Settle Your Confidence Debt Tony Stark

Two and a half years into my blogging journey, I am at a crossroads. In fact, I may have peaked at the end of 2011. I was determined to speak at NMX. The Buck Inspire Podcast was in full swing. Now I barely can stick to my post schedule. Some of my blogging compadres have turned into very successful entrepreneurs. While others have moved on to bigger and better things. Sadly, I am still on the fence whether blogging is my path to being an entrepreneur or just a hobby to take the edge off of my 9 to 5.

Blog Rat Race

Similar to a job that no longer suits you, I find it difficult to “get out of bed” and blog. Lately, it feels more like work or a chore. I’ve been ignoring this feeling and just getting by, but I feel I need to devote some time and energy to finding a solution. If not, Buck Inspire will go the way of Betamax, Borders, and Blockbuster. Leaning on my relatively successful IT career and combining it with what I’ve learned in the personal finance space, I discovered I’ve been carrying a lifelong problem that is severely hampering my blogging efforts. I’ve been carrying huge confidence debt.

Holding Myself Accountable

Many personal finance bloggers started their blog journey to hold themselves accountable to paying down student loans or credit card debt. Thankfully, I’ve never had that issue. But I just realized what prevents me from living a more fulfilling life. I am burdened by low self-confidence. The only exception is my IT career. Since I’ve put in more than 10,000 hours, I’ve gained confidence through longevity and building on successes along the way. Using my IT experience as a guide, if I somehow persevere and continue putting in the time to blogging, I may finally gain the confidence I so desperately seek. But how can I speed up this process?

Specific Actions

Drawing on personal finance blogs, I must take action with specific goals and hold myself accountable. I’ve been sabotaging myself, by being very vague with my future plans and chalking it up to being content with my life. I don’t plan to get rid of this positive attitude and turn into a stressed out yearner. I am however, just trying to combine the best of both worlds. I want to be happy with where I am, but also continue to strive for more. It will take some effort because it is like having your cake and eating it too, but with hard work, discipline, and balance, I believe it can be done.

Talk Is Cheap

A while back, I talked a big game speaking about getting over your greatest fears. Talking about something is only half the battle. However, if you’re not careful, you could delude yourself into thinking that you did take action. I am mostly a glass is half-full kind a guy. But being too content with half a glass of water means you’ll never seek to fill the cup.

If You Don’t Stand For Something, You’ll Fall For Anything

One of my biggest problems is not standing behind my work. I too often forget that when I do something and confidently stand behind my accomplishments, good things always happen. Like I said before, my lack of confidence forced me to always choose the easy, least confrontational way out. I’ve always been a status quo kind of guy. But now that I am a father and a husband, I want, I need to be more successful.

You – Fear + Confidence = Success

The most successful people in life are confident. You need confidence to succeed everywhere. Without it, I’ve struggled in the stock markets, in my career, and in relationships. The only thing I could rely on was getting lucky, pardon the pun. To be more confident, one has to get past their fears. If I get past my fears and my confidence grows as a result, I should become more successful. When I started blogging, I’ve used my anonymity as a shield for questions like these. “You do what in your free time? You make no money with it? Why are you wasting your time? Your writing is pointless. You are boring. You have no audience. You suck!” I don’t talk about controversial topics and don’t really get into income reports so why am I still hiding? Just like huge financial debt, my huge confidence debt is embarrassing and hard to accept at times.

Final Thoughts

I continued typing and podcasting in my bat cave. Ironically, when I did leave my lair, good things happened. BlogWorld LA was amazing, the PF BlogWorld LA Meet Up with PT Money was awesome, and last but not least the Wisebread Five Year Anniversary party was a blast. Everyone I met was warm and full of passion. Don’t really know what I’m afraid of. Is it the unknown or just my insecurities getting the best of me?  Recently when I go to baby events, I get educated, entertained, and I get some much-needed fresh air, too.

Special thanks to Lee (Tossing It Out), Crystal (Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Joe (Retire By 40), Dominique (Your Finances Simplified), Andrea (So Over This), Khaleef (Fat Guy Skinny Wallet), Sandy (Yes I Am Cheap), Joe (The Free Financial Advisor), Robert (The College Investor), Sam (Financial Samurai), and Pat (Smart Passive Income) for inspiring me to Let Go.

Finally, I love watching movies and I often use pivotal scenes to boost my confidence when the going gets tough. My apologies to Robert Downey Jr., but here’s my rendition of Tony Stark facing Congress and me facing my greatest fear.

I am Buck Inspire.

