The Least Understood Variable to Your Success Is You

Whether you rise or fall in your business depends on the level of your self-awareness


Self-awareness is not a topic associated with creating a digital business. However, it has an outsized influence on the quality of your online journey and whether you ultimately reach your goals.

In this newsletter, I want to focus on you as a person and as an entrepreneur. Paradoxically, the more you become a better version of yourself, the more you can create a better version of your business.

And everything begins with your emotional self-awareness.

Emotional Self-Awareness

Emotional self-awareness is the ability to understand and control your reactions, emotions, and impulses to life’s circumstances. This is especially relevant given the difficult challenges of creating and growing a digital business.

Your ultimate goal on this topic is to become emotionally resilient and mature. This will allow you to flourish in your digital enterprise and not crumble under the pressures.

I am dividing this post into two parts.

In Part One, I will cover three areas where many folks lack emotional self-awareness including:

  1. Ingrained patterns of thinking
  2. Fear and its common expressions
  3. Lack of patience

In Part Two, I will give you practical advice to help you progress in this area including:

  1. Becoming aware of your emotional weaknesses
  2. Setting the right expectations with respects to your online journey
  3. Making your online dream bigger than your emotional resistance

Ingrained Patterns of Thinking

This category includes everything that you have unconsciously inherited from your upbringing, culture, schooling or religious community. It is difficult to identify and change your patterns of thinking because you don’t know they exist, and because they now form part of your identity.

Low self-esteem or self-worth

The statistics of those who suffer from low self-esteem or self-worth are alarming. The primary causes can be traced back to dysfunctional family structures, especially the parent child relationship.

This is not an article on psychology.

I only point this out because it affects many entrepreneurs.

  1. They don’t believe in themselves or the worth of their message
  2. They seek too much approval from others
  3. They are indecisive and get easily discouraged
  4. They criticize or blame others as a defense mechanism

Inherited viewpoints

We pick up ways of thinking from important people and important institutions in our lives.

For example, religious and political communities often provide set viewpoints on important questions, with no arguments or discussions needed. Those who don’t side with the ideology are often perceived in the worst possible light.

Our parents provide us with our approaches to relationships, marriage, and careers that may be nothing more than traditions they inherited from their parents.

A more concrete example that impacts your business is the belief you’ve inherited about money. Perhaps you’ve been told that the love of money is the root of all evil or that the wealthy acquired their money by cheating others.

All inherited traditions should be questioned and tested. You should not construct a business of impact upon any kind of limiting beliefs.

Insurmountable social traits

Social traits, such as economic class, level of education, and access to opportunities, are often perceived as insurmountable.

The odds are stacked too heavily against you.

In some cases, a biological trait such as race, gender, or ethnicity is perceived as insurmountable. This is not to diminish the historical and cultural injustices that certain groups have experienced or may continue to experience to this day.

But here’s the thing when it comes to your online venture: the market is often indifferent to these traits. So you must find a way to overcome these disadvantages.

Fear and its common expressions

The category of fear comes in different forms, and it kills many online ventures, often before they begin or gather momentum.

These are the most common expressions of fear:

Fear of failure – Many digital entrepreneurs have failed to lift off for fear of failing. Others are paralyzed by inaction for the same reason.

Fear of criticism or mockery – The Internet is a cruel and unforgiving place. Anyone with a connection can criticize your ideas and dreams. Those who are close to you may mock your dedication of time to this project because they do not understand what is possible in today’s digital economy.

This kind of fear is a harsh taskmaster.

Fear of taking risks – We do not like getting out of our comfort zone. Thus, we may hold back on activities that will move our project forward. This is most acutely seen with speaking in front of others, or being on camera.

Fear of what others think – Expectations from parents, friends or society exert an enormous pressure on your activities. Your parents may have ideas of where you should study, or what careers you should undertake. Many entrepreneurs wither under the expectations of others.

Lack of patience

Patience is often described as a skill and not an emotion. However, it quickly crosses over into emotions when we speak of impatience.

When you feel impatient, your body will react with dozens of emotions to external triggers outside of your control. An example is waiting in a ticket line when you are running late for your plane.

Building a successful digital business puts you on a steep learning curve. It requires you to master dozens of skills and programs on top of digesting an enormous amount of information.

This takes time, focused attention, perseverance AND patience.

The alternative is adopting a short-term or shortcut mentality, where the lure of easy money with little effort keeps you buying program after program. In addition, it keeps you from gaining mastery in the few skills or topics you need to finally break through.

Building Emotional Resilience and Maturity

Let me now switch gears to discuss some ideas for building emotional resilience and maturity. These include:

  1. Becoming aware of your emotional weaknesses
  2. Setting the right expectations for your online journey
  3. Making your online dream bigger than your emotional resistance


Becoming aware of your emotional weaknesses

Often, knowing you have a problem is half the battle in solving it. The same can be said for becoming aware that you have certain emotional blind spots.

Everyone has them.

It is called being human.

In addition, there is no shame in acknowledging the coping mechanism you developed to navigate the difficulties of life and people.

But once you become aware, now what? What steps will you take to limit or eliminate the impact of these factors? Life and business have enough challenges without you being bound to feelings of low self-worth, inherited patterns of thinking, or fear.

Setting the right expectations for your online journey

Another way to construct your emotional maturity is to have realistic expectations about your online journey.

Here are some cold hard truths you should internalize about the Internet:

  1. Most of what you see on your newsfeed about the digital economy is false, exaggerated, incomplete, or a highly compressed version of what it takes to succeed online.
  2. It is difficult to navigate given the skills and software you must master. Thus, you will experience information overload and technology overwhelm.
  3. It takes time to find where your craft, audience, and preferred business model intersect.
  4. It takes time to break through, especially if you want to earn a living from your digital efforts.
  5. You will experience failed campaigns and products, criticism and mockery, and fear in many shapes and sizes.

By setting realistic expectations, you mentally prepare yourself for the road ahead.

Ultimately, it comes down to playing the long-game.

This means, that no matter what, you will give your project 1-2 years at a minimum. The beauty of the Internet is that you don’t have to invest years of your life and a small fortune (like doctors or lawyers) to break through.

But success does not happen overnight, or even in a short period of time.

Making your online dream bigger than your emotional resistance

A final way to build your emotional resilience is to dream big, and to dream with intensity.

  1. How badly do you want the benefits of an online business?
  2. How hard are you willing to fight for it?
  3. How long will you commit in order to achieve your goals?
  4. Why do you want this so much?

Looking back over my career, I feel very satisfied that I made a huge difference in the lives of so many of my students. But when I discovered how to leverage the digital economy a few years back, I wanted more.

I wanted more for myself and ultimately, I wanted more for other people. So many are trapped in dead-end or unfulfilling jobs. They are living based on society’s expectations of schooling, jobs, and careers.

But remote work and the digital economy have radically reshaped what is possible. And so I wanted to use that knowledge to help people discover and act on their true calling.

Fulfilling on this mission has been the biggest driver for me. It keeps me going, no matter the obstacle.

This is what you must discover for yourself. Once you do, it will overpower whatever emotional resistance is standing in your way.

So dig deep, stoke the desire, and dream big.

I am your biggest fan, and I’m here to help you on that journey.

Here’s to your success.