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Internet Marketer's Lizard Brain

I want to share an observation with you that contains an important lesson for all budding internet marketers – actually, for anyone seeking success in life.

Have you ever watched a baby learning to crawl?

If you’re a parent – along with learning to walk and talk – this is one of the most exciting developmental milestones in your child’s early life. It was so exciting seeing my own children crawling for the first time.

But it doesn’t happen all at once. There’s a build up involved over a period of some weeks. The baby is already able to sit up by itself, but begins leaning forward and taking her weight on her hands. Eventually she will manage to get herself into the crawling position on all fours.

At this point you are so excited you can hardly contain yourself, because you know that forward movement is the next step – their first crawl is imminent and you have your camera-phone at the ready to record the momentous event for posterity.

Carrot And Stick

You are doing everything you can to encourage your baby to take that first forward movement. Smiling, using encouraging words and gestures, placing a favourite toy just out of reach. It’s all ‘Carrot’ and no ‘Stick’.

And the whole time she is doing this kind of back-and-forth rocking motion, but keeping both knees firmly on the floor. Going nowhere.

It’s like she’s thinking ‘Ready-Steady… Ready-Steady… Ready-Steady’, but can’t quite gather the confidence to get going. And then very soon after that, the big day arrives and she manages to slide one knee forward.


She’s away and crawling and there’s no stopping her! The video is all over Facebook and family and friends can’t wait to see her new ‘party trick’.

So Mark, what does this little story have to do with internet marketing?

I’m so glad you asked me that question 😉

Well, it’s something I see again and again with budding marketers (let’s not call people newbies). They do all of the build up work, they know where they want to go, they get themselves in position, you can see that they desperately want to move forward. But…they get stuck in Ready-Steady Mode. Sometimes for YEARS!

Does that sound familiar? Is that you? I know it was me for more years than I care to remember. You would be embarrassed for me if I told you!

And I know what it was like for me, so I can guess what it is like for you. Mostly it was intensely frustrating.

“Why can’t I make this thing work?”
“Why am I not making any sales?”
“I’m no expert, how am I supposed to behave like one?”
“What if I get banned by Facebook/Google/YouTube?”
“Why can’t I stick to one plan and see it through?”
“Is this whole business just a big scam?”
“Am I missing something? What am I missing?”

That’s your Lizard Brain talking. It’s one of the oldest parts of the human brain and is responsible for Fight-or-Flight, fear, anger and freezing-up mechanisms (plus a few other base instincts).

Do Not Listen to it!

In the modern world the Lizard Brain is not tremendously useful, and is more often responsible for self-sabotaging your dreams, than for anything else. This is what’s holding you back from achieving your dreams.

As Seth Godin says, “The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe.” Unfortunately those priorities are not going to get you where you want to go.

You need to take risks, go out on a limb, do the stuff that scares the pants off you if you want to be successful – all things that make the Lizard Brain fundamentally uncomfortable. It WILL resist you and it will get angry.

There is no way around it. You have to crawl through the resistance. Do the things you find uncomfortable. Do the things you find scary. Gag the Lizard and Go!

Go and chase your dreams. Go and leave your comfort zone behind you. Go and seek out positive, like-minded people who will encourage you and dangle the ‘Carrot’ of possibility in front of you. People who will say:

“I know you can do this! Come on, I’ll help you.”

I want to be one of those voices for you.
You can do this! Ready-Steady… GO!

Wishing you every success,

Mark Wilson.