Buck Inspire

Have you already faced your greatest fear? Did you become more successful when you did? If not, what’s holding you back? Would love to hear about it, one way or the other!

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23 Responses

  1. krantcents says:

    I face fears all the time! I think it is what I am supposed to do. I find the more planning or preparation I do, the easier it is. The good news is you usually have time to prepare and practice before you have to face it. My greatest fear was starting a business. It was very scary to think I could fail. I overcame the fear by reducing the risks through planning.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Kudos for facing your fears KC! That is what we’re supposed to do. I just let my fears consume me. Never thought planning could counteract fear. Thanks for the insight. Also, it looked like your fears were uncalled for as your businesses were quite successful!

  2. Well done. My greatest fear was when I was running my business and it not succeeding. It actually got to a point that it was doing so well, that I couldn’t handle it on my own. It started taking over my life and that became my greatest fear, so I did something about it and shut down the business. It was a hard decision, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Grayson! Your fear sounds similar to KC. Ironic how your success turned into another fear. Is that why people don’t try? Fear of success is even larger than fear of failure? Maybe when you get successful, you have more to lose and if you do fail the pain is that much greater because you fell from a higher spot? Thanks for sharing!

  3. Arlee Bird says:

    Whoa, that was quite a soul-baring post and maybe it’s good for you to reevaluate what you are doing. I don’t ever see me as a Pro-blogger per se because I enjoy the writing and the eclectic topics too much. I gave up on that dream in my first month of blogging or so. Sure I’d like to make money doing this, but I want to believe in what I’m doing and enjoy doing it.

    You’ve got a talent, an ambition, and a heart for blogging so I think you need to stick with it and maybe pursue new avenues. What about putting the IT confidence into a blog topic? I’m not totally sure what that’s all about, but it sounds like info I could use.

    And don’t forget the inspiration! We don’t have to be inspired to make money, but I think most of us can use the inspiration to buck the burdens off our backs. I think you can be very inspirational in your posts.

    Regroup your blogging strategy and while you’re doing it have some fun with the blogging. Tell us about movies or music or whatever it is that you enjoy. I always like hearing about the shows you go to. Are you going to the Home and Garden Show this weekend? I can’t but I’d like to hear a report.

    To answer your question about what’s holding me back, I’ve got a few books now almost at completion stage. I can’t bring myself to finish because I guess I afraid of the next step. Rejection? That would be bad. I know I’ve got to just step up and polish them off to see what will happen but I’m having a difficult time moving forward. Too much blogging activity I think is part of it.

    In any case, I’m behind you, Buck, and just let me know when you need a promotional kick. I can try to help.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Haha, guess I needed to reset and bare my soul a little. I appreciate your thoughtful response. Your passion for writing is unmatched and your community of writers is second to none. Looks like my indecision is causing more harm than good. Better get my head straight, quick.

      Interesting angle about IT confidence. Let me chew on that one. I agree with your point on money. If I think about it too much, the fun and passion part slowly drains away. But the hard realities of expenses makes me have to think about it from time to time. Need to just not let it consume me.

      Thanks for the pick me up. Just the inspiration I needed. I didn’t hear about the Home and Garden Show, maybe next year. But I do have a few events coming up. Stay tuned.

      As for your nearly completed books, besides rejection, which I know isn’t fun, could it be your are fearful of success or the unknown? Let’s say your book takes off, now what? You may be thrust into new, unknown situations. You will be forced out of your comfort zone. I sometimes make more lateral moves to stay comfortable rather than reach and stretch myself vertically. You sound very busy with your other blogging activities, but leaving your comfort zone helps you grow. I hope you do finish it one day. Then I can say I knew you from the start before you became the next J.K. Rowling!

      Thanks again for the pep talk Lee. Really appreciate it!

  4. Welcome to the club Buck! I know the exact confidence feeling. Part of my new gameplan is accountability, but in moving towards entrepreneurship! It was such a strange feeling to write more personal, and even stranger to shoot a video! I’ve never posted myself like that online before.

    However, it is refreshing. I’ve found more people like to gravitate towards personal than just information.

    Now, my biggest fear is not following through on my commitments on my new site. Not doing it, I feel like I’d let down others, which is what pushes me forward!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Robert! Sounds like a plan and kudos for following through. Still don’t know how you find all the time. Good luck with your new site. I dropped by and you have tons of great already. Did you clone yourself? It is refreshing and I feel a weight off my shoulders. I hope to continue to push forward myself. Finally, I like how you use your fear of letting others down motivate yourself. More power to ya!

