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How FONK — Fear Of Not Knowing — is blocking your business success

Most coaches don’t succeed in growing a business. They don’t have enough clients, don’t make enough money, or don’t know how to expand from a practice to a business.

Why is this? What separates the successful from the less successful?
The answer is that the successful people take goal-oriented action, and the less successful don’t.
And here is a major reason that less successful people don’t take decisive action:


*Fear of Not Knowing

FONK results in the mistaken belief that if we only KNEW a little more, we’d DO a lot more.

It leads to:

  • The futile search for more important knowledge
  • The passive taking in of knowledge instead of more active goal-oriented steps
  • “Busy-Ness” instead of business-growth-oriented action


You just learned that by becoming a guest blogger, you will become better known and be able to add more people to your list.  Your first step would be to email or call the person that you’re hoping to blog for.
Suddenly, you’re not quite sure how to word the email. Also, you might not be a good match for this person, who might reject you.  
“Wait!” you exclaim. “Here’s another course on how to be a guest blogger! It’s bigger and more extensive than the last one I took! I don’t really know enough about doing guest blogs. I’m signing up right now!”


Because it’s always scary to take that next big step, and because you have Resistance to taking a risk (after all it could flop and make you feel like a fool), you never feel ready.

Never feeling ready leads to you seek ways to get ready, and to a belief that you just don’t know enough. If you only knew more, you could do a perfect job.



But as we all know, you learn more by taking imperfect action and making mistakes, than you do by learning and thinking and planning.  None of those things are bad, but they are NOT the same as taking action.

Mind you, I’m not against courses; after all, I teach courses and I’ve taken plenty of excellent courses!

But there’s a problem:  Most people never take a step unless the next step is to take a course.

The problem is, it doesn’t matter how much you have learned, if you never take action on what you learned.




If you think about it, most of us are saturated with too much information. We’re so overwhelmed with knowledge that it’s hard to think clearly!

That’s why I believe that

In other words, the most useful and valuable courses provide (wait for it)…. COACHING.

Real coaching involves discussing the plan with the client, and then the client goes out and implements.  Whether s/he learns from their action or not, it is reported to the coach so that further coaching can happen. Without action, there is no coaching.



That’s why I always provide coaching (through Finish Agent’s online accountability system) with my classes.

It’s also why I follow people like Danny Iny, of Course Builders Laboratories, who I will tell you more about later in the week. He teaches you how to create courses that work, and he provides coaching in his courses. As a matter of fact, his ebook, “Teach and Grow Rich” is available for FREE for 5 days starting Jan. 26, 2017.

I urge you to consider upping the coaching element in your own courses, and to take goal-oriented action in your own life.




How do you add more coaching to your courses?

I could write a book on this, but let me give you some ideas:

  • Do more spoon feeding of tiny action steps
  • Break down all the steps into small and smaller steps
  • Make sure that ALL your students take those steps
  • Find out why any of them didn’t take the steps and teach around that.
  • Offer daily support and accountability

How do you take action yourself when you take a course?

  • Only take courses that help you get it done/implement
  • Make sure you focus on action steps
  • If you are not sure what the next action step is, ask.
  • Write down the reasons that you are not taking action.
  • Think back to why you took the course in the beginning. Are you achieving your goal?


Do you have FONK? Have you taken more classes than you needed, and have you implemented them far less than you intended? Would some coaching along with these courses have made a difference? How do you get yourself to take business-growing action.

Tell us about your experiences or observations below!


6 thoughts on “How FONK — Fear Of Not Knowing — is blocking your business success

  1. HI Gina, I’m interested in being a part of the group coaching program. I have a few questions.

  2. I love that acronym! FONK is a huge challenge for many would-be entrepreneurs. I know many people that are constantly getting new certifications vs using what they already know. The fear of “I’m not good enough” keeps them from helping the people they are meant to help!

    I also think that your ideas on creating courses that force action is a powerful diffientiator. When you actually practice what you know it builds confidence to do more.

  3. FONK! What a great acronym. I always say that taking imperfect action is the only action. It’s through imperfect action we are able to improve.

    We sometimes worry so much about what may happen and 99% of the time, it’s not early as bad as we think it will be.

  4. Love that acronym – unforgettable. You’re right, we need to fall forward, ready or not, rather than falling back on classes. I like how you lay out the action steps so clearly.

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