OK, I want to preference this post by letting my readers know that I’m up way too late on a Saturday night.
In fact, it’s actually 3:40am Sunday morning and I’ve been up a couple of hours. I've been up so long that I pondered the thought of getting up to finish the laundry, but I decided against hopping out of my cozy, warm bed.
Anyway, since I’m up and my Instagram feed isn’t jumping right now I decided I would take the opportunity to pen my first blog post of 2018. So here goes...
This isn’t my first sleepless night over the last couple of weeks. I’ve awakened often from lucid dreams that I can only attribute to anxiety. You see, I’ve been working on a new project within my business. It’s totally different from the services that I currently provide, yet it fulfills my essential, basic reason for going into business: to help people in designing a life that they love. I take on that mission in my brand design, photography, consulting and very soon I will be adding the area of financial literacy.
Yeah, you read correctly, financial lit.
This is a big leap from the comforts of my relaxed, loving, behind the scenes environment of pretty typography and newborns. This is something totally new and unfamiliar in a sense. I’m qualified to do the job, but as evidenced by the anxiety I’m scared out of my wits and totally out of my comfort zone. What if I fail? What if it tarnishes my brand? What if I become overwhelmed? What if?
As you can see, the doubts have been staring me down, but for those of you who don’t know me that well, they won’t win. I’m not, nor will I ever be a punk! So, I decided tonight/this morning, whatever...today, I’m going to snatch my peace back by making a public declaration listing the reasons why I must take the risk or miss the chance. This article is intended for any of my readers that may be wrestling with similar doubts, fears, or naysayers (haters /ha•turs/ according to modern lingo standards).
3 Reasons to Take the Risk or Lose the Chance
Success Is Yours for the Taking You Just Have to Reach for It
Taking a risk always comes with the fear of failure. (That’s why its called risk, silly rabbit!) And your brain doesn't help you at it all. Because it fills up with a truckload of reasons why something won’t work, instead of the reasons why it will. So the best way to counter opinions (random unsubstantiated thoughts) is with facts. So I researched a bit and came across various stats and such relating to why businesses fail, but I couldn’t find much concrete, hard evidence as to why they succeed. I then came across a charming article that compared the qualities of successful and unsuccessful ventures.
The article (worth the read) made me remember to reflect and assess my why, my motives and my plan.
Why did you startup? Are you remaining committed to your mission, vision, and plan for your company? Why adjust what you’ve gained success by doing? Is there a true need for this service?
As I rattled off the questions in my mind, I politely and thoughtfully answered each one. And as I put doubt to shame, I could feel my confidence building. I realized that success is never out of reach unless you don’t reach at all. Success only comes as the result of action. (Or as my Grandfather so eloquently put it... “Sh*t or get off the pot!”)
In the aforementioned article, the author came to the conclusion that “There are things that you must possess to be a successful entrepreneur, but they won't guarantee success.” Nothing guarantees success, but by staying true to your passions, preparing for the task ahead by planning, acquiring knowledge, mentorships, etc. and implementing tested business strategies and processes. By taking these steps, you are committing the actions required to position for success. Oprah Winfrey quoted a similar phrase about taking risks much more eloquently than Granddad this way, “The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.” If you allow your fears and doubts to paralyze you, then success is forfeited from the start.
The "What If" Question Never Goes Away
Think back over your life.
Do you have any regrets? If you could go back, what would you do differently? What chances would you take?
OK, enough of that. Let it go, the past is the past, but I wanted you to get a taste of what it will feel like if in this pivotal moment you fall prey to doubts and fears. If you allow them to call the shots you they will forever rear their ugly heads any time you venture to tackle something uncomfortable and unfamiliar.
Yep, once they stop you in your tracks then their good friend and his associates (It didn’t work for him/her..., You really think you’re good enough...) will haunt you for the rest of your life. Hey, and they last thing any of us need is more things to stress over. So save the call to Ghostbusters by standing your ground and preventing "What If" & his boys from invading your space.
Personally, I had to do more than just think of a plan to deter the "What Ifs" so I wrote out my reasons for Why It Will Work.
- This is not a fly by night hair-brain scheme. It’s taken me two years to develop it, pray about it, and begin implementation.
- There is a tremendous need for this new service. It’s an unprecedented step that hasn’t been targeted within the industry.
- My motives for embarking upon this new venture align with my brand story and purpose.
- I’ve completed the tasks of coming up with a sound plan and business model.
- I’m knowledgeable about the topic and the business practices surrounding it. In addition, I have experienced mentors that I listen to and highly value their opinions.
So at this point, I’ve mounted the high wire and I’m just about ready for my close-up! But wait, there's one more reason why.
The Dream Is Not Yours To Keep
When you’re blessed to dream, you have a momentary occurrence in which you’re given divine insight into a realm of hope.
And, I’m careful to identify it as a blessing (a divine gift bestowed by God) because everyone isn’t fortunate enough to encounter the experience. Some folks just can’t see the vision whether it’s yours, theirs, or anyone else’s for that matter. It has to be carefully nestled within their brains and hearts for clear perception. Therefore, I know that having the ability to dream is a blessing, a luxury, and a gift. However, the gift is never intended for the recipient alone. Sure, the recipient gets to possess it. But the glamour of the gift is for others. If it wasn’t so, folks wouldn’t even mind to give gifts. Gifts are given for the admirers. Those onlookers who watch in admiration, adoration, or even envy.
Where did I get this way of thinking from? Well, I believe this gift-giving thing popped off a long time ago when some of the first blessings were handed out. In fact, my bible states that in a talk he had with Abraham (around Genesis 12:2) he said this: “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.” So there you have it a promise straight from the BIG guy. God blesses us so that others around us will be blessed.
You were given your dream/vision not just to appease your senses and desires. This thing is much bigger than you! God has given you a dream that if nurtured and cared for properly will bless not only you, but your family and everyone else that benefits from the process and the service provided. So be the Oprah of someone else’s dream and pass it on. (You get a ... and you get a...LOL!)
To sum it all up, no you can’t just stand there shaking in your boots wrestling with doubts and fears. Be brave. Be strong. Be courageous as you take a leap that will benefit mankind for the good. There will be risks involved, but the rewards should outweigh the risks. And yeah, this is for you even if your dream is to open a T-shirt company, lawn service, or Poop & Scoop. Whatever your unique thing is, if it lines up with your moral convictions, life’s purpose, fulfills a true need within a market and suits your business forte then it is well worth the risk and the chance.
So ask yourself this question, why wouldn’t you take the risk? Then, move forward from there.