Scared or Broke | Which Online Marketing Opportunity Are You Choosing?

Online Marketing OpportunityAn abundance of online marketing opportunity surrounds us, everywhere.  But, like air, we often forget it’s there until we start to feel it’s powerful push against us.

I’ve been feeling it’s push gaining strength for a while now and I’m nervously excited about where it’s going.  And through this process, I’ve found a secret to overcoming fears that blow up when we’re taking on a new online marketing opportunity.  This secret creates a mindset that is a whole lot stronger than the fear can ever be and I’m excited to share it with you here.

But first,

I went this weekend with my family to Canoecopia in Madison Wisconsin.  (Obviously not an online marketing opportunity, but a great marketing opportunity none the less. Let me explain…) The Rutabaga store gets all the vendors together in one place to share their goods, educate their consumers to the benefits of the products, and highlights local and not-so local small businesses, boat builders, etc.  It’s a once a year event, and my parents, myself (hubby was sick), my sister and husband and all 6 grandchildren made the one hour trek to go look at boats, camping equipment, etc. (That’s my dad and my daughter in the antique sailing canoe to the left.)

My dad was cracking up at my 3 year old son asking “Why, Poppy?” about a thousand times.  My dad proudly informed me that I had every “Why?” coming to me, and then some.  That I was the most curious kid he’d ever known, and that all 6 grandchildren combined wouldn’t hold a candle to my “why’s” (which later evolved into “how’s.”)

I believe him.  I like canoeing and kayaking, but I don’t love it, and although I wanted to go to be with my family, I wasn’t overly excited about it.  But once I was there, I couldn’t help but to be amazed, walking up and down the aisles looking at all the clever ideas people had come up with!  I’m not kidding, there was everything you could imagine, from tables to hang off trees, to cup holders that would clip to a side of a canoe.  Folding kayaks, and even little tie-down straps that will bolt to the frame of the car, and give you something strong to anchor a tie-down to.

I loved seeing the ingenuity, and everything people created boiled down to solving a problem of some kind or another. I took away from it a huge lesson and a new awareness to myself and how to push forward in my business when fear is holding me back from taking the next step in an internet marketing opportunity.

My Latest Online Marketing Opportunity:

I just took a leap of faith into a new online marketing opportunity and launched the Clever Marketer Mastermind Community last week.  Many of my readers have complimented me for stretching myself, pushing myself, and saying things like “I want what you’re on.” (I love you guys–thanks for encouraging me!)

They saw the finished project. What they didn’t see, were sleepless nervous nights I laid there wondering if I was making a mistake, if this was the right thing to do, wondering if anyone would even join.

In fact, I talked to Eric Walker, from Ann Sieg‘s team last week, as he called to ask me about what I was doing, planning, and such.  I was scared to even talk to him, because a part of me was afraid that he’d advise me to hold off. Inside I felt that maybe I wasn’t ready for something this big yet.

I’m not kidding when I said that every obstacle that could come up, did. I felt like a bride the week before her wedding, trying to tie up every lose end and make sure that I had thought of “everything.”  Did everything go the way I hoped it would with opening up the blog marketing forum and membership area?  Not by a long shot.  But I’m learning that it’s just part of the game.

Mistakes, failures, or “oopsies” as my 3 year old says are going to happen.  But I’ve learned to not let them drag me down for long.

Pursuing a new online marketing opportunity, business opportunity, or even a relationship opportunity can make us face our fears.  I can’t think of anything new I’ve tried online so far where I wasn’t scared before I did it, but looking back it has always turned out to be good.

Even the marketing mistakes ended up good, because they taught me important lessons.

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” ~Jim Rohn

Embrace a New Online Marketing Opportunity and Overcome Fears:

We can’t grow if we let our fears run us. We’ll never reach more people, we’ll never make money, we’ll never sponsor that next person, we’ll never know what we’re capable of, if we let fear keep us from moving forward.

I got this email message today from

“First, choose from the options that thrill you.
Then, choose the ones that also teach you.
And from these, Heather, choose the scariest.
Butterflies in your tummy are good,
The Universe”

When deciding to move forward on a new Internet marketing opportunity, the scared part of me wants to pull me back, but there’s something stronger pushing me forward.  It’s become my secret to successfully moving forward.  It’s caused me to do things I NEVER thought I would be able to do.

My secret weapons of fear, are you my readers and curiosity.  Seeing what you are going through in your businesses, learning what your struggles are, and getting curious about finding a solution which leads me to the questions, “Why are people struggling?  How can I help them.”

So this is where I turn it over to you.  What are you holding back from in your business? Video, podcasts, starting your blog, joining our mastermind community?  Whatever it is, I promise if you take the focus off of you and turn it toward finding a solution for someone else, you’ll be able to overcome your fears!

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, as well as have your help spreading this post around social media.

