Someone Has to Go First – Let It Be You KDS: 137

someone has to go first

This episode is brought to you by Omnisend. Send email & SMS that really sell.
Try Omnisend free here today.

Someone has to go first.

I don’t remember where I heard that (or read it), but it certainly struck a nerve.

I wrote it down because I knew it would be a podcast episode the minute I read it.

Before we go into that, though, let’s do a quick catch-up and recap, shall we?

I’m kind of tripping out that we’re almost halfway through March already.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. I looked at the weather for the next ten days, and after a couple of days of potential showers and clouds, it’s all blue skies, sunshine, and warmer weather (mid to upper 60s).

I feel like I’ve been quiet lately because I had the “Everything is Content” episodes ready to go (even if the last two didn’t go out when I had hoped).

I’m going to do a full break-down of Everything is Content now that I’ve:

  • Published the email series and blog post
  • Published the email series as videos and podcast episodes
  • Republished the series on Medium
  • Hosted my first live workshop
  • I am about to offer the first live cohort

This is all part of a long-term strategy for me, and hot damn if it isn’t working.

The gas is about to be poured on this using Laurel Portié’s $ 5-a-day ad strategy, and I’m beyond excited to see how this all unfolds.

On the personal side of things…

I shared that I’ll be moving back to Costa Rica this summer sometime last month (maybe that’s why I’m tripping out that it’s mid-March already), and as the time gets closer, I’m getting more and more excited.

But there’s a lot to do in the meantime.

My Dad has finally decided to list his house for sale and is looking at moving down to the city where my siblings live (the same city where I raised my kids). We’re hoping to get the house up for sale before the end of the month.

Which means decluttering and getting the house ready for staging, photos, and viewings.

Keep in mind there are 56 years of stuff in this house. 😳

We’ve already started the process, and my siblings are coming up to help, so we should be able to knock things out by the end of this weekend.

And between you and I… I’m kind of hoping I’m not here for the actual move. I have done so much moving in the past five years I wouldn’t mind skipping this one (although I’ll be doing a lot of packing and purging before I leave).

That’s the beauty of moving back to Costa Rica... all I have to do is take my clothes, my dog, my computer, and any decor I want for my place. It’s completely furnished (although I will be hauling another mattress down).

OK… I think we’re all caught up now.

Let’s get into “Someone Has to Go First”

First, what I’m referring to here isn’t about being ‘first to market’ or ‘first to adopt’ (although I do think the ‘first to adopt’ comes into play here).

This is specifically related to content and the creator economy as we know it today.

When I was getting started in 2008, it felt like everyone was new to the online marketing space, and we were all figuring it out as a collective.

Of course, some direct-response marketers were much more seasoned and had brought their offline skills online, but for the most part, it was a fairly new space at the time.

Social media was new, blogging was still new, and earning a living online was like the Wild West.

I think we need to pretend it’s those early days again.

And not because of AI (which I love), saturated markets, pay-to-play social media platforms, or algorithms.

Because of the massive amounts of information at our fingertips, it feels like someone is already doing what we want to do or everyone already knows what we know.

I will assume I’m not the only one with those thoughts, so bear with me with the collective ‘we’ in this episode.

This is how I decided to bring back “Everything is Content.”

I created that phrase in 2016 and started actively using it in 2018.

We used it with the first content planner brand, and after we closed that brand, I wasn’t really sure what direction I was heading in.

My focus has always been digital marketing, content marketing, and, in the last few years, email and newsletters… but I felt ‘split’ between my personal brand and the content planner brand.

However, I’ve always shared my own journey, personal stories, and interests along with business content (the more you practice a ‘mash-up’ of this, the easier it gets).

Then I came across Dan Koe’s video “You Are the Most Profitable Niche,” and it felt like FINALLY! Someone else is saying what I’ve been thinking for years.

And then I start seeing content like this:

And who knows… I’m sure there’s an element of awareness happening here.

Meaning that once I became aware again of what I’m calling my “anti-ONLY-niche” stance, I started seeing it everywhere.

It’s kind of like when you purchase a new car, and all of a sudden, you start seeing it everywhere.

At the end of the day, though, none of that really matters.

What matters is that this changes the content game.

And I, for one, am here for it all.

What’s Getting in Your Way

The biggest thing I see getting in people’s way is knowledge bias.

knowledge bias

Knowledge bias is “the curse of knowledge” or “the curse of expertise. It’s a cognitive bias where we incorrectly assume that everyone knows as much as we do on any given topic” (definition courtesy of Google).

Here’s the kicker with knowledge bias: it’s usually accompanied by its even more annoying friend, Imposter Syndrome (how fun is this image? Created by yours truly with the help of DALL-E).

knowledge bias and imposter syndrome

Knowledge Bias causes us to undervalue our skills, knowledge, and expertise, believing that they’re not valuable enough or that we want to present something as good.

Imposter Syndrome has us feeling like we’re not skilled or knowledgeable enough to contribute.

Talking about both here is a perfect example.

Plenty of people have already written about Knowledge Bias and Imposter Syndrome. I could have very easily decided that I didn’t have enough to say or assumed that someone else had said it better.

The latter is absolutely possible.

But to whom?

This is based on the assumption that anyone listening to or reading this has the exact same experience as I do.

