Digital Presence & Marketing Strategy

Are You Afraid to Ask for Success Online?

fear of failure - starting an online business

What is FEAR?

(pardon the picture, I couldn’t resist 🙂 )

Why do you have FEAR of Success (or is that even possible)?

One of my favorite quotes was from a client I work with. He said the following:

NO is the first two letters of ‘Not Yet!’

Now how does this apply to making money on the internet?

If you always let fear hold you back from making important contacts, talking to suppliers, interviewing the big names in your industry, etc. you’ll never see the results you are hoping for – GUARANTEED!

Do I need to state that again for clarification?  If you don’t Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and ask for success, it won’t come!

Here’s an excerpt from a client who has stepped out of her comfort zone again and again:

I just went out and got 6 local businesses to let me look at their websites and make recommendations, in return they will give me ringing endorsements and testimonials so I can [get] started… I also posted on craigslist, I also applied for my local Rotary…Nate when I started I was shaking in my shoes! By the end of my trip down main street with my 6 yes and 2 no’s, I was singing!! I gave out my business cards to everyone and I now remember how good all this feels!! (bold added for emphasis)

Fear is defined by Wikipedia as:

…an emotional response to threats and danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of pain…

Fear should be distinguished from the related emotional state of anxiety, which typically occurs without any external threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. (bold added for emphasis)

Recently I was given the opportunity to Guest Post for Darren Rowse, the famous blogger at and the new  I guest posted on How to Set Up a Twitter Account.  Here’s a portion of that post:

Step 1: Go to – You’ll see this page

Read the rest of the article and please comment!

I truly feel this is one of those “Small Successes” that is leading to “Big Success!”

  • Was I a bit reluctant to ask about the opportunity, absolutely – What if he says NO?
  • Was I afraid my content wouldn’t be good enough? For sure…

But the bottom line is, I asked, and it worked!  If you never ask for what you want, you’ll never get it!

What experiences have YOU had where you stepped out of your comfort zone and saw direct results from overcoming your fear?

23 replies on “Are You Afraid to Ask for Success Online?”

Great article! It’s all about doing. Test, tweak, try again, succeed. It’s rare that we get it right the first time… I’m all about putting your best foot forward, learning, and pushing forward once again.

This is a good post and congrats for getting on Problogger!!

Fear stops a lot of students from seeing success once they believe it’s possible to make money online (the first hurdle).

I’ve faced a lot of fear. At the beginning of each new job or phone call or speech my biggest fear is that I don’t know enough. So I’m always studying and trying to improve.

I’m really good at times talking the talk. I talked a lot about Internet marketing at one of my jobs. But I had never tried (only read about) the techniques I recommended. I wasn’t certain they worked but I thought they would. I was approached by the VP of development who kept asking me questions. It eventually led to me being promoted. But I had very little actual experience. There was no one there who did.

At that point I started testing what I’d learned and talked about. It was scary. I was the first person in the position. I had to prove myself. This risk launched the career that I still have in internet marketing.

I wish none of us were afraid of no. We make it mean something – like we’re not good enough, we’re not liked, or we’ve failed. That’s not what it means at all, it’s not a judgment on you. The more you ask the easier it is.

Practice asking for smaller things you don’t really care about or need. Sometimes I’ve surprised myself what I’ll ask for and in turn how much I get. Get comfortable asking for small things so you can ask for bigger things. Also remember to be generous with others when they ask you for things that you can help them out with.


Great response – again “Small Success leads to Big Success!” and you couldn’t have said it any better.

No is not a personal attack – it’s a stepping stone we have to get by if we’re going to get the big deals. The easy deals never come, and if they do, it always makes me wonder “What’d I do wrong!?”

It’d be fun to keep a running total of how many “No’s” I got before a “Yes” to a big deal. As I keep track continuously be asking myself, “Why’d they say no and what can I do better next time to answer that question in my presentation?”

