Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Overthink – Practical Ecommerce

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Corey Wilks is a clinical psychologist turned business coach. He helps entrepreneurs and creators improve their mindset and overcome self-imposed obstacles. He says a common obstacle is overthinking a problem. Others involve perfectionism, doubt, and even fear.

In our recent conversation, he addressed those mental hurdles and more. The entire audio is embedded below. The transcript is edited for clarity and length.

Eric Bandholz: Tell our listeners who you are.

Corey Wilks: I am a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive behavior therapy, the practice of helping folks overcome unhealthy thinking. I now coach entrepreneurs and creators to build a values-aligned life and business and overcome beliefs holding them back.

I write a lot of articles on my website and for Psychology Today. I’ve appeared on a couple of prominent podcasts.

I received an early coaching boost from Ali Abdaal. He’s a prominent productivity expert, YouTuber, and entrepreneur. He put out a 45-minute video about the eight things he struggled with in life and business. It was exactly what I help people with, so I dropped everything and, in a day, wrote an article on how I would approach his pain points.

I posted it on X, and enough people shared it that he finally saw it. We worked together for about six months. I didn’t know him before then.

Many good things have happened since then. When I see somebody struggling with something, I send them either a video or an article that might help. If they want to work with me, that’s cool. If not, they still have that resource to check back on.

Bandholz: What does your coaching look like?

Wilks: Being a psychologist, all of my work is around mindset and prioritizing strategies. Common obstacles of entrepreneurs are limiting beliefs and personal narratives. Most of us know what we want or how to get what we want, but we second-guess ourselves and listen to what others think. We question our intelligence or worthiness of success.

Many entrepreneurs struggle with self-doubt and perfectionism. They blame a lack of money, resources, and intelligence for not getting the things they claim to want. But that is very rarely the case, especially with how accessible information is online.

They talk about it, but they never take action. And that typically comes down to fear. So much of my work with business owners is about identifying and overcoming these limiting beliefs or clarifying what matters. We then figure out where the disconnect is.

Bandholz: What’s your advice to people with expectations that exceed their capabilities?

Wilks: Intelligence after a certain point can be a hindrance because you overthink everything. Entrepreneurship is about identifying problems and creating solutions. Smart people are good at solving problems. But there are an infinite number of problems, and it’s easy to get paralyzed.

I know many more successful entrepreneurs who are intelligent but do not necessarily have a high IQ. They don’t overthink. Plenty of mediocre people are high performers because they’re not overthinking. That’s a big thing.

Bandholz: I’m curious why you left psychology.

Wilks: I got fired from my job as a behavioral health provider — a psychologist. I specialized in addiction treatment, working in rural West Virginia. I had peak job security. During Covid, I accepted a remote telehealth position in Kentucky. Two months into that new contract, I got an email stating I was fired in 30 days.

In the U.S., the patient has to reside in the state where the therapist is licensed. I’m licensed in West Virginia, not Kentucky. I couldn’t find another remote job out of West Virginia and wasn’t willing to move back.

Getting licensed in Kentucky would have taken four to six months. It’s a lot of red tape. I had 30 days and three paychecks to figure out my life. I spent 12 years getting my doctorate, and I couldn’t practice therapy anymore. What do I do with my life? I had to take all this knowledge and apply it to something else.

I got certified as an executive coach, which is like a four-letter word among therapists. Coaching is unregulated. A 14-year-old with a TikTok can call himself a life coach.

I decided to pursue coaching because the therapy world defines wellness as the absence of illness. Coaching is about helping healthy people flourish, thrive, and reach their potential.

I had to learn how to set up a business and create a WordPress site. I did a lot of Googling and YouTubeing. I met some kind and helpful entrepreneurs on X. We became friends. They took me under their wing and showed me the ropes.

I’ve taught myself. I produce valuable content to help folks attract friends and customers. I tell people to just start and then iterate.

Bandholz: Where can people follow you and learn more?

Wilks: My site is CoreyWilksPsyD.com. I’m @CoreyWilksPsyD on X, or add me on LinkedIn.

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