A tad ludicrous when you think of it that way, isn’t it?

I had a call last week with a woman who subscribed to my newsletter because she sent me this:


I love your newsletter!! I’m so grateful I stumbled on you while searching for ideas to start my own business towards the end of last year. I appreciate how real you are in your newsletters, the approach you take in business, and the guidance you share on living a happy life. 

You inspire me in every email—it feels like we are BFFs because of how you share your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for putting yourself out there and inspiring my belief that I really will be able to start my own business. 

I’m rooting for you and your success! 💕”

Overcoming Knowledge Bias

So, what do you about it?

To quote author Susan Jeffers, you “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

I know that’s not super helpful, so let’s get a little more specific:

  1. Unique Perspectives Matter: We all have our own experiences, knowledge, and interpretations. That’s what makes us unique. What might seem obvious to one person is a mind-blowing experience to another. It is vitally important that you value your own experiences.
  2. The Long Tail of Interest: There are 738 billion people on the planet, so there is plenty to go around. The vast internet reach means there’s likely an audience for whatever you’re passionate about (where most people drop the ball is in promoting their work).
  3. Learning or Practicing in Public: This is some of the easiest content to create. You can’t get it wrong, and you’re never done. Sharing the learning process is just as valuable as sharing expert knowledge. Let go of thinking it might turn off a potential client or customer… it makes you relatable and trustworthy.

Take Mr. Beast, for example.

And confession… I’ve never actually watched any of his videos.

I have, however, heard a handful of people talk about him.

Dr. Benjamin Hardy talks about him in his book, ‘Be Your Future Self NOW,” when he tells the story of how Mr. Beast recorded a video from his future self, envisioning the growth he wanted for his YouTube channel.

Mr. Beast bet on himself.

He went from doing a little bit with his YouTube channel, where he posted uninspiring gaming videos, to a worldwide phenomenon (and an estimated net worth of $500 million).

You don’t have to want to be as big as Mr. Beast (I certainly don’t. I don’t have the desire or energy, haha)… but you do have to bet on yourself.

How This Applies to “Someone Has to Go First”

Once you’ve been in business for a while, it’s easy to get caught up in the trap of “the same.”

We do the same things our peers, coaches, and creators whose products we’ve purchased are doing.

If it worked for them, we should be able to apply the exact same strategies and get the same results, right?


Solid marketing strategies work, especially when you apply them with the intention of creating and gathering data.

“Fill in the blank” doesn’t work.

This is my biggest pet peeve about writing templates.

Using formulas that worked for one person whose brand and voice are nothing like your own probably won’t work for you, AND… you won’t enjoy doing it because it doesn’t feel right.

And to reiterate a point I make over and over again: learning to write well on the web is the best thing you can do for your business.

  • Someone Has to Go First: Progress and innovation require someone to go first. Take the first step; your audience is waiting for your unique voice and perspective. Breaking new ground doesn’t have to happen on a massive scale.
  • The Ripple Effect: There are plenty of stories to draw from for inspiration from someone who started small (all of us, right?), and the idea took on a life of its own. The beauty of starting small is that it is how we learn and practice.
  • The Iterative Process: I have fallen in love with this idea lately. It’s nothing new, but I finally “get it.” The nature of creating is an iterative process. The first attempt doesn’t have to be perfect. Each iteration is a step towards improving and finding your voice.
  • Community and Collaboration: As the saying goes, no man (or woman), is an island. Communities and collaboration provide invaluable feedback. They also provide encouragement and support that help us overcome our own biases and fears.
  • Imperfect Action Over Perfection: This might sound harsh, but claiming that you’re not hitting publish because you’re a perfectionist is an excuse. It’s how you keep yourself small. Starting is always more important than waiting for the perfect moment or idea or getting it ‘right.’

The creator economy (and when I say creator, I’m referring to content creators, coaches, course creators, and agencies) is starting to feel like a lot of ‘sameness’.

It kind of reminds me of home decor and trends, which, by the way, I’ve seen a lot of pushback on lately.

The idea is that we’re supposed to decorate our homes for ‘future resale’ value instead of making them feel like a space we want to live in (unless, of course, your intention is to move in, renovate, and resell in a short period of time).

Why wouldn’t you make it feel like YOU?!?!

The house I rented in Boise (in 2020) was very cookie-cutter and had a gray theme (which, thankfully, is on its way out). After a while, the walls felt like I was in prison.

The kitchen was beautiful, but that was about it. I added removable wallpaper to the office, so I had a little color (best invention ever, by the way).

Your business should feel the same.

Like YOU.

Yes we’re supposed to know who we’re talking to and the problems we solve for them. Put aside some of the principles of direct marketing and copywriting for a hot minute.

You need to be willing to listen to what feels right for you.

And as a little disclaimer, remember that it may take time to find what “feels right.”

Be careful not to use that as an excuse for not starting.

Particularly if you’re not doing anything at all (in terms of publishing or driving traffic).

Regardless of what market, niche, or industry you’re in… you need traffic. That can come via paid acquisition (advertising) or organic content.

Ideally, you find a combination of both that works for you.

Either way… don’t be afraid to go first.

We need new voices and perspectives all the time.

the SPARK Newsletter

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.