You never forget your first.

I remember it like it was yesterday—It was late at night, I was a little nervous, and not quite sure what I was doing. But, I went for it.

I paid for my first ever online course to help me as I was in the planning stages for Action+Attitude.

Like many other firsts, it was mediocre at best.

The course was about promoting on one specific social media channel. I thought the purchase was a good idea because I didn’t use this specific platform in my day-to-day life, and had absolutely no clue where to start when it came to using it for promoting content.  

I should have known that focusing my energy on this piece early on, especially before launch, wasn’t smart. Setting up a launch with all the content and basic strategy is hard enough; I’m not sure why I felt the need to toss in using a whole new social media platform.

But one thing I do know is that when everything is up in the air, I grasp for structure wherever I can get it. As an entrepreneur, that’s a tricky personality feature is navigate. Sometimes, it can be my most beneficial trait.

I can handle the unexpected because not only do I have Plans B & C in case Plan A falls through, I also have Plans D through G lined up just in case.

Other times, it can be my biggest roadblock.

I can get overwhelmed and anxious, to the point where I freeze. I avoid everything and nothing gets done. Then, in an attempt to get back on track, I may make decisions without fully thinking them through. And of course, those quick decisions don’t often yield the best results. I’m looking at you, 30 day social media course.

Truth be told, I’m sure that course was completely sufficient and that a ton of people find benefit in it.  But I opted in at a time that wasn’t great for me. Naturally, I avoided pieces of it and fell behind. That didn’t do great things for my confidence as I prepped for my upcoming launch. The avoidance quickly made its way to other pieces of the launch I was working on. Eventually I was at a completely standstill.

The only way I was able to get back on track was by tackling pieces I enjoyed, or at least felt like I understood. My biggest mistake throughout the whole process was simply not acknowledging the fact that I knew what I was doing. I was grasping for control, even though it was never taken away from me.

If I were to go through that particular launch again, I’d pause and check myself the moment I found myself starting to grasp for structure and control. If I were to take a minute, I would realize that I still had full control and could therefore develop my own structure, not buy into something else.

And please, don’t think that I’m saying online courses are bad, or even that the specific one I bought was bad. That’s not my point at all. In fact, the more I invest in my own personal coaching and training, the more value I see in it day after day.

I’m talking about having self-awareness around why I made the decision I did. By understanding how I respond to certain situations and what specifically drives me, I’m much more able to implement strategy that works for me. This self-awareness has saved me not only a lot of money, but also from a lot of stress and guilt.

Self-awareness is where everything starts. We talk about it so much when it comes to branding, messaging, and even offerings. Yet, it’s oddly absent when we talk strategy. There’s this general idea that there are non-negotiable actions you simply must take in order to be successful.

I don’t agree with that. The most beneficial action you can take when it comes to implementing strategy is focusing on the pieces that you connect with. So moment of truth—do you know which pieces of strategy you love? Or, are you formulating your business the way everyone else is?

If you haven’t already, try out our free Business Blindspot quiz. It may just point out a piece of strategy that could be holding you back.