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Where Do I Start with Marketing? #4: I Just Don’t Know What to Do

Welcome! This is post #4 of 4 in my series, Where Do I Start with Marketing? If you missed the first three posts, check them out here: There’s Too Many Options, I’m Getting Nowhere, and I Don’t Have Time to Market.

I Just Don’t Know What to Do

Here’s the thing about “I don’t know” — it paralyzes you.

When you tell yourself that you don’t know what to do, you preclude your brain from even trying to problem-solve. You stop it in its tracks. It can’t do what it’s designed to do, which is to come up with solutions.

What if You Did Know?

This is a favorite question of my coach, Brooke Castillo. What if you did know?

What if you did know what to do? My hunch is that you know exactly what to do next — but you’re afraid to do it.

Here are the fears that typically crop up for me when I dig under “I don’t know what to do”: I’m afraid to invest. I’m afraid that I’ll pick the wrong strategy or hire the wrong person to help me. I’m afraid of being seen. I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to figure out the tech and everyone will laugh at me.

Can I get an amen?

Just Pick One Thing

Here’s the thing — when I’m able to step back a little bit from my business and see everything as data (even and especially the tactics that don’t work the way I thought they would), I — WE — don’t have to be so afraid of failure. Failure is just information.

So pick ONE THING and try it out. In every step of the process, stop and ask yourself, Is this going the way I want it to? What could I try differently next time? Am I getting the results I want and need?

Approach it with curiosity, rather than with perfectionism (“I have to get it perfect the first time”). You might be pleasantly surprised at your results. And even if your results are less than stellar, you’re just going to pick the next thing and move on.

Here’s what I’m working on this week: per the end of module 1 in Amy Porterfield’s List Builders Lab, I’m implementing a feature box on my homepage that will invite people to sign up for my new freebie. I feel all tense because I’ve never done this before. My graphic designer is working on the design so my web designer can implement it. I’m all like, what if it looks bad? What if I tell them the wrong thing and they think I’m stupid? What if they do what I ask and then I hate it? How the heck do I link my LeadBox to the right segmentation in MailChimp?

But this is my one thing for the week, and I’m going to figure it out.

You Can Invest Time or Money

The thing about marketing is that you have to invest somewhere.

You can invest a ton of time in your own learning — learning how to build an email list, build a social media following, build a customer base.

Or you can invest money. You can invest money in training (so you have the benefit of learning the best stuff from the smartest minds in the business), or you can invest money in help (a crack team to develop and run your Facebook ads, a copywriter like me to will help you boost conversions on your landing pages and sales pages).

Plot Your Path to Success

This month, I’m working one-on-one with a coach inside Brooke Castillo’s fabulous program, Self-Coaching Scholars.

Here’s a peek into my last session:

I was freaking out about the feature box thing. I was telling myself “I don’t know what to do.” (Hey — we write what we most need to read, and I needed a reminder that I DO know what to do!)

My coach helped me work on a thought model:

Circumstance (C): feature box on website

Thought (T): I don’t know what to do

Feeling (F): When I think “I don’t know what to do,” I feel paralyzed and anxious

Action (A): When I feel paralyzed and anxious, I spin my wheels, procrastinate, work on everything except the thing I need to be working on, and sometimes stress-eat

Result (R): When I spin my wheels, etc., I don’t figure out what to do [which proves the original thought], and I don’t do anything constructive.


Then it was time to change the model. Through our conversation, we realized that I DID know exactly what I needed to do: I needed to create a mockup of what I wanted and send it to my graphic designer and web designer and ask what it would take to get the project done.

Krista asked me: “How do you need to FEEL in order to take those actions?”

I settled on COURAGEOUS.

Then she asked: “What thought do you need to THINK in order to feel COURAGEOUS?”

This took a little trial and error. I tried a couple of different thoughts, and she had me close my eyes, think the thought, and then see how it felt in my body. One thought made me feel confident, but not courageous. Another made me feel excited, but not courageous.

I settled on a thought that has a story behind it.

When I was six years old, my family, plus my cousins and aunts, went to Merrymead Farm to go pumpkin picking. They had an area set up with games. In one game, you had to climb a rope ladder that was strung to a pole (the ladder itself at a steep angle) and ring a bell to get some candy. Kid after kid tried and fell off and gave up.

I started climbing the rope, and I decided I was going to ring that bell no matter what. I climbed, and I was afraid I was going to fall, but I kept going. The rope ladder flipped over, so now I was climbing with my belly facing the sky, unable to see where I was going. I kept going. I kept going even when my heart was in my throat and I was so high up I was afraid of how I’d get down.

I rang the bell.

That story became family legend, and now I’m using it to fuel the same gotta-get-it attitude in my business.

My thought that creates courage is: “I’m gonna ring the bell no matter what.”

Here’s the full model:

C: feature box

T: I’m gonna ring the bell no matter what

F: courageous

A: do whatever I need to do to complete this project

R: “ring the bell” (or get it done!)

What Do You Need to Do?

What’s your next step?

How do you need to feel to get it done? What thought do you need to feel to generate that feeling?

I’d love to hear — share in the comments!


If you have questions about your marketing strategy, or what to do next, shoot me an email at brooke AT and I will share some free advice!



July 29, 2018

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