The Fear of missing out has been around since Twitter and Instagram have grown years ago and everyone is constantly checking their smartphones for the latest updates. If you miss the latest Snap, Insta story or Tweet from a famous person you’ll feel bad.
While I don’t exactly share this type of FOMO, I think there’s another FOMO which you experience highly when you work as a Solopreneur on your own. The fear of missing in out in online business is real.
I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. It’s not a productive place or happy state of mind, vice versa. And it can be really tough to escape it these days.
What FOMO Means
The basic problem behind any type of FOMO is that today you have access to the life of million people around them and what they do. Of course this is basically not bad as it connects all of us on new levels.
But at some point, if you keep consuming too much of the content of other people, especially of those who have a glamorous lifestyle or super adventures life, we start to think that we are not good enough.
You fear that you sit at home while watching Netflix and scrolling through your feed, you miss out all the great opportunities in life.
Why am I not riding a hover board through New York City?
Why am I not traveling the world?
There are reasonable answers to these questions, but our brain often doesn’t think logical and skips the simple solution.
We start to question ourselves, the life we have and tend to forget all the great things we already enjoy.
Plus, we rarely see the downside and problems of those people but only the shiny outside front.
This finally creates a discrepancy between who we actually are and where we want to be or could be. This causes stress in our brain, and we fear that we waste the only life we have.
While this can happen to almost everyone, there’s another type of FOMO related to working for yourself, being Solopreneur or in general a lonely wolf.
What FOMO in Online Business Means
If you run your own business, there are thousand options every day that could have a positive effect on your business. Again, this is basically awesome as you could set up a website in 5 minutes today without coding knowledge. There is more free information than ever to start your side hustle and the technologies to get started are inexpensive and easy to use for everyone.
But the upside is also the downside:
Which way is the right way for my endeavour?
Which tools are the ones I need, and which area is worth spending more time on?
Right now I’m wearing more hats than ever before, of few of them being:
- Software Developer
- Online Teacher and Speaker
- Blogger / Vlogger
- Startup CEO
Add some personal issues or a special situation (I’m becoming father this year) to this list and you end up in total confusion about yourself.
It is awesome to have the chance to work on all those different areas, but my time just like yours is limited. I could work non stop for 24 hours and would still feel like I haven’t done enough.
People like Gary Vee talk about how you need to hustle 24/7 if you want to be successful. Casey Neistat is not getting tired talking about how less sleep he needs (which is engraved in his face by the shadows under his eyes) and in general, everyone else seems to be doing more of the right things than you.
How can you compete with all of them and make sure your business is sustainable and growing?
If you spend too much time on one particular area of your business, the other ones will slowly decrease. It’s like you have multiple buckets you need to fill with water, and each bucket is draining.
Whenever you focus on one bucket, all other buckets are draining the water again.
And you don’t want them to get empty!
How to leave FOMO behind?
At this point I’m still struggling to overcome these issues. There are good days and there are bad days.
Some days you think you got the key to online business (woah 10 new customers today!) and the next day you are frustrated again (why is my Facebook ad not converting?).
This pattern continues on and on, day in day out, week in week out. At some point you feel like a hamster in the wheel.
At this point it’s important to leave the autopilot mode and get back to your reality. There seems to be no general solution, but a good start seems to be focusing only on your work. Appreciate the good things you have created, the freedom you have established for yourself and embrace how far you have come!
While there are so many areas of interest, try to use theming through your week to cover all important areas and follow the 80/20 rule to make the most progress in each of the. Have specific marketing days, creation days or social engagement days.
In the end, one general solution to me seems to be quite simple: Do your best work every day and then let the score take care of itself.
Don’t try to work for 20 hours, keep a balance between work and the person behind the business, especially if you can work from anywhere/home. Don’t let others tell you how to feel if you work less! If you do good work, doors will open. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but when you least expect it.
Be fine with the progress you make and review your accomplishments and adjust your compass to navigate in the overall right direction.
One simple quote kept with me from a podcast (sorry, don’t exactly remember where it was) and that’s something you can repeat every day as it’s so simple and still overlooked when you are heads down in your work:
Give yourself Permission to be happy!