Everyone’s said it: The FOMO is real. The Fear Of Missing Out affects everyone at one point in time or another. In many ways, FOMO can be credited with the success of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As a society, we need to know what other people are up to. We can’t stay away from their updates, events, parties, and (as much as we may complain about it later) their drama. FOMO is so prevalent in our society that it has prompted changes to marketing. Entrepreneurs are affected by the fear of missing out in different ways. And unfortunately, falling victim to FOMO can lead to poor business decisions, an inflated fear of failure, and an aversion to slowing down or taking a break.
Here are some tips to help entrepreneurs avoid FOMO, and keep the fear of missing out from affecting their business.
Fear of Missing an Opportunity
Entrepreneurs, by their very nature, willingly sign up for hard work. They understand that running a business requires time and energy, discipline, and more time. We aren’t scared of that hard work. In fact, quite the opposite. So many entrepreneurs are scared of slowing down.
If you aren’t moving forward, you’re falling behind…
If you aren’t hustling, you’re losing…
Build your dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs…
Entrepreneurs have hard work and busy schedules so ingrained in their mindset that slowing down means risking losing out on an opportunity. This FOMO will literally keep them from taking a break, signing off for the night, or sleeping in in the morning. They will create a morning routine that includes packing their brochures and business cards into their bags so they can pass them out throughout the day.
But this fear runs deeper than that.
The fear of missing an opportunity doesn’t just mean remembering to bring those brochures…it means feeling bad when you forget to bring those brochures. It means feeling like a failure over it. It means every person you come across feels like a missed opportunity. And worst of all, it can ruin your day.
Additionally, FOMO drives many entrepreneurs to saying “yes” far too often, when they really need to say no. This fear of missing out on an opportunity forces them to say yes to things they don’t want, or even need, to do. Answering the phone at awkward hours, replying to texts and messages in the middle of family events, sending off emails instead of taking a much-needed break.
Working hard is one thing, working to death because you’re afraid that setting boundaries will result in a lost opportunity is hurting you far more than helping you.
Entrepreneurs also have a habit of collect (but not necessarily using) tools they think will help them succeed… or at the very least tools they think will help them avoid missing an opportunity.
Someone finds something and loves it so much they tell everyone they know about it. Then we just have to see it. We have to try it. Oh, and if it’s a tool that will help us run our businesses smoothly? Forget it. Have to have it. Now. Tool FOMO.
Here at the Suite, we talk about various tools all the time — tools like Zapier to help you manage your time better, tools like FIITFU to help you manage your follow up systems, tools like PicMonkey to help you batch your graphics creation, even tools like Tailwind to help you manage your Pinterest and Instagram accounts.
There are dozens of tools available – all of which can help you succeed in business. What works for one business may or may not work for another business. And it’s perfectly natural to see a tool working for someone else’s business and think that if you used the same tool or copied the same process that it would work the same way for your business. Unfortunately, what we see happening a lot is that people will stock up on way too many tools, far more than they can possibly use, and they will usually spend money on them.
Having tool overload is just as bad for your business as not having the right tools, or not having enough tools. Spending money on tools that don’t align with your vision or sometimes spending money on tools you don’t even use because you just have so many… that’s all money right out the proverbial window. The trick is to find the right tool for your job and use that to build the right system you need to succeed.
How can entrepreneurs avoid FOMO?
- Keep your eyes on your prize. Remember why you got involved in your business in the first place, and make sure everything you do is serving that why. If you got into business so you could spend more time with your family, then make sure you are spending time with your family.
- Be okay with the fact that you won’t see every opportunity coming. Business success is a careful calculation of trials, triumphs, and missed opportunities. You won’t see them all coming. Rather than focusing so much energy on trying to catch them all, focus on maximizing the ones you do see.
- Listen to your customers, and keep them in mind as you create new things. Don’t expand on a service simply because you want to. Will it serve your customers? Does it answer a need they have? Does it serve your why, or work within your strategy? Your customers will tell you what they want — all you have to do is listen.
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