You can stay comfortable and broke or allow yourself to be scared but move forward anyway.  I promise you, comfortable is not the online marketing opportunity you want to choose!




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  1. Hey Heather,

    What a beautiful and powerful message you are conveying here! So true, if we let fears take control of our lives, we will never get anywhere in life or in business.

    I’m really proud of you for pulling this gigantic project off. I know that you put a lot of time and effort in, to make sure that this is everything you ever wanted.

    This is a perfect example that you don’t need to be a “guru” to create something like this. It’s all about determination, focus and the burning desire to help others.

    When I joined your blogging challenge I was scared and not confident that I’d be able to post 5 times a week like the top bloggers do. Now, I can’t believe that I have already published 52 pieces of unique content! 🙂

    Thanks very much for all you do and the inspiration, Heather.

    You ROCK!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Mavis!

      I agree, guru’s need not apply, we’re real people creating real results and no one needs guru status to make things happen in their businesses and lives! 🙂

      You are a blogging machine, Mavis! I’m amazed at all the incredible content you’ve shared regularly. I know I’m behind and I’ve lost count! You, on the other hand have totally upped your game and your blog, traffic, and rankings prove it!

      Way to go!


  2. Hi Heather,

    You did it! And we are ever thankful for all that you do. I couldn’t possibly imagine how you are able to do all the things you do, especially this new big project you launched. I must say that you are one of the few leaders who are able to form a movement! This truly shows how a leader with a servant’s heart can definitely move people into action, without having to have “guru” status (as Mavis also said).

    When I stumbled into your blog, I knew that what you offer are great home-based business resources and tips, but look at you now! You brought your online marketing skills to the next level, that you are now a mentor to more and more people, a leader worth following and learning from.

    You inspire us , Heather…


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thank you, Rowena!

      I so appreciate you sharing your comment here. To be honest, if you’d look at my laundry pile and the dishes that seem to be in the sink every day, you’d realize that I didn’t get as much done as you might think. LOL But for me, it’s been important to prioritize and not let excuses get in the way.

      I don’t think I”m the one to form a movement…I think it’s the collective power of each of us, bringing others on board. No one could do it alone…it takes an online team to make things like this happen and I’m so grateful for your help in spreading the word.

      You’re an amazing marketer Rowena, and I’m so glad we met! 🙂


  3. There is definitely a lot of online marketing opportunity out there, but it can get a little intimidating when you take on a new online marketing opportunity.

    I agree with your point though that pursuing a new online marketing opportunity can make use face our fears, and we can’t grow if we let our fears run us.

    I have a number of different things I am holding back from in my business, but everyday I am finding the strenght to move forward and try new things.

    Also, it looks as if you had a great time in Canoecopia, I hope to go one day with my family. Thanks for sharing Heather, I plan to move forward even though I am afraid sometimes.

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi John,

      You’re right that we can’t grow if we let our fears run us. I don’t think there is an entrepreneur alive who doesn’t face fears every day.

      Kind of makes it fun, like a challenge, to push ourselves daily to grow! 🙂

      Thanks for your comment and best wishes for your continued growth!


  4. Hi Heather… I have a 5-year goal list hanging on the refrigerator, not far from where I work. When I’m planning my to do work list for the day, I always make sure that what I’m doing is moving me closer to achieving those goals.

    The thing is, I’ve never been much of a goal list maker. But I’m finding that with an end destination in mind that I don’t have as many mental stop signs as I did when I just kinda floating out there. I know that I’m working towards something that I really want and that REALLY motivates me.

    Yes, I do get nervous when I’m putting myself out there. But then again, I know that everyone gets nervous. Even highly successful people get nervous.

    I didn’t know you prior to the CM Mastermind Community, but I for one am glad that you didn’t allow your fears to stop you from this project. Your work has already inspired me.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thank you Dahlia! I think having your goals on your fridge is a brilliant idea and would definitely help someone stay focused.

      There’s something to falling in love with the rush of doing something new and seeing what works and what doesn’t!

      I am looking forward to getting to know you better through the commenting tribe! 🙂


  5. You said it perfectly, Heather. It’s so true that when we take the focus off ourselves and put it on helping someone else, the fears go away. Thanks for being such a great example of living that :).

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thanks Leanne!

      I appreciate you commenting! You’re a great example of putting your focus on others too, my friend!


  6. Heather, aloha. Let me begin my saying CONGRATULATIONS! You not only stepped out of your comfort zone, you created a masterpiece that will enrich the lives of those who choose to participate. What a gift.

    Here is a quote from Marianne Williamson that I think is absolutely perfectfor such growth times.

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    Thank you, Heather. Aloha. Janet

    • Heather Stephens says:

      I needed to read that quote again, Janet. Thank you for sharing it!

