I keep trying to grow my freelance business but I always hit a snag. In order to do one thing, I have to do ten other things first...just like the storyline from one of my favorite childhood books, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." For example, Instagram has this cool business feature that can give you insight into your followers and post performance. But it requires a Facebook business page, which I don't have at the moment.
The problem is that I want to do things "the right way" from the beginning. I'm a perfectionist and I don't like making mistakes. The hardest part of freelancing for me has been allowing mistakes to happen. I slowly learned to stop being scared and just start doing. I have finally gotten to the point where I'd rather just start something that may end up being a disaster. At least I'm making forward progress and not stalling while I try to figure out every possible way to avoid that potential error.
The best way to prevent mistakes is to simply learn from them. I'll never be able to prepare for all the missteps that could happen because there's absolutely no way to imagine every possible scenario under the sun. So instead of sitting on the sidelines scared, I'm just doing it. It's like that saying "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission." My version is "It's easier to learn from mistakes than trying to prevent them."
I've heard it before and I'm sure you have too, but just take it one step at a time. It's okay if you don't start off with the custom-coded website and online store on your own platform that isn't going to charge a percentage for hosting you. That's another thing that that was holding me back. First, I wasted too much time researching the best e-commerce platform only to come to the realization that it's best to do it yourself rather than through a third-party. But I now know that a self-hosted, custom-coded website and store are far too advanced for where I am with my business right now.
Another thing I wasted time on was starting a newsletter. I wanted to use a fancy email service that allowed for all sorts of automation and segregation. But I'm not there yet. I have a smaller email list (Join other subscribers by signing up here!), no products (online at least) and no classes (yet). Those would be the reason for the different groups in my email list. But I am just not there yet. And that's okay!
Yes it's good to do your research, but sometimes it's best to start with the basics and do what you can at the moment with the skills and resources you currently have available. Rather than stress over what could happen and "the right way" you should be doing something, just do it!