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Legend has it that, back in 2007, J.K. Rowling was struggling to finish the final book in her massively popular Harry Potter series.

As she explained in an interview:

“As I was finishing Deathly Hallows, there came a day where the window cleaner came, the kids were at home, the dogs were barking, and I could not work…”

So what did Rowling do to solve that problem and get the book finished?

She checked into the 5-star Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh…

… and she stayed there writing her heart out until the book, and the entire Harry Potter series, was finished.

Now, let’s take a step back for a moment and dissect what Rowling did there.

First, she had a goal, which was to finish writing her book.

Then came a threat to that goal. And the threat was a very distracting work environment, with kids running around and dogs barking and all kinds of madness.

To keep moving towards her goal, Rowling had to neutralize that threat.

So what did she do?

She moved to a quieter, more peaceful environment, much more conducive to finishing her book.

Now of course she’s super-rich and so her quieter, more peaceful environment was a big fancy $1000-a-night hotel.

But that’s besides the point.

The point is: she had a goal, something threatened that goal, and she neutralized that threat.

Goal → Threat → Neutralize

Since you’re doing this course, I’m going to assume that your goal is to build an online business.

And to give yourself the best chance of success, it’s worth considering the biggest THREATS to that goal, and having a plan to NEUTRALIZE those threats.

Just like J.K. there in the big fancy hotel.

Assess Yourself

Say your goal is to be earning $1,000/month via your online business, three months from now.

Think:

  • What are the top 3 reasons you are most likely to fall short of that goal?

Or to put it another way:

  • What are the top 3 threats you are likely to face?

You’ll probably find that these are the same reasons, the same threats, that have held you back from achieving goals in the past.

Some examples of top threats I hear from students of mine while building online businesses:

  • Procrastination
  • Not enough time
  • Not enough skills
  • Not asking for help
  • Low self-confidence

Listing out and acknowledging such threats is the first step towards overcoming them.

The second step?

Be Proactive

And by that I mean, once you’ve identified your biggest threats you’ll want to come up with a plan to neutralize them.

Or, if they can’t be neutralized, to at least mitigate them.

Let’s take “procrastination” as an example here.

Say you’ve identified procrastination as your biggest threat, the thing most likely to knock you off course and end your dreams of building a thriving online business.

  • What actions can you take right now, up front, to lessen that threat?

If you’re struggling to come up with an answer, think back to times you’ve successfully overcome procrastination in the past.

How did you manage that? Did you have someone holding you accountable? Were you in an environment especially conducive to getting things done? Was there a big penalty or reward that motivated you?

Note that the more specific you can be with the threat, the easier it will be to come up with a plan to handle it.

For example, maybe you procrastinate by spending hours browsing Facebook and YouTube. In that case, an effective action could be to install software to block those websites during your designated work hours.

The sooner you take that action or similar, the less likely you are to succumb to the threat and the more likely you are to succeed.

Do This Right Now

Share your answers to these two questions in the comments below:

  • What are the top 3 reasons you are most likely to fall short of your goal of building a successful online business? (i.e. What are the biggest threats for you?)
  • What actions can you take right now, up front, to lessen each of those threats?