Hey hey! Welcome back! It’s Friday, and you know what that means — it’s time for The Bullpen Sessions. And this is an extra exciting episode because it’s my 50th. That’s right, the big 5-0! I’m so grateful to have had 50 opportunities to share my best business advice with you guys.
I thought a lot about the topic for this milestone episode. I thought about discussing ways to create 50 pieces of social media content in one week (to go along with the 50 theme, of course), but I think I’ll save that for another time. Instead, I’m bringing you the three tiny, little words that completely changed my career forever.
These three short words are the best business advice I’ve ever received. They turned my career upside down and back again and changed everything about the way I do business. And they can change your career too. Are you ready? Do you want to find out the three words that will shift your career, your mindset, and your whole life? Are you sure? Okay, here they are:
I don’t know. That’s it — “I don’t know.”
What?! Really? All that build-up and excitement, and the three words are, “I don’t know”?! I hear you — I thought the same thing when the leaders of a Mastermind I attended shared those words with me. But there’s a little more explanation to it than that. Let’s dive in and see how “I don’t know” can reshape your career for the better.
Sometimes, We Just Can’t Predict the Results
Let me give you a little more explanation. A few years ago, I signed up for a class on social media. I knew that to grow my business, I needed to improve my social media presence and learn how to use different platforms as marketing tools. I figured that taking a class on the subject was an excellent way to do that.
I remember that this particular class required me to travel, so in addition to investing in the class itself, I spent money on travel expenses to attend a one-day Mastermind with two influential and respected thought leaders in the marketing industry. These two people are considered experts in the field, and they were going to take us to the next level by teaching us to be effective on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other platform. I was excited to work with these leaders in the industry — I knew that learning from their expertise would be an enormous benefit to me.
While I was at this Mastermind, I quickly noticed that all of us who were participating had been asking one central question: What results were we going to get?
We wanted to know exactly how much value we could get out of effective social media marketing strategies — whether in terms of dollars or clients or any other metric. We had paid to attend this Mastermind and participate in this class because we trusted that the experts leading us would teach us exactly what we needed to do to get a specific result. We wanted a formula, an easy correlation between social media posts and business growth.
So you can imagine our shock when the best advice they had for us was, “I don’t know.” We had paid money to hear from industry-leading experts, and they “didn’t know?!” But here’s the truth: That was the best advice they could have given us.
The bottom line is: It’s impossible to predict the results. I mean, sure, there are measurements that show that higher engagement on social media leads to more clients or more business, but the truth is that there’s no way to know for sure what kinds of posts or what frequency of posts are going to maximize your business. When it comes to marketing, you just can’t completely predict the results. There’s always going to be a certain amount of guesswork.
But don’t worry, that’s good news!
The Freedom of “I Don’t Know”
“Andy, really? What are you talking about?” I know, I know, it sounds weird. How could guesswork and uncertainty be a good thing for your business?
Answer: Because it gives you the freedom to experiment.
In particular, when it comes to social media marketing, we just don’t know exactly what works and what doesn’t. So, instead of following a formula that says, “If you create X amount of posts, you’ll get X amount of clients,” you get to be creative. You have to experiment.
For example, maybe you have an idea for an infographic you want to share on Instagram, you have to test it. Put it out there, and see how your audience responds. If it works, and you get a positive response or new followers or more business — great! Now you’ve learned that fun, interesting infographics resonate with your audience. If it doesn’t work — you’ve learned that you need to tweak your posts a little. You have the opportunity to fine-tune your marketing strategy and keep experimenting until you figure out what resonates with your target audience.
Admitting when you don’t know something gives you the freedom to play. It gives you room to test out different ideas, strategies, tools, and tactics that you haven’t tried before. They may work, they may not, and either way, you’ve learned something.
And this applies to more than just marketing. This principle will work in every area of your business, too. If you have an idea for a new product, try it! I don’t know if it will work, but it’s worth a try. If you have an idea for a website redesign — go ahead and experiment. Maybe you want to start a podcast or video series. You might not know if it will immediately result in an abundance of new clients, but that’s exactly why you should test it out.
I centered this episode around the three words “I don’t know,” but “always be testing” would work just as well. Always be testing your new ideas in your business until you figure out what works best for you and your audience. The strategies and products that work for your business might not work for someone else, and they might not work according to some formula. But if they work, they work, and they’ll probably work again and again. Don’t be afraid to try out new ideas — even when you can’t guarantee the result. Eventually, you’ll get the results you want, and you’ll learn a ton from the process of testing along the way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Messy Action
When you’re starting a new business, it’s easy and often tempting to make excuses. “I don’t have the money right now.” “I don’t have enough time.” Do those sound familiar? I get it — it can be scary to invest time and money into something that might not work. But here’s the bottom line: Without action, you get nowhere.
It’s going to be messy, but taking action without any certainty of the outcome is the best advice your business career needs right now. If you’re trying to build and grow a business, the most important thing you can do is take any action at all. Don’t wait behind easy excuses. When you do that, you sit still and never improve anything. But when you take action — even messy action — you give yourself the chance to learn, grow, and create new opportunities for yourself.
That’s why you have to start taking action, and you have to do it today. Please hear my urgency about this — you must start taking messy action right now. And don’t be afraid of it! Even if you try out an idea and it doesn’t work, at least you tried, and you’ll know what not to do next time. That’s already an improvement in your business strategy! And if it does work, you’ll start seeing the results you want faster than you can imagine.
You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t take messy action. You will sit still, and your business will stay at the same level. If you want to see growth, you have to do something, anything. You might have to change your strategy or style — you might have to tweak, adapt, or pivot. That’s okay! Tweaks don’t indicate failure. Neither do pivots. But you are never going to get anywhere if you don’t take action.
What Messy Action Will You Take Today?
What idea have you been thinking about for a long time that you haven’t followed through on yet? What actions have you been considering?
Let this episode be the inspiration you need to take messy action. Test out your ideas! You’ll either get the result you want to see or learn a valuable lesson. Either way, your action was not wasted.
Don’t waste any more time without taking action. Please hear my urgency — take action today. Invest in that coaching program. Launch your new podcast. Post your new content to Instagram. Whatever you’ve been trying to work up the courage to do — you have my permission to test it right now. Give it a try — you’ll be glad you did.
I hope this episode inspired you today! I hope it pushed you to take a risk and try something new in your business. If it did, I hope you’ll share it on Instagram! Take a screenshot, share your biggest takeaway from the episode, and tag me, @andy_neary. And if you would be so kind, please leave me a good review over on Apple Podcasts. Every review helps new listeners find this show!
You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.
Thanks for joining me on my 50th episode today, guys! I hope you got something valuable out of it. Until next time — take messy action! You never know what incredible results you could receive.
Catch you later —