  5. Sandy says:

    Welcome to the part Buck, and thank you for saying that little ‘ole me was an inspiration.

    This whole blogging this has been a journey for me. There have been many times when I have just walked away, only to be pulled back in.

    What this hobby has done is given me the confidence to TAKE CHANCES again. After my business failed, I lived in fear of failure again. But I’ve realized that if you don’t put yourself out there, REGRET might be even worse than failure can ever be.

    The PF community is very welcoming and filled with awesome people. I’m happy that you feel more free to share.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Sandy and you’re welcome! I lost count how many times I wanted to walk away. I get pulled back in as well. Are you going to do any more talks? Sorry to hear about your business setbacks, but I’m glad you are taking chances again. Regret might be worse than failure? Deep. You’re absolutely right. The PF community is very welcoming and awesome. Fear rearing its ugly head. Just have to get it through my thick skull!

  6. Hey Buck!

    Thanks for sharing your candid thoughts and the mention. Given you are happy and successful with your IT job, enjoy blogging as a hobby and have fun when you want I say. How much longer do you plan to work in IT? When I started to feel burnt out in finance, it helped kick me into higher gear to do more writing on my blog.

    I remember as a kid watching Tom Cruise in Risky Business. At the end, he said, “Sometimes you just got to say what the f*ck.” Funny how that movie made an impression, but ever since I was a kid I’ve tried (and failed many times) to just go for it.

    My biggest fear is having not tried and regretting it. Hence, I try and try again.

    Sam

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Sam! Great questions about my IT job. Let me mull it over and write a post about it. Oh I love that line from Risky Business. His best friend is hilarious. Wasn’t that Booger from Revenge of the Nerds? Kudos for trying and failing and trying some more. I’m stuck in first gear sometimes. Not trying and regretting. Looks like you’re slicing through your fear just fine!

  7. Crystal says:

    Wow, way to go!!! Do you feel more confident now? It helped my own self confidence to “come out”. Good luck! 🙂

  8. I think you are going through what a lot of us have or still do. I have many fears to overcome, but the biggest one is fearing that my thoughts and ideas won’t be good enough. I have had hundreds of post, video, book, and seminar ideas that I have just dropped because I didn’t think my voice meant anything and I feared looking like an idiot when someone comes along and points that out.

    Do you feel that writing this post has helped you to overcome some of your fears?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks for understanding Khaleef! I do it myself, but labeling ourselves as an idiot is non-productive and potentially damaging. Sadly we are our own worst critics. But honestly, everyone around you won’t think you’re an idiot. It’s all in your head. I’m surprised you still feel this way even though you are producing videos. You’re really putting yourself out there. No one has called your an idiot right?

      Writing this post helped me overcome one of my greatest fears. A weight was lifted from my shoulders. I feel liberated and hope to ride this momentum to greater heights. Thanks again!

  9. AverageJoe says:

    Dude, congrats on ripping through the fear. You’re one sexy guy ;-). Seriously, coming from a guy who fears everything…I know what a big step this is. Don’t look back now, just keep on driving….

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Can always count on Joe for a witty pick me up, haha! Thanks for understanding and I won’t look back. How many blog facelifts can someone go through in a lifetime? With your skills and drive, I’m sure you can make your third iteration successful in no time! Thanks again!

  10. Hey Buck, Keep at it. I’ve been feeling a bit burned out lately too. Sometime I have tons of topics I want to write about and sometime I am just going through the motion. I think you need to give blogging 10,000 hours too and see where it goes. 🙂
    Maybe you should try skydiving or bungy jumping. They really helped me step over the fear threshold and go for it. Ask yourself – what’s the worse case scenario? Most of the time, it won’t be that bad, right?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Joe! I hope you keep at it, too! I feel the same way. Feast or famine. Strange. I’ll check back with you after we log 10,000 hours. Hey didn’t we start the same day? You’re miles ahead of me. Looks like your hard work is paying off. I actually sky dived before. I should write about it to jar my memory when having to face my fears. You are absolutely right. The worst case scenario really isn’t that bad. Thanks again!

  11. Props to you Buck for being open and honest! I’ve been struggling keeping motivated with my blogging over the last several months as well. I’m not finding it as enjoyable as I have in the past but I’m determined to stick with it. You have a unique voice Buck so keep going for it!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Paul! Why are you struggling lately? Is it work or other passions in play? Are you stretching yourself too thin? I hope you stick with it, too. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!

  1. May 4, 2013

    […] Inspire with Settle Your Confidence Debt Tony Stark  Buck opens […]

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