I remember talking to a College Sports Advertising Consultant that said their strategy was to answer all the common reasons for saying No in the “Elevator Pitch” (the initial blast). If you give them no options to express a common excuse – we don’t have it in the budget, etc. – it’s harder to say No.

Thanks again for the great comment!

Dude 100% agree! The comfort zone can kill your business, and keep you from becoming successful. The best thing that I can pass onto anyone is making sure that you can take some failure in your life, because once the success comes, it is pure bliss! Great post!!!!


Thanks for the encouragement. Fear is the only thing that can hold us back from achieving our goals. Your advice has really helped our site.


I’m glad the advice in helping SOMEONE – I know it helps me to write things out and realize that there’s always better ways to do things.

We’ll have to go to lunch one of these days to talk things over more.

Thanks for the comment! Come back again!

Hey Nate,

i think we all have to go through this. in fact, i think it’s safe to say that we have to go through this multiple times, but eventually it gets easier. nice work on getting the post with Problogger!

Who hasn’t gone through failure before they succeed? If you can tell me one person, I’ll take you to lunch!

Glad we got to go to Blog World together and meet ProBlogger – it helped me overcome my fear of talking to blogging big-dogs like him.

Thanks for the comment.

Incredible post discuss a topic here that most people only think about…and some of us dont even do that. By bringing it up, and opening up the thinking, you’re helping people break through their own self-imposed barriers. I know when I approached Jay Levinson, Bob Bly, Brian Tracy and many other big names in the business world for blurbs for my book, there was definitely some fear there, but after they said YES, it was such a great feeling..I really cant describe it. Better than that though was when I received their positive comments! It never hurts to ask. Thats all we have to do…is ASK!
Thanks Nate

Jon Wuebben
Author, Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web

It’s true that the first big contact is always the hardest. Once you’ve broke the ice, it gets so much easier. I look forward to speaking with you more about your book. We need to plan a time to interview you for a podcast.

Talk to you soon – thanks for the comment!

“you Miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky

I am always nervous, but I keep moving forward because…well, I can;t stand still! I never thought I would finish my latest book, but I kept working at it and I finally did. By the way, it’s called “Unemployed for a Living” and it’s all about people who took chances to succeed at online business. You can get a free copy here: Free Unemployed for a Living Book

Great quote by Wayne Gretzky – there isn’t a better quote for this post: if you never take the shots, you shouldn’t plan on being the leagues top scorer. It’s the same with internet marketing and running an online business, if you never do the things you’ve seen other successful marketers do, how can you expect success to follow?

Thanks for the comment and the plug in your new book. I’m in the process of reading it now.

Readers, make sure to download it and check it out!

To be an entrepreneur you need to be a risk taker. Fear is always a part of the equation it’s just how you react to it that matters. Take action and things will happen. Sit back and fear will take over.
I’m not saying that it’s easy but Fear can be overcome.

“The only thing we need to fear is fear itself”. I think FDR said that and I think it’s appropriate in today’s economic climate. Businessess need to face fear and try new things to keep going otherwise fear will paralyze you.


I grew up with a lot of negativity in my life as a child. I love my parents, but I can’t tell you how many times I heard “you can’t do that” or “It is the way it is”. I took me a long time to figure out that being shy will gain you nothing. Going after and asking for what you want is the only way to succeed. One of my favorite people to listen to is Brian Tracy and he speaks of this concept all the time. No one is going to come to you about your lack of work. One more plug and I’ll go. If anyone likes this concept, watch “The Secret” ( Amazing video! Great post as usual.

Props to Mark Kaye. Love the Gretzky Quote.

So true! It’s all about mindset really – “If you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right!”

If you never ask for success, you might as well expect failure. Thanks for the great comment and the reference to The Secret.

Keep in touch!

The one thing I have learned in life as I have gone along is that most if not all people don’t see the things that you do. In other words, no one notices all of the stuff you are worried about, so there really is no reason to be worried. Just go for it and 90% of the time, if not more, it works and just let the other percentage go so that you can move on and hopefully learn from it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *