How to avoid the road blocks and limiting beliefs that pop up while building in public 🚧
The journey is not without its bumps. Here are some tips based on my experience.
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The path of building in public is not without it’s obstacles and limiting beliefs.
I’ve had a fair share of struggles and road blocks where I almost quit but thankfully I didn’t. I have been heavily tested but I somehow persevered and over time these things affect me less now.
Here are the most common roadblocks you might face as a founder and how to overcome those (based on my experience):
1. Giving up too soon
The biggest hurdle you’ll face in your BIP journey is your inner voice telling you that this is pointless. Especially if you don’t see quick results/outcomes. But you’re not alone.
It took me 2 years to feel confident about my path. Not 2 years of passive participation but publishing tweets & engaging with others day in and day out. I went from 414 to 3,000 followers in a painfully slow timeframe of 24 months. I almost gave up many times.
Then I hit a critical inflection point right around 3k followers and from there it’s been a smoother ride. Now in Jan 2023, I am at 40.4k followers. I have been growing steadily the last few months but more importantly I stopped worrying about follower growth alone. I focus on how BIP is helping me in intangible ways.
How to overcome this:
Stop looking at the metrics to determine if you want to continue or not
Be extremely patient
Focus on your intrinsic motivation “are you learning and growing?” “Are you having fun sharing your ideas and expressing yourself?” “is the act of documenting and reflecting in public helping you therapeutically?”
Focus on your intangible wins that BIP brings to you like:
More serendipity with the right like-minded people
More lucky intros and connections
More customers discovering about your company
More community engagement with you
More credibility for you in your niche as a strong voice
Your value prop, the positioning and the narrative of your vision gets clearer over time
2. Self doubt
Another demon that will likely come out from the closet as you begin building in public is self doubt. It raises ridiculous questions like:
who made you the authority/expert to tweet about this topic?
what if people find out you are not that good?
what if your customers and investors think you’re sharing too much?
what if all your effort goes to waste and you see no results?
Well, this is all too common. Here’s what I had to say about self-doubt once:
Self-doubt is the biggest barrier while writing. Write NOT to stand out as an authority but someone with a sense of curiosity. That way if people show you new information, you can be open to changing your mind. Writing allows your reflect in public.
How to overcome this:
think like a teacher who wants to share your knowledge with others, not an expert who knows it all
acknowledge that self doubt is part of the journey and everyone feels this (including the top 1%)
focus more on sharing an act of service than an audition for your talents
worry less about impressing your peers or those you admire but more of those who need help (typically people 2-3 years behind you for whom your content is valuable)
3. Comparison trap
The most dangerous trap to avoid while building in public and being pro active with your social media is comparing others’ results with yours.
They say “don’t count someone else’s money.” I say don’t focus on someone else’s audience or stats. Be obsessed about your personal growth. You don’t know their full story and it’s unfair to compare their page 88 with your page 2.
How to overcome this:
be relentlessly focussed in your daily and monthly improvement
remember that comparison is an unhealthy activity and instead cheer and celebrate others’ success (which leads to more friendships btw)
4. Acting like an artist
The last road block I want to address is our inclination to act like an artist when we create something new. Think like a scientist who runs experiments, not an artist who’s too attached to the art.
Art is about expressing yourself. This is great when you are getting started. Don’t hold back, just focus on volume alone.
But over time, you will need a 2nd layer to focus on. That is value.
Are my content & stories adding value or not? Most people just tweet without ever referring to what the data is saying. You don’t need to check daily.. but every once in a while it is healthy to look for patterns of content that is resonating.
How to overcome this:
look at Twitter Analytics
look at which tweet is getting a huge set of replies that say “finally someone said it” or “thank you for sharing this”
look at which tweet thread is being bookmarked a lot or being added to “read wise”
So that’s it. These are my tips to navigate the most common roadblocks and challenges in the path of building in public. Hit reply and let me know if these were helpful and if you have any questions :)
Shoutouts and Sponsors
#1. Build In Public Founder's Manual
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18 chapters of detailed notes and takeaways from my 5 years of building in public
honest and authentic take on the upside and downsides of building in public
actionable, clear and ready-to-use frameworks and examples for Twitter
10 proven BIP strategies I recommend
7 case studies to learn from
How I Build In Public: My 9 Secrets
Templates You Can Reuse And Remix
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And that’s a wrap for now!
Thank you for giving your attention and checking this edition out.
Would really appreciate it if you can take 5 seconds and pay it forward to help someone else leverage these tips by sharing this article on Twitter/Linkedin and tag me (@thisiskp_). Feel free to DM me for cross-promotions or ad sponsorships.