Beware of Paralysis of Analysis by Shayla Williams
Online business success depends on many factors. However, success starts with proper planning. It is wise to spend time planning a strategy for designing your website, creating content, engaging visitors, and marketing your site. However, there is a temptation to spend too much time analyzing a situation. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years. This is known as paralysis of analysis, a situation where a person over-thinks or over-analyzes a situation.
Beginning online marketers and veterans alike can make the mistake of over-analyzing. Wanting to have the right information before making a decision is wise, but over-thinking is a productivity killer. Often, beginners make a good faith effort to learn the ins and outs of online marketing only to be overwhelmed with information. This leads to a vicious cycle of gathering more information, feeling overwhelmed, gathering more information, and getting overwhelmed. If they don’t know how to sift through the information, which in many cases they don’t, this can lead to paralysis of analysis. They want to have the right website, with the right pictures, with the right copy.
Paralysis of analysis is a subtle combination of the fear of failure, the fear of success, and perfectionism. It is often a form of procrastination which is a subconscious way of self-sabotage. Overcoming paralysis of analysis requires cultivating new habits and changing old mindsets. For example, tackle goals in bits and pieces. A person who needs to lose 100 lbs might get overwhelmed at the thought of losing so much weight. Instead, that people should focus on mini-goals losing 5 lbs at a time until he or she loses all the weight. The same is true in cultivating a successful online business. Some mini-goals you can shoot for are writing 5 blog posts, commenting on 5 blogs, writing 5 follow-up emails, etc. The number does not have to be “5.” Use a number that makes sense to you.
Start with the basics of good web design such as simple navigation, clear calls to action, not having walls of text, etc. From there you can always test and tweak you site’s design and marketing strategy. The important thing is to just get started. When I wanted to start a podcast, I learned more by actually recording and uploading podcasts than I did just reading about them.
Another strategy to deal with paralysis of analysis is to have an accountability partner to keep you on track. Make a list of what you wish to accomplish each day. Again, start with only a few items a day until it becomes a habit. Set a time limit for each goal and discipline yourself to meet deadlines. Aim for progression, not perfection.
One way not to sabotage your efforts is to hire someone else to do the work for you. This allows you to learn at your own pace while someone else builds your business.
Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to get started doing something no matter how small it may seem. Small consistent steps lead to big long-term rewards.