How To Avoid Analysis Paralysis When You Are Starting Out Online

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WARNING : This post might sound a little harsh but this is stuff I wish someone had told me when I got started about 5 years ago.

I have noticed adults going through a different kind of meltdown from my son in a number of online communities I am privileged to be a part of.

The kind of meltdown popularly termed “analysis paralysis”.

Symptoms include but are not limited to uttering statements like :

– “I have too many ideas to pick from”

-“I can’t decide on my logo”

– “I’ve listened to so many podcasts and now I’m confused”

– “Where do I even get started ? Do I create a blog first or an e-mail optin”

– “I want to be absolutely sure this idea will work”

And the one which makes me wince EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

– “Which one is the BEST : Mailchimp or Aweber” (or some other comparison between software/plugin/program X and Y which do essentially the same thing)

Okay. So if I mentioned any sort of question you have had before, I am not raining on your parade, okay ?

It’s alright to have these questions but when you literally become so bogged down by many of these details which honestly, having blogged for the past 5 years and currently running a freelance business through because of the blog , you are simply hurting yourself. They matter but they are not worth sweating over.

Let’s tackle each of the symptoms I listed above individually.

“I have too many ideas to pick from”

This is actually not a bad thing ! It means you have several things you could possibly start an online business around.

Now, pick one.

Pick one that makes the most sense to you. Pick one where you have seen content created on the subject but you think you could bring a unique twist to the table.  Let it be the one that aligns with your natural abilities and expertise.

Every business is created to solve a specific problem. Toothbrushes and toothpaste keep us from assaulting each other with bad breath. Cars take us from point A to point B.

What problem will your business solve ?

Don’t worry if someone is already doing what you want to do. I used to think I had to be completely original to get a piece of the cake online. Not true. Of course, you NEVER copy or steal someone else’s content. But the fact that they are doing it and are successful is proof that you could be successful as well.

Pick one of your ideas that solves a problem for a group of people and get started.

“I can’t decide on my logo”

I am all about having a visually appealing brand. And you should because the competition online is steep these days. But seriously, your logo is not what is going to make you money.

So get it designed by a professional if you need to but don’t sweat it if you cannot decide what you want it to look like just yet.

“I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts and now I’m confused”

Stop listening to podcasts.

Write down 5-10 things you have learned from those podcasts so far.

Implement them. NOW.

“Do I create the blog first or an e-mail opt-in ?”

Philosophically speaking, this might very well be a “chicken and egg” question.

You need e-mail subscribers because you need people to e-mail about all the great stuff you are producing right ? Correct.

But then without a blog , people might not know you exist and so you will not have visitors and so in effect you will not get e-mail subscribers.

*Cue : Existential crisis*

Get started on one. Personally, I would say get started with your blog. It gives people a taste of what you can offer them.

And then to solve the second issue, I would go to Buzzsumo and then type in the URL of someone you respect in your chosen niche.


Buzzsumo will spit out statistics of the most shared content on Adam’s blog.

buzzsumo 2

If you’re using the free version of Buzzsumo, you will get 5-10 top results from the website you fed into the search.

2000 people shared Adam’s post on the content tools every blogger needs. That’s a lot of people who found his information super valuable. Using that as inspiration, you could quickly put together a freebie and offer it to your audience as an e-mail opt-in.

No analysis paralysis needed.

“I want to be ABSOLUTELY sure this idea will work before I launch”

It does not matter who you are, you can NEVER be 100% sure that something will work unless you TEST it. And we test by putting something out there. If you do the work you need to do to get people to notice what you have to offer and they ignore you, it could possibly be a sign to pivot (not always but most of the time).

If that is what happens, no worries ! Just pivot and find another angle. But knowing that something will ABSOLUTELY work before you’ve tested it can slightly skew on the mythical side of things.

“Which one is the best : Mailchimp or Aweber?”

Mailchimp vs Aweber

Leadpages vs OptimizePress vs Thrive Themes

Convertkit or Getresponse

Vanilla ice cream or the one with chunks of Reeses’ Peanut Cups (this last one is solely for me because I am hungry as I type this. Ha !)

We can have arguments that will last eternity on this type of question.

Bottomline : there are several tools that help you achieve the same/similar result. Certainly, there are ones that are better than others and especially when there is a huge investment involved, you should do your research. But once you have determined that for the purpose you want to achieve a particular software/plugin/program will suffice, please move on.

And this is all I am trying to say…

I know I did not tackle every problem in the Book of Analysis Paralysis.

And maybe you disagree with me and feel your current paralysis by analysis is completely justified and you’d rather stay in that state than get me to talk you off this path. Fine.

The point I am trying to make is this : you are going to make so many business decisions in the future and a lot of the things that seem so BIG now will be irrelevant a few years down the line. So instead of losing sleep over these very minor details, start building something. Do your research but don’t get bogged down by it.

Move ahead. The world is waiting for your gifts to be shared with it.