Some solopreneurs go for their goals and Client Attraction assignments with amazing zest and enthusiasm. They’re the I-know-what-I-want-just-give-me-the-tools-and-let-me-at-‘em-Fabienne type of folks. Nothing gets in the way and they just get things done. The majority of folks, however, at one point or another, get stopped in their own marketing tracks.

It’s usually NOT a lack of how-to, but something else that invisibly stops them. You may have asked yourself, “If I know what I want, and I know how to do it, and it’s all spelled out for me here, then WHY am I not getting it done?” It’s frustrating and sometimes demoralizing, because we often end up beating ourselves up as a result. I know I have.

I call it the case of the missing obstacle. When you know something’s stopping you, when you’re sabotaging your own behavior, but you don’t know WHY, it’s time to delve deeper to see what the gunk is that’s underneath the surface. If you don’t figure this out, you’ll stay in the exact same ‘stuck’ marketing place and not grow your business.

Here’s a client example. “Susan” and I had been talking about sending out a specific letter to her network, for MONTHS. As I do with every client, I’ve given her 8 or 9 different examples of what the letter can look like. Heck, she probably even has it written already, but for some reason, it hasn’t been sent out yet. And every time I ask what’s going on, the answer is mumbled and unclear. I took a compassionately ruthless stand for her and asked if I could figure out with her what was going on. We dove in.

You hear people talk about ‘Fear of Failure’ all the time, but in my experience, ‘Fear of Success’ is just as prevalent. You see, Susan knows deep down inside that when she sends that letter of introduction about her services to her entire network (friends, family, clients, prospects, colleagues, former co-workers, etc.), she would essentially be ‘outing’ herself, she wouldn’t be able to hide and play small anymore. She would eventually get lots of clients as a result (it’s inevitable; I’ve seen it hundreds of times over).

This ‘Fear of Success’ was stopping her because it was combined with a nasty case of ‘Fear of What Others Will Think.’ What really kept her from sending the letter talking about her new business was imagining her former colleagues, those she did extensive training with, receiving the letter and thinking:

“She is so presumptuous to think that I would want to help her.”
“What has she DONE with her training?! This isn’t serious.”
“What she’s doing now is flaky, shallow, and unprofessional.”
“She had such potential as a blank-blank-blank; I can’t take her seriously anymore.”

But that wasn’t all! On top of all that, my client was also worried that if/when she fills her practice and becomes financially successful, people will envy her, will think she’s too good for them, and won’t like her (old gunk passed down from her mother).

No wonder she didn’t want to send the letter! The deep-seated fear of having colleagues disapprove of her, added to the fear that people won’t like her when she becomes successful, was almost unbearable. The thing is, none of these was valid; they were all self-created (we deflated each of these balloons down to nothing). So essentially, all of these fears were made-up, and null and void. She committed to doing the letter this week. It was a major breakthrough for her.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m no stranger to the fear of what others will think. In fact, I was a pro at it, until recently. For 36 years, and until a few months ago, I would stop myself in my own tracks and not know why. Now, I’m a self-described high-achieving-go-getter and all that, but underneath, I played it safe for fear of what others will think, just because I wanted people to like me.

The thing I realized recently is that you can NEVER control what people think about you. Yes, you can do smoke and mirrors, fancy manipulation, and damage control, but in the end, people will think about you what they will, good or bad. And even if it’s GOOD, you can’t control it, because everyone’s thinking about others through their own filter. Each impression of you is filtered through their own experiences, their own fears, their own projections, and all that stuff you can’t control, even if you tried tirelessly.

So I have a new expression. It’s two words and it’s not appropriate for printing here (my clients know what it is), but when I start thinking about what OTHERS will think of me if I do something, I say it quietly to myself. Inevitably I smile, because it’s a little naughty, and then I go do the thing that’s going to move my business forward, no longer as worried about what others will think. It works for me and now a bunch of my private clients use the same unsophisticated, yet very effective technique.

Do you see how tricky this whole thing is? Getting stopped in marketing is not 100% lack of marketing knowledge. It’s also that OTHER invisible stuff, which is holding us back that we don’t see or can’t touch. And when you eliminate it, when you pop those balloons of fear and limiting beliefs, then there’s nothing left to hold you back.

You can then move forward easily, in marketing, in life, and into making what you REALLY want to make in your own business. Otherwise, you’re playing small and what’s the point in that? My friend Maria makes me laugh when she says, “Go BIG or go home.” It’s my new motto, and falls right in with the following quote. Although you’ve seen it a thousand times, it bears reading again, in light of what we’re talking about today:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves,Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” —Marianne Williamson

Your Client Attraction Assignment:

You can NEVER be fully Client Attractive when you’re worried about what others will think, when you shrink and minimize yourself and your talents for fear of making it big and then having others envy you. To get you out of your own way when it comes to marketing, I want to change the Dr. Seuss quote slightly:

“Be who you are and [get marketing] because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Author's Bio: 

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time...guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your income, visit