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How to Adopt an Online Leader Success Mindset

A microphone next to the text How to Adopt an Online Leader Success Mindset

Your “success mindset” matters. Here’s why:

There’s a strange disconnect in the online business world.

Online business owners tend to be introverts.

I mean, really … it’s the perfect job for an introvert!

You can do your work all by yourself without needing to interact with a single person in real life. Your computer screen provides comfort and cover from the world outside your doors.

And despite the fact that you’re working alone, your business can flourish.

But here’s the disconnect …

To really grow an online business, you have to be willing to step into the limelight and claim your authority.

You have to be willing to be a leader.

Welcome to a discussion about online leadership — and how to embrace it

Today, we’re going to talk about how to adapt a success mindset so you’re able to step into a leadership role in your online business naturally and with ease.

But more importantly, I’m going to show you how taking a leadership role will help you to create a business you’ll love — a business that may not look like anyone else’s, but that suits you 100%.

An owl looking at the camera

Here’s why stepping into an online leadership role is crucial

“Pamela, why are we talking about leadership?”

I’ve been thinking about leadership a lot this year. I’ve realized that it’s an essential ingredient of online success that needs to be addressed.

The sooner you embrace your online leader role, the sooner you’ll enjoy these benefits:

  • You’ll feel poised and self-assured while doing all the promotional activities that come with owning an online business.
  • You’ll become comfortable being visible online in everything from a published blog post; an email inbox; a webinar; a live video; a podcast; a stage; and inside the pages of a book.
  • Your business will grow, because the online world rewards people who confidently stand behind and in front of their businesses.

I’m about to show you a path forward that even the most introverted among us can walk. It’s a way to gradually shift your success mindset so it includes opportunities to be the online leader your business needs.

If you …

  • Want to share your expertise with the world — but you’re secretly terrified to “put yourself out there”
  • Feel a deep desire to build a business that makes a difference but aren’t sure what it’s going to take
  • Wish you had tens of thousands of people in your audience — but are intimidated by those numbers at the same time

… keep reading. I’m about to show you how to become an online business leader naturally and with less stress and fear.

How a success mindset helps you triumph online

This is the second article in a series about how to build an online business you’ll love.

In the first article, I talked about how online businesses are built in predictable stages.

I shared a quiz that helps you pinpoint the stage you’re in now.

The BIG benefit of knowing your business-building stage?

It allows you to focus all your efforts on reaching the important milestones in that stage … and gives you permission to ignore the stages you’re not in right now.

Say goodbye to that feeling of overwhelm you’ve been carrying around!

Related: Why Some People Triumph Online and Others Never Make It

Today, I’m going to build on what I shared in the first article by showing you how to shift your “success mindset” toward growth. I’m going to map out an easy path to becoming the online leader your business needs.

I don’t see anyone else online talking about this, so today I’m breaking the silence!

I think you’ll like what you’re about to learn. There’s a way to do this that’s not stressful and that builds naturally from one experience to another.

My goal with this article is to show you a way to become more comfortable standing both behind and in front of the online business you’re building. Ready?

personal growth image

Have you experienced these “moments of personal growth?”

Any time you’re building a business — online or offline — you’re going to experience some moments that cause you to … well, let’s say they cause you to grow as a person.

That’s putting a pleasant spin on it, isn’t it?

Maybe you’ve experienced these moments before:

  • You’re putting together a first offer and then it hits you — “Oh, if I want people to buy this, I have to market it … not just now, but forever!”
  • You know that in order to reach prospects you’ve got to extend yourself. But yikes … outreach is so uncomfortable!
  • You’re given opportunities to be more visible — maybe it’s an interview request or a small speaking gig — and you’re terrified to say “yes.”

If you’ve experienced any of these challenging moments, guess what? You’re normal! And they help to form your success mindset.

But if you stay stuck in these moments and don’t move beyond them, your business won’t become what it can be.

Your introverted side will stay cozy and comfortable, that’s for sure.

But you will always wonder, “What would have happened if I’d experienced the momentary discomfort and pushed past it?”

That’s what we’re going to cover here: a way to embrace a success mindset and push beyond the momentary discomfort so you can experience everything that’s waiting for you on the other side.

deep end

Beware the deep end

Before we dive in, let’s talk about the deep end for a moment.

There are a lot of people online who are pushing their solutions for gaining visibility in your online business. They’re selling:

  • Courses on writing a book
  • Workshops on becoming a highly paid speaker
  • Classes on running successful webinars

These are all good things. They’re all things I’ve done myself! But if you take courses on doing these “deep end” things before you’ve done some of the “shallow end” things I’m about to share, you may end up feeling intimidated — not inspired.

And sadly, you may never take the first steps.

That’s what I’m about to cover … the first steps. They’re crucial!

Read on for three tips that will help you build a firm foundation for online leadership so that courses like the ones above feel like a natural next step.