      Playing small does not serve the world. I need to tatoo that on the back of my hands so I see it every time I’m sitting at the computer. 🙂 I think I’ll settle for a post-it note on my screen to remind me!

      Thanks for commenting!


  7. Hi Heather,

    what a wonderful message and thanks also for sharing your fears and self-doubts. Congratulations to your new baby and I am happy and grateful to be one of the members “of the first hour” (German saying)

    I agree with Mavis that I never would have thought myself capable of publishing 55 blog posts in 9 weeks so far before I joined our challenge. You know that fear was holding me back.

    It was simply a decision to push the fear aside and to get started.

    Did other things suffer ? Yes, they did, to be completely honest, even follow up with new leads which is normally one of my strenghts, but somehow the challenge was more important.

    Now, that we’re nearly done with the challenge, the fear is back, saying that I can’t create the last 15 posts. Isn’t that interesting ?

    It’s too ridiculous, isn’t it ?

    Take care


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Oliver!

      I hear you about other things suffering…it boils down to focusing on what’s important in the moment.

      I’ve had to force myself to put off the posting until some other tasks were completed first, like team activities and it wasn’t always easy, but unlike you…I’ve not produced content 5 times a week like I had originally planned.

      Working on this project caused me to fall behind on my schedule, but it felt more important, creating something that would serve others in a bigger way.

      I still hope to get caught up…in fact I wrote 3 blog posts today. 🙂

      You inspire me by your steady focus and commitment, Oliver!

      Keep up the great work!

  8. Wow, that was powerful, Heather!

    I could relate to what you were saying. Because I get afraid every time I put myself out there in a new way, including joining your mastermind community!

    But I’m not afraid when no one knows who I am. The fear comes when people begin to see me (LOL) and talk to me like I’m actually there.

    I’m going to ponder both my fear of visibility and your words of encouragement. Because I’m getting just past the time I usually quit something and I’ve been doing really well at not stopping. This encouragement is one more thing that will help me stay put.


    • Heather Stephens says:


      You know, your statement about the fear coming when people begin to see you is a common thing for us online marketers I believe. There is something so “safe” about being vulnerable online to a bunch of strangers. Kind of like having an online persona versus our face to face persona. I’ve found that I can be bolder online in my writing than I can in video for instance, although I’m trying to change that. 🙂

      Stick with it…you’re doing so awesome and I’ll be happy to dish out more encouragement as you need it…just speak up, okay?


  9. Hi Heather, you message hit close to home with me. A few weeks ago shut down my old blog on blogger and started a new one with wordpress. For the past few weeks I have been putting the nuts and bolts of my blog together with the help of my blog designer. I think I’m about finished but, I haven’t put up any content yet because I not confident that my content will look as good as my blog. Yah I know that’s a silly thought.

    I have to give high praise to you and everyone in this community on the awesome content you all are producing. I have learned a lot in these past few weeks with you. Heather, your post has encouraged my to step out of my comfort zone and to start posting on my blog. If you or anyone has good advice to give me please shoot me an eMail.

    • Heather Stephens says:


      Have you joined our community yet? Please do so if you haven’t! I can’t think of a better place for you to get advice and support to help you grow your new blog!

      I’m sure your content is going to be fantastic and if you go back to read some of my early content, you’ll see how far I’ve come…although I’ve still got a long way to go to reach my goals.

      That’s the fun of it, in my opinion. Seeing the transformation and growth over time, as we learn, implement, and gain experience.

      Can’t wait to get to know you better!

  10. Another very powerful post Heather. Really great post.

    Congratulations on the new mastermind forum community gal. You did awesome work!

    When i joint that EIF Trbie I never thought i would be able to do this much of blog commenting.

    As oliver said – “It was simply a decision to push the fear aside and to get started.”

    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this great post Heather. Keep up the rocking work.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Dev,

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I too, was surprised at how much I would comment and enjoy commenting after I got into the tribe. The increased blog traffic for me is a bonus! 🙂


  11. Heather,

    You’re likely now experiencing the same feelings, insecurities, and self-doubt that we never think the “big names” out there experience. They make it look so effortless with each product launch. Like they were born to do what they do.

    Not true.

    It takes work and planning. It requires passion and digging deep. You have to suffer a few sleepless nights, the blushing when you think people are laughing at your project, and yet the excitement of all the uncertainty.

    At the end of the day, you chose right. Not because this is furthering your career. And not because it was encouraged by other high-profile writers. You chose the right path because it aligned with your values and it is bigger than just you and this site. It’s positively impacting many of us in ways that you’ll continue to discover many more months down the road.

    How am I holding back? I haven’t published a Podcast yet even though I’ve been very much wanting to record one. It’s in the works (I promise!).

    Congrats and thank you so much for your effort!


    • Heather Stephens says:


      I’m in the same boat with the podcast. Let’s hold each other accountable to getting it out there! I want to get on iTunes and such, but I’ve not taken the time to really give it attention yet!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment and I’m so grateful to have you in our community.


