I’m going to tell you about my foray into the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) but I promise it’s not a story about tech.
It’s a story about decision-making.
This will help you if you’re procrastinating about a decision, especially a career change decision, because I cover the main reason you’re hesitating that you may not be aware of.
This will also help if you’re self-employed, like me, as I cover decisions about whether to hire someone or figure it out yourself.
To SEO or not to SEO
So earlier this year I was umming and ahhing about whether to invest in an SEO package for my business.
You see, when you’re self-employed there are so many parts of your business that you could focus on improving.
- invest in help with Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube
- or launch a podcast
- or hire a copywriter to help me with my website
- or build a quiz
- or invest in a mastermind, a membership, a mentor or a coach…to help me with speaking, stage confidence, marketing, selling, or teaching or….
The list goes on.
There are so many avenues to go down that it’s hard to choose which one is right for you, or even which to prioritise.
We’re not all that different
Even if you’re not self-employed, you’ll have a similar dilemma in your career or life in general.
There may be areas in your life that you would like to improve but you don’t know where to even start.
Do you focus on fixing the career, the confidence, the stress, or the finances first?
Even if you decide to pick an area – say your physical health – there are still more choices to make.
Do you go on a diet (but which one?), join a gym, join a running club, buy equipment for a home gym, get a trainer, a nutritionist, or just read some books?
If you decide to work with someone, for your mental health for example, who do you go to?
Do you get a coach, a therapist, a hypnotist, or a shamanic healer?
Or do you just wait it out and see what happens?
So many options!
How do you decide?
I err on the side of taking action.
I wasn’t always like this. It’s something I’ve developed since being self-employed when I realised that you don’t actually get clarity by sitting around and thinking.
I meet career changers all the time who have been thinking for years about what they should do next. And they aren’t any closer to making a decision.
In fact, it seems the more thinking they do, the more confused they get and the less confident they feel, which then keeps them stuck in this waiting room of overthinking.
Taking action, no matter how small, brings about clarity.
Because when you take action, you get access to more information.
With that new information, there is a possibility that you will realise that another option was better suited for you. But that is fantastic news. You’ve learnt something!
You wouldn’t have learnt that by staying still.
Action is never a waste of time.
But that’s not the real problem is it?
The real problem is when we view decisions as being either right or wrong.
That’s what we call black and white thinking, a cousin of perfectionism.
Then, if we take action and find out that a different course of action was better, we turn on ourselves.
We decide we’ve failed and we unleash a barrage of criticism and judgement. We ruminate over the past, wishing we did better, and we lament over wasted time and money.
So it’s not a fear failing or making the wrong decision we have.
What we fear is the pain we’ll cause ourselves with our inner critic. The emotional pain that comes from turning those negative thoughts on ourselves.
That’s what we try to avoid when we procrastinate over decision-making.
What’s the answer then?
Well it’s NOT to feed the perfectionism beast and make we always make the right decision.
That’s not possible, you’ll make wrong turns in life because that’s part of life.
The answer is to manage your mind.
Learn to be kinder to yourself. Learn to turn that inner critic into an inner cheerleader.
There are tools to do this, you’re not born with a self-harming mind.
If you can’t do this on your own, get a coach – that’s their zone of genius.
Knowing who to pick
So we’ve covered how it’s not a bad thing if you make the ‘wrong’ decision.
But how do we know what decision to make?
What helped lower the risk of getting it wrong was that I knew the lady. She was recommended by my network by people whose decision I could trust.
So if you’re deciding who to work with – try get recommendations.
If that’s not possible, then listen to your gut.
My gut felt it was safe to go with her.
Working with someone
Now you may be deciding whether to work with someone on your problem or whether to work it out yourself.
My career change clients sit on that decision for a long time before reaching out to a coach.
My advice? Hire someone.
You get unexpected bonuses
Working with an expert means you get their knowledge and experience, and then some!
I got so much more than I bargained for with my SEO lady.
Yes she has delivered on the techy part of the package, but she also did something I love her for – she taught me things I would never ever have found out myself.
When you’re a solopreneur (or if you’re a high achiever), it can be tempting to want to do everything yourself.
But there are limits.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
That’s what my SEO lady showed me.
The things I learnt from her, I would never have discovered on my own simply because I wouldn’t even know where to start with searching for them.
And even if I stumbled upon them somehow, I for sure wouldn’t be able to understand some terms.
She broke it down for me and told me only what I needed to know.
She saved me time and empowered me with knowledge.
Last reason for hesitation (that we don’t talk about much)
When hiring a specialist like a coach, you may have another subconscious worry.
When you hire some people, you don’t have to put much effort into the work – they do the work for you.
Example: You hire a branding specialist or a builder, you tell them what you like, and they do the work.
But with other specialists, like a personal trainer or a coach, YOU need to show up and do the work too.
And that’s where the worry comes in.
You may trust THEM to deliver on their end, but you don’t trust YOU.
Will you make time for it?
Will you procrastinate or leave things to the last moment?
Your fear is YOU will be the one that won’t make the most of it.
That’s the other reason I was hesitating about hiring the SEO specialist.
I knew she would deliver – she would tell me which keywords and topics to focus on for my blogs…
But then I would have to be the one to write them.
Would I do it? Would make time for this?
I doubted my commitment and my follow-through.
But here’s what I discovered.
There are unforeseen bonuses to working with someone
For sure, there’s accountability that will make you show up and help you do the work. That’s a given with coaching.
But the bonus I discovered with my SEO lady was: motivation and inspiration.
I had assumed I had a long way to go to get my website featured higher in the Google Search. But my SEO lady told me that I didn’t have too far to climb.
And you know what happens when the finish line is no longer a speck on the horizon but it’s within sight?
You get a rush of energy.
I suddenly felt very inspired and motivated to write those blogs.
All because she made success feel achievable.
You may be closer than you think
I promise you, it will be the same when you get a coach.
There will be things you learn about yourself, the world of work, careers, making changes etc. that will empower you and inspire you into action so you don’t have to rely on motivation and will power alone.
There’s also a high chance that you will realise that you actually don’t have that far to climb.
You can make little tweaks to your everyday. And, what’s more, you will be inspired to do the work because it will feel doable and your results will feel achievable.
But remember one thing
Make sure you do as I did and pick someone you like and trust.
It really helped me reduce the risk factor of my decision. And it’s actually a huge factor in coaching and therapy.
Studies have shown that the coach – client relationship is one of the biggest factors in determining coaching success (see Grassmann et al. 2019), more so than coaches’ expertise, number of coaching sessions, and clients’ or coaches’ perspectives!
Which basically means, if you pick someone you like and trust, you’re going to be more open with them and share more in your sessions, which, in turn ,will strengthen your relationship with your coach and give you the support you need to get the results you want.
If you need help with your career decision, then let’s talk. It all starts with booking a free call with me