Conquering limiting beliefs, building a deeper connection with your audience, and disrupting an industry that hasn’t changed since the Civil War

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

Insight 1: Fear holds us back more than any other obstacle

Lack of money, resources, or intelligence isn’t what holds entrepreneurs back from success.

Limiting beliefs are.

I’ve noticed every limiting belief people struggle with falls into one of four categories. Everyone I’ve worked with—from bootstrapped first-time solopreneurs to VC-funded experienced founders—struggles with at least one of them.

I call these limiting beliefs the Four Horsemen of Fear.

Here’s a deep dive into what they are, how they disguise themselves in self-sabotaging behaviors, and how to conquer each of them:

The Four Horsemen of Fear

Insight 2: Bridge the gap between you and your audience

Ryan Holiday is a best-selling author who’s helped popularize Stoicism as a way to excel in business and life, but he’s got a bone to pick with how traditional publishing, and many other industries, create a chasm between creators and their audience.

Most industries are full of contractors and middlemen, making it difficult for creators to develop deep relationships with their audience, build 1,000 True Fans, and improve their offerings based on their audience’s feedback.

Holiday warns:

How can you do a good job of making stuff for your customers if you don’t have a relationship with them? The short answer is, you can’t. Publishers are quick to tell authors about what audiences like and don’t like, but where are they getting this information? Not from the source, that’s for sure!

Holiday talks about authors who’ve sold millions of copies of their books, but have no relationship with their audience or any way to contact them because they didn’t build an email list.

So he developed a simple strategy that’s paid incredible dividends:

Since my first book was published in 2012, I’ve made sure the last page of the book asked readers to send me an email to sign up for my list. Hundreds of thousands of people have done that. I have entered many of their emails into my list personally. Their names have passed from my eyes through my fingertips into my customer database. I have heard what they liked and don’t like about the books. I have seen what’s worked and what hasn’t. I have gotten to know them.

If you want to learn more about how Holiday has cultivated a direct line to his audience, and how you can do the same, check out his article:

This Is the Secret to Business and Artistic Success

Insight 3: How to rebrand death and put the “fun” in funeral

You know what sucks? Dying.

You know what sucks even more? How utterly depressing funeral homes are. Musty carpets. Muted colors. Oppressively quiet rooms. People awkwardly milling about while the funeral directors meander around greeting people in hushed tones.

Sparrow, a “contemporary funeral home” that opened in November, has set out to change all that.

Instead of playing the same depressing playlists that every funeral service seems to use, Sparrow wants to offer funerals that actually reflect the personality and honors the person.

“I would go to all these funerals, wakes, viewings, and walk away feeling like that didn’t represent the person who died. You’d go into a funeral home and it would just feel…yucky… Why isn’t there a celebration that really reflects who they are?”

Check out this article for a look into companies, like Sparrow, rebranding death and helping people celebrate life authentically.

Question for the Week

What opportunities in plain sight have you been ignoring?

Insights in Action

One of the best ways to clarify your thinking is to write it out.

So if you want to develop your thinking on this question or start applying insights from today’s newsletter, send a tweet to @CoreyWilksPsyD with your thoughts and put #BuildingBlocks at the end so I can find it.

Not ready to “think in public” yet? No problem. You can also reply to this email if you want to share your thoughts with me.

Until next time—memento mori,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Executive Coach