  12. I enjoyed reading your blog. thanks

    • Heather Stephens says:

      You’re welcome Ann. Thanks for the comment!

  13. Hey Heather,

    This is a cool bang to my head. I just came to know about ELF and have joined it. I am just starting to really see the benefits. And now BAM you are sending me another surprise.

    I join everybody in congratulating you first. And you got me. The fear inside us should be drained in one way or the other. Helping ourselves and helping others helps a lot.

    I’d have to visit you again for sure and I am glad about that.


    • Heather Stephens says:


      I’m so glad you joined the tribe and I’m looking forward to getting to know you better!

      Thanks for your sweet comment!

  14. Hey Heather!

    As a fellow MOMpreneur, mom and wife…I am so proud of you and what you have pushed yourself to accomplish. You are an inspiration to so many and your willingness to reach out and help others is what this industry is and should be all about.

    My grandmother told me not too long ago when I was complaining about my house, not being as clean as I want it to be or not getting stuff done like I want to that when she looks back at raising three children she regrets not enjoying the moments more and doing the things that she wanted to or would have enjoyed. Instead she was worried about keeping a spotless house, having dinner at the table at 5pm sharp, etc. I decided to just stop worrying about the little stuff and just enjoy the ride of being a mom and living my dream of having my own business and doing things my way!

    Thank you for all you do and all you bring to the table. You are an amazing MOMpreneur and friend!

    Lots of hugs,

    • Heather Stephens says:

      April, that means so much to me. I am inspired by you as well and I hope that everything is going well for you!

      My grandmother has said similar things to me over the years. I love your line “I decided to just stop worrying about the little stuff and just enjoy the ride of being a mom and living my dream of having my own business and doing things my way.” That’s so powerful.

      I wish I could remember whose website it was, but I saw a tag line that said “Because life doesn’t have to be perfect to be good!”

      Hugs back April…Thank you!


  15. Hello Heather,
    You’ve touched on a very sensitive part of my life in particular and people’s life in general. FEARS…THAT BUTTERFLY that resides inside us all and crops up anytime we’ve got a bright chance to move forward.

    Like you’ve said, I’ve got my personal fears too but the difference is ‘how am I handling it’? Just like when you started your project i.e the membership, you dealt with it in your own way…I deal with it also and eventually, the butterfly flies away!

    Overcoming my fears is something I’ll continue to engage in and I know with more victories, confidence will rise higher!

    Thank you Heather.

    • Heather Stephens says:

      So beautifully said, Tim! “Eventually, the butterfly flies away.” You make me want to go find a painting of a butterfly to hang above my desk. 🙂

      There is something so magical about stretching our comfort zone. I’ve written about it before, but my secret is to stretch just a little outside my comfort zone (not way outside of it) so that I’m not paralyzed in moving forward. If I’m stretching to far, I end up pulling back in, but if I’m constantly stretching a little bit, I grow.

      Thanks Tim!

  16. Wow, Heather! That’s a huge compliment, thank you soooo much for the encouragement! 😀

    You’re my source of inspiration my friend!

    Keep rocking!


  17. ….and stretching my comfort zone I will!…

  18. Hi Heather,

    I had absolutely no doubt that you would achieve what you set out to do because I have seen evidence of the steps that came before the visible success.

    But this does not mean you don’t deserve a HUGE hug and round of applause!

    How you have done it considering all the other roles you have to fulfill Heather is nothing short of amazing.

    It just goes to show that when you love what you do and you are doing what you truly want to do then you will do it regardless because it is important enough.



    • Hi Marcus,

      Thanks! You’re right, that doing what we love makes the work so much more rewarding. I’ve certainly had my moments working around family and household things, but it was worth it!

      Happy weekend and thanks for your comment and friendship, Marcus,


  19. This is an awesome post here,Heather. If we feel fear, that can sure help us in motivation and struggling to do better. Comfort doesn’t give any challenge, on the other hand.But we should also be happy with what we have, because life is already perfect the way it is!

    • Hi Kristina,

      I agree, we need to love what is, but I’m also of the belief that life is truly what we make it. We can stay comfy and cozy and right where we are, or we can stretch and grow, get uncomfortable and make life what we want it to be.

      Either way is okay and there are parts of my life where my comfort zone feels great for the time being, and other areas I want to grow.

      I think that wanting something different doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful for what I have. I believe the desires are in my heart for a reason. 😉 What do you think, Kristina?


  20. That’s the wonderful thing about technology;internet. I am loving myself more each because of blogging and I just can’t get enough. There are just so many information and thought rushing to mind that I just don’t have all the time. ..but i enjoy searching for the extra time everyday.
    I truly enjoy your site my dear, it’s so amazing to have someone like you talking about these things.