There’s a big learning curve to go through when you first start a business and this can make you ripe for FOMO (or fear of missing out). There are things you need to initially invest in, to get up and running. And it’s only natural that you’ll also want to ensure you’re stretching your finances as far as you can. However, as with anything, there’s so much you don’t know, and even more you think you need, at all stages of business. I often find that there are times in your business life cycle when FOMO can really take hold of you – some of the common times are 6 months in, 12 months in, 3 years in and again about 7 years in! 

If you read last week’s blog on taking yourself and your business seriously, you may be questioning your next steps. For many of us, that may mean looking at what you need to make those next steps successful. But how do you know when you’re pulling up your big girl pants and investing in something you need – or when it’s FOMO kicking in and biting you in the rear?

Social media is a breeding ground for FOMO

Social media can be a breeding ground for FOMO, as people share real and orchestrated insights into their lives and businesses. It can be incredibly difficult to get a clear indication as to what is and isn’t real, as well as who really is doing well and not just putting on a show. We naturally gravitate towards reviews and opinions of our peers, when we’re looking to buy something – but does this actually help with FOMO, or simply magnify it?  I strongly recommend not being in hundreds of social media groups as you will allow yourself to get sucked into what everyone else is posting… 

One of the issues is many online businesses are using FOMO to influence your purchases

Nowhere is the FOMO (or shinny penny syndrome) more noticeable than with technology and online courses. It doesn’t help that sales copywriting experts are skilled at using scarcity techniques to further enhance your FOMO fears. Often, this involves limiting the supply of something or ramping up the bonuses, to further whet your appetite and highlight what you could be potentially missing if you pass on the offer. 

Added to this, many of these online marketers pay their affiliates larger than average commissions, leading to an influx of social media and email posts related to their products – and aggravating the FOMO signals you’re receiving. 

So with social media and copywriting designed to ramp up your FOMO, what’s the best way to overcome it?

Know where you are financially

Do you have the funds to invest in something else and is it a price that’s within your budget? If you know what funds you have to invest, you’re more likely to stick to your financial limits – regardless of whether you’re ‘invited’ to stretch yourself further or attracted by the bonus bonuses!

Do your own research before committing to anything

 No matter what you’re looking to buy, investigate the reviews and recommendations. If you’ve followed a particular online business for any amount of time, you’ll start to see the same select group of people writing reviews for their products. This doesn’t mean they’re going to necessarily be biased, but it does mean it can’t be ruled out. It’s far better to do your own research and ask your own group of connections for their input and recommendations before you make a decision.

Know what problem you’re looking to solve

If you can’t answer this and the product or course you’re looking to buy isn’t solving anything for you, your business or your clients, you’re suffering from FOMO!

Know what’s best for your customers

Following on from the previous point, there could be a course, ebook, or social media platform everyone is raving about and insisting you need to learn. But is it relevant to your clients? It doesn’t matter how great the content or how reasonable the investment, if it’s not going to be of help to your clients, you need to walk away.

Do you follow through on the things you buy?

It’s time for a little harsh reality here. If you’ve been accumulating courses and ebooks and not finishing them – what’s going to make this latest purchase any different? It’s a more constructive solution if you go through what you already have and actually put in the work to implement what you’ve learnt.  (How many books or courses have you bought that you have not yet read or used?)

Know what your business needs

If you need to have a clear picture of where your business is headed and what you need to get there. Having a business plan and clear goals will help highlight what you potentially need to invest in, to reach those desired end results. You can then make a rational and reasoned decision, based on your business needs – not your FOMO worries.

Focus on the gains, not just what you’re missing

As mentioned in the previous point, you need to know where you’re headed. You can then focus on any wins along the way. Most people who suffer from FOMO do so when they’re worried they’re missing out on something they haven’t thought of. However, if you spend your time worrying about what you’re missing – you’ll soon realise that’s a potentially ever-expanding list of might-needs!

Learn to trust yourself 

The longer you’re in business, the more you start to trust yourself and your decisions. It’s about growing that self-belief and confidence in yourself, so you listen to your intuition, rather than your fears. If you do nothing else in the personal development arena, work on your confidence and self-belief, as it will help you and your business to really grow and expand.

Have a respected and trusted friend to help you decide

If you doubt your own decisions or know you have a FOMO problem – take yourself out of the buying equation. I have clients who run most of their larger potential purchases through me, before hitting that buy button. This isn’t because I’ll necessarily know about the product, course or service they’re buying – it’s because the act of asking me gives them time to pause and reassess their choices. We can then run through a couple of quick questions to confirm whether it’s a good decision for them.

FOMO is something that affects a lot of business owners, but it doesn’t have to lead to bad or unwise purchases. If you follow the advice above you’ll know whether you’re pulling up your big girl pants and investing in something you really need and will benefit you, your business and/or your clients, or if you’re suffering from FOMO. 

No matter what stage of business you’re at, it’s crucial that you surround yourself with people who both understand business and understand what you’re going through. Not only will this help give you more confidence to trust your intuition and decisions, but it also helps your business to grow.

If you’re looking for additional and affordable, practical support, that will give you this support network, check out the VA Membership! You get access to resources and support, as well as a private place to share your fears and struggles – especially if you’re struggling with a buying decision or want an honest answer on whether something is worth investing in. The VA Membership is a great way to also invest in yourself and your business growth – so check out the details here.