1. Start small and recognize that no one is watching

Here’s an analogy:

When you’re in the planning and in the early building stages of your online businesses — planning your website and offers, and building the first-draft versions of both — there’s a helpful way to think about what you’re doing.

Imagine you’re in an auditorium in the backstage area, and the curtains are drawn. No one in the audience can see what you’re doing back there!

You’re planning and building what you’ll reveal to the world — but you haven’t pulled back the curtains and invited them in.

Here’s what I want you to remember …

When you do finally pull back those curtains with your heart in your throat and sweat beading on your upper lip?

No one is watching.

I mean, if you’re lucky a few family members and friends are in your audience in the early days. But for the most part? There’s almost no one there.

It’s the perfect time to explore making yourself more visible. With fewer people watching your first visibility attempts, you won’t feel as intimidated by the process.

So start small and experiment! More on ways to experiment in the next section …

2. Don’t throw yourself in the deep end on Day 1

A few years ago, I was honored to be asked to speak twice at Darren Rowse’s Problogger conference in Australia. The topic of one of my presentations was creating online “events” that build your audience.

In that presentation I talked about how the online world gives you many opportunities to step out of your comfort zone.

And I used this highly scientific graphic to illustrate the idea:

A close up of three faces on a white background

It got a good laugh! And I made my point, which is …

It’s smart to start with less-intimidating things and work your way up to the more intimidating things.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Increasing your visibility gradually lets you grow into your online leadership role with much less stress.” quote=”Increasing your visibility gradually lets you grow into your online leadership role with much less stress.”]

Everyone’s list will be different. For me, the online visibility spectrum used to look like this:


  • Writing a blog post
  • Writing a piece of email marketing
  • Speaking to someone on the phone


  • Publishing the blog post
  • Sending the piece of email marketing
  • Speaking to someone on a video call


  • Participating in a podcast interview
  • Speaking as a member of a panel
  • Presenting a live webinar


  • Delivering the keynote speech at a conference
  • Hosting a live video on a social media platform
  • Publishing and promoting a book

Here’s the thing:

I didn’t go from the Non-scary stuff to the Terror Level 100 list.

Instead, I moved from the Non-scary to the Kind of Scary stuff. I mastered the Kind of Scary list and moved on to the Intimidating list. I got comfortable with the Intimidating list and found myself ready to tackle the Terror Level 100 list.

All the while, my visibility increased. My success mindset became more resilient.

As you push into your next level of discomfort, you’ll find yourself being asked to participate in highly visible online events. People will ask you to write blog posts for them; appear on their podcasts; deliver the keynote addresses at their conferences.

The good news?

You’ll have a strong success mindset and you’ll be ready for it all.

3. Get support for the scary stuff to strengthen your success mindset

We already talked about how introverts can thrive online.

We sit alone at our screens, crafting information and messages that reach across the world and draw an audience to us … without having to leave the comfort of our homes, if we don’t want to.

But sitting in comfort stops you from growing into an online leadership role that will benefit you and your business.

When it comes to moving yourself along the “visibility spectrum” toward a leadership role, it’s incredibly helpful to have a group of supportive colleagues by your side. People who share your dreams; empathize with your frustrations; and are generous with their support.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached out to colleagues and said something along the lines of …

“Argh! I know I need to do this but it’s scary!”

Having a team of people around you that you can be “real” with is vital if you want to move yourself along that visibility spectrum.

Here’s how to switch up your success mindset and become the online leader your business needs

Let’s quickly recap what we covered in this article:

  1. Start small and recognize that no one is watching. The early days are the perfect time to explore things that feel uncomfortable — your audience is small and you won’t feel as intimidated.
  2. Don’t throw yourself in the deep end on Day 1. Remember, online leadership and authoritative visibility exist on a spectrum. Move along it step-by-step and your confidence will grow naturally.
  3. Get support for the scary stuff. If you are truly committed to growth, consider joining a group where the other members will have your back and offer support when you’re about to take a big, scary step.

“Become an online leader” sounds like a tall order. But it doesn’t have to be! Take it step-by-step and get support for the hard parts and you’ll get there before you know it.

Share this information, please?

A favor: would you take a moment to share this information?

As I said earlier, I don’t see anyone else talking about how building up to an online leadership role will grow your business — and how to do it with less stress.

I’d really love to get this information out to more people, so if you can take a moment to share, I’d appreciate it.

Coming next: how to make Plan & Grow BIG work for your business

In the final article in this series, we’re going to dig deep into how the Plan & Grow BIG approach to building an online business really works — and how to put it to use in your business.

It’s all about finding your starting point and focusing on the milestones that are just ahead.

  • If you’re just starting out, I’ll show you the path to take to get your online business off to a great start.
  • If you’ve already built your online business but it hasn’t reached its full potential, you’ll discover some new ideas for skyrocketing your growth.

Go forth and lead

Now you know a natural progression you can use to step into an online leadership role that will grow your reach and your revenues.

If you’re ready to build and grow your online business, check out the BIG League — my self-paced program for online business builders — and download the Online Business Success Roadmap.

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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