5 Ways to Handle Being Overwhelmed With Options

Hi everyone! There’s an issue that some of you may think is reserved for newbies only, but it’s not – at all! We all suffer form it. But it’s nicknamed “newbie overwhelm.”

The reality is that it’s overwhelm with options – and whether you just started in this industry or you’ve been here 15 years – you are constantly barraged by options and sometimes yeah, you feel a little anxiety about which path or option you should choose.

So today I want to show you five ways that you can get control of the out of control feeling you might encounter in the world of Internet Marketing.

#1 – Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach

First things first – it’s not just “business model” options that overwhelm people. You can get overwhelmed not knowing who to trust. You can get overwhelmed at which tools you should use (keyword tools, for example). You can get overwhelmed thinking about which WordPress theme will convert better, how often you should email your list, what price point you should set your product at…

And the list goes on, and on and on, right?

I always tell newbies that this isn’t a good career path for desperate people. If I literally was about to have the electricity shut off, I’d do whatever it took – including begging my son (a supervisor at Subway) for a job if I had to. I wouldn’t CARE what had to be done – I’d get the paycheck to take the edge off.

You’ve heard about shopping on an empty stomach, right? If you’re dieting and it’s 12 noon and you haven’t eaten all day, your shopping cart will probably be filled with a 24 pack of Cokes, a box of Swiss Cake Rolls, and every other gorge-ful food you can imagine.

Or when you go out to eat and you’re STARVING – you fill up on everything and then as you start eating, realize you got WAYyyyyyy too much on your table.


My nutritionist says for me to listen to my hunger cues, so I always stay within the “getting pretty hungry” and “no longer hungry” stage. Not starving, not stuffed.

You should do the same with your business pursuits. Never let yourself get to that point where you’re panicked and starving for money and success. And never let yourself buy so many products and have so many plates spinning in the air as far as business models that you’re stuffed to the gills and can’t even handle all of your tasks.

And don’t mistakenly think it’s just desperation that leads you to these situations, either!

Eagerness and enthusiasm are just as dangerous. You have to lasso yourself and settle down a bit. This is a BUSINESS you’re building, not some fast food meal you’re ordering. It has to be planned out properly.

#2 – Pretend It’s a Wedding Cake Tasting

Ever been to a wedding cake tasting? There are three things that happen – and you can apply the same concept to your business to prevent overwhelm.

First, come to the table with some prerequisites in mind. If you know you don’t like shredded coconut, then tell the wedding cake baker that coconut is OUT. Same with business. Know what’s OUT for you.

Secondly, you get to sample and savor everything. You get to take a bite of the mocha, a bite of the red velvet, a nibble of fondant versus other frostings…

Same thing with your business. You have trial periods with many of the products and tools. Aweber? The first MONTH is free. You can also test drive a strategy out to see if it’s something you like BEFORE you go buying products.

trial period

For example, let’s take my Ghostwriting Cash course. You might wonder if you’d like being a freelancer. Why not dig up a few free tips on Google on freelancing and give it a try? Maybe even approach a marketer and offer to do 5 free articles just to see if this is something you’d even enjoy?

Then if you DID, THEN go invest in a product that helps you establish yourself the right way from the beginning.

Third, at a wedding cake tasting, you turn to your future spouse (or parents or friends) and ask their opinion. Do the same with marketing options. Talk to people – both people who enjoy it and are rabid about it, and people who didn’t enjoy it and don’t advise you take that path. Then make your OWN decision.

#3 – Enjoy the Fact That You Aren’t Handcuffed to Anything

When you start to feel overwhelmed, stop and remind yourself that this isn’t in concrete. It’s not forever if it doesn’t work out. Yes, you want to commit fully to it, but you’re not an imbecile. You know logically that if you’re flat out not succeeding, you have the ability to switch gears and do something else.

business models

AND – even better – you can try out a few other business models, keyword tools, leaders to follow – and add them to your arsenal. You can have diversity and enjoy the variety that this career provides.

#4 – Listen to Your Gut, Not Anyone Else

Getting advice is fine – in fact I recommend it! But you have to filter the advice that comes in. Understand that people have different motives and experiences. Some marketers gush about a product only because they want an affiliate commission or a sale.

Some truly want to connect you with the right product because they want you to succeed. They get personal satisfaction out of it (as WELL as financial – we’re not idiots here).

Experiences play a role, too. I hated creating specific “made for AdSense” sites. But someone else might find the process very enjoyable. You’ll get two different accounts about that from me versus another marketer – even if we’re both equal on ethics and intentions.

When it comes to gut, you also don’t want to misunderstand your fears versus your instincts. Fear can talk really loudly in your ear and say, “What in the WORLD are you thinking? You’re not (good enough, smart enough, young enough, pretty enough, fast enough, etc.) to do that! You’re going to fail!”

