In business, I’ve been learning the importance of not worrying about making “a good first impression.”

For example, this may be the first blog post you’ve read from me. Maybe it’s making a poor first impression on you… should I be afraid of losing you as a potential reader?

If I allowed that fear, I would probably not write or publish… there are too many people I could disappoint, readers I could “lose”, reviews that could “devastate” my business… if I don’t make a good first impression.

There’s a fallacy of thinking here:

  1. Damage my reputation forever.

In ten years of building a sizable audience, and coaching many people to do the same, I’ve learned that reality works more like this…

  1. Publish something.
  2. Your audience will react when it’s good. (When it’s not, they’re usually silent.)
  3. If it’s bad, you may lose a few readers for a while…
  4. Yet, if you keep publishing, you will naturally learn from audience feedback, and your content will improve over time.
  5. Some of the potential readers you lost (from a poor first impression) will find their way back to you, thanks to positive word-of-mouth. That’s the magic of social media.
  6. Many more new people will also find you, thanks to the volume of content you have now published.
  7. Most importantly, you grow every time you post something, because you learn to ignore fear (an emotional reaction to the illusion of a scarce reality, when in fact the universe is abundant and the opportunities limitless.) Each time you publish, you get another opportunity to improve. Without publishing, you won’t truly improve.

If you care so much about the first impression, you are giving yourself so much pressure. This is personally unsustainable, and won’t allow you to make enough impressions (to practice enough) to become truly excellent.

For any one effort I don’t think “This better be a good one.” Instead, I am already thinking of several impressions ahead… knowing that the process of practice and making impressions is what’s needed.

You can apply this to various aspects of business, whether it’s blog posts, making videos, writing books, launching products, or reaching out for potential referral partners.

It’s more important to grow through action, than to avoid making a bad first impression.

In 2015, I applied this lesson when I started making my videos. If I had allowed fear to rule, I would not have been able to make 100 videos, and you wouldn’t now be seeing new videos from me consistently .

It comes down to this question — Do we let fear rule, and give energy to the illusion of scarcity? … or shall we let Love rule, and surrender to the truth of an abundant universe?

The more you let love rule, the more courage you grow, and the faster you learn.

Let’s apply this lesson to reaching out for promotional partners — people whose audience might benefit from your offerings.

Maybe you’re afraid to make a bad first impression and burn a bridge.

Remember: fear is erroneously believing in scarcity. Are you thinking that there’s only a few potential promo partners for you, so you don’t want to disappoint any of them? Reality check: there are more than 200 million businesses in the world, and more than 150 million blogs.

Out of those hundreds of millions, you have at least thousands of ideal promotional partners. You can find them via LinkedIn (500 million users), Facebook (2 billion users), Google searches, or simply asking around your own network.

Approach them from a place of positive intention, connection, and service when you reach out. But don’t be afraid to make a bad first impression. How will you learn unless you put something out there, and learn from real and current responses?

Keep coming back to the abundance of the universe — there are literally limitless opportunities for you. Just start reaching out today, and keep improving upon your outreach methods.

I applied this lesson to publishing my first book — Authentic Content Marketing.

For a long time I had the fear of publishing. I wanted to have many case studies, to have enough smart ideas, to be an amazing writer, before I published my first book. A book! With the potential of bad reviews! How could I live with that?

I now realize, I can live with anything. I believe that nothing is permanent except for divine love.

The only way to truly learn is to keep making impressions. Let go of the need for a good first impression. Just make the next impression, and the next, and the next… each time, learning a bit more about improving yourself.

Eventually, good word of mouth will spread about you, but it probably won’t be from your first impression, nor from your 11th! Let go of the requirement of praise from others, and focus on the joy of creating.

You have many, many opportunities to make impressions in this lifetime. Take action now, and you’ll inevitably get stronger and better over time.

Go and make your first… or next… impression!

Originally published at



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George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"