to get high paying clients or I think the clients going to cancel or I’ve submitted all of these proposals and I don’t hear back. It’s just one thing after another and as with anything mindset is absolutely crucial. I got myself a business mentor years ago and a lot of this mindset stuff he sort of touched on with me as well. At the time I just thought it was a lot of mumbo jumbo but I started thinking about it.
I’ve been in the gym now for about 24 years and my mindset when I walk into that gym is all about killing it. I’m not interested in going, I don’t walk through the door of the gym and think to myself shit you know can I lift these weights? Am I going to hurt myself? I won’t try that heavy weight I’m just going to stay at this lighter weight and I’m just going to dribble around the gym and not really try to better myself. That’s not the mindset I have at all. When I go to the gym I’m there, I mean business. I’m there to push myself as hard as I can.
It’s interesting when I first started my business I had my business mentor at the time bring these things to my attention. I thought why am I running my business this way. I need to have the same mindset I have in the gym within my own business. Once I was aware of that and this is what you need to be really aware of, you need to listen to the noise that’s going on in your head.
Once you address that and you say you know what, I can do this, I can make $100,000 a year. I can get $5000 a month clients. I know what I’m doing. A lot of this stuff comes back to a few other areas which I’ll touch on but mindset is absolutely crucial. You know if you’ve got this can’t do, it’s too hard sort of mindset, you’re going to be absolutely fucked. So mindset is really, really, really vital.
Okay this brings me to the next slide which is confidence. Confidence is everything in this business. Probably the biggest area where confidence comes into play is when you’re pitching for a job, when you’re doing a presentation or you’re sitting in on a meeting or you’re just an end of month strategy call. When you’re interacting with clients you’ve got to know what you’re talking about. This is kind of chicken and egg stuff.
Confidence comes with experience and experiences comes with just hands on and doing the work. Knowledge and experience, once you’ve got that stuff under control, that’s when the confidence comes into play. That’s when people can throw anything at you and you’ll be able to say yes, no, this is what you need to do or no this is the best way forward. I mean I’ve been doing SEO now for almost 16 years, I started in 2003 and every now and then I’ll get hit up with a question I’m not sure about. Hey, we’re only human, I still at times answer client questions or find myself in a meeting or say I’m not sure but I’ll find out and I’ll get back to you.
But confidence is absolutely vital and this is where my own business mentor helped me become more self aware about that. I used to be sort of quiet and if I had a client that pushed me around I used to just take it. Confidence is absolutely vital. It’s probably one of the biggest factors overall in running this business is confidence. This is the whole point of you taking this course. I’m going to be showing you exactly what to do, how to do it, why. I’m going to cover everything in detail so at the end of this course you’ll have all of that knowledge to be able to back yourself and say you know what, I know exactly what I need to do now. That’s going to give me the confidence in moving forward.
Okay, balance, this is another key area that I wanted to touch on. Look I’ll share something with you, when I first started out on my journey and this goes way back 2001 I think it was when someone threw a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad on my desk at work by Robert Kiyosaki which is a book I highly recommend. I was totally and absolutely consumed by making money. I wanted to make money, I wanted to make a lot of it. I pushed myself way too hard. I was working, I still had a regular 9 to 5 job, I’d come home, I’d finish work at five, I’d get home 5:30 and I’d sit there til two or three in the morning, work, work, work. In the end it caught up with me and I started to get sick.
So I’m all about people being motivated and driven and wanting to be successful but at the same time you need to check yourself occasionally. Balance is probably one area that I really struggled with because I always tend to work too much. Especially when you’re self employed you don’t work, you don’t make any money. You don’t get paid.
But balance is definitely something that you need to be aware of. Every now and then you gotta say hey look, enough’s enough, I need to take a break from this. So just be mindful of that. Yes, be motivated. Yes, be hungry. Be determined, be all of those things but at the same time be mindful of balance.
Here’s some advice that I give to all of my coaching clients and freelancers in particular, you’ve got to audit your circle. By that I’m talking about the people that you associate with. I’ve worked with a lot of coaching clients and again freelancers in particular that will say my parents think I’m mad, I had a good job and I’ve chucked it because I want to start this SEO business. They think I’m wasting my time or my girlfriend’s giving me a hard time about it because I’ve been trying to make this work for six months and she said that I’m a loser and I’m not making any money. All my friends are laughing at me or making fun of me on social media. You know what?
Fuck those people.
Having anyone around you, especially when you’re first starting out in your journey, having anyone around you that’s not supportive and encouraging is really dangerous. I’ll tell you what’s even more dangerous, people that put doubt and uncertainty in your head. You’ve got to fucking cut those people big time because you’ve got enough of that in your head already.
Especially when you’re first starting out, you know how am I going to get clients? What do I charge? What if something goes wrong? What if I don’t make any money this month? You’ve got enough of that going on in your own head especially. You don’t need other people adding to it. I tell you what, there were a number of times in my own journey where I had plenty of people say John this is fucking madness. You’re sleeping on a mattress in your friends living room. You’ve got no money to put fuel in your car. I’ve been through all of that. I know what it’s like. The struggle is real.
If you’ve got people around you that are trying to bring you down or put doubt and uncertainty in your head, you’re fucked, you don’t stand a chance. Now one thing that I will say is this, you’ve just got to keep quiet and try not to talk about what you’re doing. You’re best off just keeping your mouth shut and getting shit done. The minute you start running around and look I don’t know you as a person and chances are you’re not doing this. But it’s worth mentioning anyway.
The last thing you want to be doing is running around telling everyone you’re going to be making $50,000 a month by next Tuesday afternoon. Because they’re the same people that will fucking point the finger and laugh but I think apart from auditing your circle, just keep your mouth shut, get the work done and worry less about people that just want to fucking bring you down.
Okay next slide. Mistakes will happen. This is inevitable. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my time. This is probably why I wanted to provide this training because I know when I first started I was on my own. I reached out to a couple of other people and they asked me for astronomical amounts of money for help. I had one guy in particular say $25,000 and I’ll teach you everything I know. I didn’t have that sort of money when I was first starting out. So I had to go through this entire process and learn this stuff on my own. I guess mistakes are part of the process. You can’t go through starting a new business and doing things where you’re learning as you go without making mistakes.
One thing that’s really important is that you learn from your mistakes. You’ve got to say fuck that was terrible. I’d never want that to happen again. So you’re going to go back to your processes and adjust things accordingly. Say how can I improve upon this? How can I prevent this mistake from happening again? How can I do this better? It’s really important that you’re constantly reviewing your processes and what you’re actually doing within your business so that you can make continual improvements. But in any case, expect mistakes to happen.
The way in which you handle mistakes I think really matters as well. You know if you fuck something up big time and it’s cost a client some money, get in there and take care of it. I’ve made more mistakes than I can care to remember. We don’t set out to make mistakes, shit happens as they say. When they do happen, own them, accept them, learn from them and move on.
Alright, I heard a really great saying recently within a conference that I went to and it was as simple as this, expect it to be hard. There are too many people that start businesses that for whatever reason put this thought aside. When you expect things to be hard, when those problems happen or those mistakes happen or you’re scrambling for cash, it won’t bother you as much because you expected it.
I think if you go into this business expecting things to be hard, then you’ll be more conditioned for those things as they come about. So when you expect things to be hard, hey shit happens, take it on board and move forward. This is the whole point of this training. I’m going to try and remove as much of the hardship as I can for you so that you know exactly what to do, when do it, how and why.