Instinct, on the other hand, is a quiet whisper nagging at you. Sometimes it starts to get louder and louder (but often only when it’s too late), telling you, “Hey this doesn’t seem right. Something’s off here – maybe we need to reconsider.”


Really, really try to look at the situation when you feel overwhelmed and differentiate between the two.

And also when it comes to gut checks, you have to get honest with yourself about whether or not you’re trying to do something just because everyone else is. “Everyone’s doing AdWords,” or offline lead generation or Mobile marketing apps …

Who cares?

This isn’t 6th grade. There are no cliques (well there are, but who wants to go there?). You need to build a business based on your own passions and interests and things that make you feel satisfied – not some trend based on what everyone else is doing.

#5 – Be Realistic About Your Investment

And last – this tip comes from my son Dylan (age 20) when I was talking to him about this concept of overwhelm in Internet Marketing – get realistic about what you’re going to put into this.

If you analyze a business model, tool, person, etc., look at how much it’s going to take from you in terms of:

  • Investment of time
  • Money investment
  • Effort to understand and excel

(Yes, he’s so smart – he’s my baby!)

It made a lot of sense. There are many tools I buy and download and then never use because they drain me having to work with them. Same with people. Same with expenses.

When you’re overwhelmed, it might be because you know you don’t have anymore to GIVE in one of those three areas. It’s making you anxious because you know the learning curve is too much based on the timeline that you need for a return of your investment.

return on investment

Don’t go asking someone else, “How long until I make money doing this?” because the answer will be 100% different for all of us. I might pick up a writing strategy in 5 seconds, while it takes you 5 weeks to learn. Or vice versa with some techie strategy that makes MY brain shut down, but you master in an instant.

Overwhelm is with all of us at some point in our lives. It might be caused by outward things we’re dealing with, or things directly associated with the path we’re pursing. Next time you feel it, maybe refer to these tips and see if you feel calmer and more able to handle the situation.

Tiff 😉

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30 Responses to “5 Ways to Handle Being Overwhelmed With Options”

  • Mary Kathan says:

    One great thing about the coaching call with Craig was I cut out a bunch of ideas that had me jumping around.

    I get overwhelmed with all my own ideas sometimes. There is so much I want to do, but it ends up in a big overwhelm sometimes.

    I keep telling myself what I am focusing on, and that helps a lot.


  • Mary says:

    There’s a really great book I liked call “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less”. The premise is that we think we are better off with numerous choices, when actually being “limited” to only three or four serves us better in the long run.

    From analysis paralysis, to fear of making the wrong decision, people tend to put a finger in lots and lots of pies, when they are far better off committing to one and fully devouring (i.e., learning) from it before flitting off to explore another option.

  • Bev says:

    So true, Tiff, I get overwhelmed by various information on how to do things. That’s the learning curve overwhelm, I guess.
    For instance, I may read about 10 great ways to get traffic to my site, but end up not doing any simply because I’m overwhelmed by it all. Yes, I know I should choose just one and do that, but somehow, I often don’t.
    I get really annoyed with myself over this. lol

  • Clyde says:

    Foggy in North Texas? I think the worst fog I ever drove in was on 287 somewhere between Fort Worth and Amarillo.

    I felt like I was the only newbie in the world who got overwhelmed and bought every shiny new object that came down the pike until I ran into so honest people, like you and a few others you know.

    Why was I overwhelmed? I wanted to be successful and I wanted to be successful right now. I signed up for every Guru mailing list I could find, which only overwhelmed me that much more.

    I have finally settled down and am following just a few people online. I think that is another great way to help wioth the problem.

    I have also learned to listen to my gut and I have noticed something about those voices. Fear is almost always negative about you yourself. Instinct is almost always a caution about something outside yourself. At least that seems to be true in my case.

    I think I apply the #5 but after reading this I will have to make sure I look at it more carefully.

    Ok, I think you will need to use the more button on this and I do apologise for always writing novels when I reply to your posts. It’s just that you always hit close to home and I can’t help myself.

    BTW, I mentioned you in a blog post that will be showing up on my blog on the 30th.

    Now you are going to wonder what I said.

    Thanks for all you help,

    • Tiffany says:

      Oh yep I live near 287! And never apologize for writing long comments. If anything, think of it as your way of giving back in two ways: 1st to the community for your great insight and 2nd to the SEO of my site – Google reads these comments and counts it as content, don’t they? So I’ve heard. No clue. But never apologize, either way 🙂 I appreciate the feedback and interaction!

      Uh oh, I hope I’m not a cautionary tale on your blog! LOL

  • Sam says:

    Hi Tiffany:
    I really like your new squeeze page. I would like to have something like this. Would you mind sharing what it cost to have that done. Looks fantastic. Take Care, Sam

    • Tiffany says:

      I got Rich at QuickSiteStudio.com to do it Sam. I’m not sure of cost because mine was a duplicate of my blog, so it was a downgrade since it wasn’t a full redesign. Just email Rich and ask him for a quote. He’ll give you one! 🙂

  • Great post Tiffany.
    Because there are so many options available it is really difficult to work out which business is the best fit for your personality, and for the amount of time you have to dedicate to it.

    It is so easy to click a button and purchase the next great thing, hoping that this will be the one that will produce the goods.

    What we need to try and do is to work out our likes, dislikes and our level of commitment. These factors could quickly eliminate a lot of the choices out there.

    It is great that you are reviewing a range of products because it is like a “try before you buy”. You give enough info to help people to decide whether it is something they should invest in for themselves.

  • dusty rhodes says:

    I’m dumbfounded. You’re an internet marketing
    legend and you haven’t mastered the redbox?

  • Tamsin says:

    I had to google what redbox was 🙂 lol – no, I don’t think we have them in Oz, if we do, I’ve never seen them!

    It’s so easy to have overwhelm and this year I’m working on keeping my focus and building a foundation, but I’m like others who’ve made the comment of wanting success NOW! (who doesn’t?) I have to remind myself that I will get there faster by going slower in the beginning and doing things properly. As opposed to the shiny syndrome, accumulating courses and following none – one area at a time and then branch out, instead of trying to take the internet world on at every level straight from the starting gun!

    Thanks for another good post, Tiff.

  • Yoan says:

    Yes, we live in a world where we so much choice, communication skills, options that we feel like drowning sometimes! I felt this way when I started with the Wealthy Affiliate University! Nothing wrong with it, it gave me HOPE that someday ( oh god this sounds like a crappy Oscar speech…I want to thank my mum,(fake tears)…lol) euh, yeah it gave me a good insight and hope about a possible future without a BOSS and a real J.O.B, or whatever that’s called! lol! I read the courses, implemented some but it was too big, too many modules etc! Moved on to a famous Squidoo lady…first sales..more hopes…next was a course by a genuine guy who taught PURE article marketing and made more sales…more hope..and then, found the GEM I had been looking for! Miss Dow! I unsubscribed from all the other guys because I knew this was a community I’d love to be part of and that there would be no phoney “offer” “JV” and what not! Just real stuff with the honey badging on top of it, not to mention the few swear words that I adore! So, yes, it can be overwhelming and I am sure I’ll still buy a few things along the way but I now know where to go to get real help, guidance and share things with a community where people really interact and write long essays and not just ” Nice post, Tiff” D’uhhhh!! Oh, and the shopping on an empty stomach? Did it yesterday…I am going to end up looking like a beached whale by the end of the week end! yeahh! Lol! Yoan xxx

  • Yoan says:

    Made a few typos, sorry! Notebooks have small keys…Foul excuse…AHHAHAHAHahH

  • Buddy says:

    Like Mary Kathan my call with Craig helped me realize I was going in too many directions at once. Actually, in that I did a BUNCH of thinking before the call (wanting to get my money’s worth) I realized it even before the call (As we were talking Craig kept saying,”Look at you, coaching yourself…You should do what I do and be a coach).
    So to that end, I am focusing only on Kindle publishing and my new personal development blog “The Buddy Show”. I’m using John Chow’s course (thanks Tiff) for this.
    Later, when the blog is in a good place I’ll go back to Squidoo/Amazon stuff.

  • Debora Humphries says:

    Hey Tiff,

    I just wanted to say I absolutely love your new squeeze page.

    The way you chose to introduce yourself in the video was amazing as well, to include Honey! Lol

    As far as being overwhelmed with options, praise the lord I am for the most part past that point. I think taking a three year look back into my PayPal account last year to see what I had spent, which was over the tune of $15000, pretty much broke the continuous buying habit for me. Eeeek!!!

    I make sure that if I buy a product or tool, I am going to use it, period! I can’t afford to be the endless buyer and the continuous learner of everything anymore.

    What I have learned from your blog besides how to come out of my shell and participate more, is to pick a model that works for me and work my bottom off on it. So far, not too bad. 🙂

  • Linda says:

    Somehow you seem to write about things I need to hear. Overwhelm is a very real, and very painful, state to live in. Thanks for the advice. It’s time to step back, analyze, and make some hard choices.

    • Tiffany says:

      Everyone goes through it Linda – almost continually regarding something. Just sometimes calming down and taking our time (yes even on a dimesale) helps.

  • Your sister says:

    One of the greatest things about being your own boss is the total freedom – and also the most difficult part.

    I have bounced all over the place the last 6 months, but feel like I’m finding my focus now. It does take some trial and error to figure it all out. Thank goodness I have a sister to bounce my ideas off of. 🙂

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