We all have fears. We simply would not be human if we did not have that feeling or any feelings at all. The thing with fear is that it kicks our fight or flight response into gear. Do we stay or do we go?
(Cue The Clash)
I look back on many things and don’t consider my previous choices as regrets, but see them as stepping stones for the next opportunity.
I shed my communication studies to focus on English at another school.
What did it get me?
*A new circle of friends (some of which I continue to talk to today,
more than former high school and community college friends)
*The idea to start a business.
*The idea to write a book.
*The idea of possibly continuing my education and maybe be an English professor.
*The idea of being a secondary school teacher.
While I ended up working at a school, I did write that book and I still planned on having that business. I never dove right in because I needed to save the money to eventually make the leap.
After I left my job, what did it make me realize?
*I still want to write (more books)
*I am a natural leader and need to be my own boss.
*I definitely don’t want to teach. At. All.
(To me, there is too much politics–not necessarily at the school I worked at, but anywhere. I don’t tolerate favoritism and employee drama.)
So I finally got that business up and running. I have had my highs and lows, moments of complete joy and moments of complete breakdowns. Starting up the business took up a lot of strength and planning, with the thought of failure in the back of my head.
I initially considered failure the be all, end all of my business and my life. What if I went completely broke? What if everything went completely belly-up beyond my control? Am I the ONLY one to blame?
Keep in mind: Failure is truly an important part of success.
If you don’t make mistakes or realize that something isn’t quite right with your current choice, you’ll never learn from them or recognize why you took that route in the first place.
One thing I have learned to overcome is that failure is not what would define me or become my identity. The fear of wondering what people will think is what holds people back from actually taking the big step to become an entrepreneur. Just think of the big guys out there today who have failed once before and are gajillionaires today. After failures or bankruptcies, they found something that works. I don’t really think they’re worried what people think of them now, especially when seats are being filled at events, books are being read and every other product is being consumed by the masses.
So failure is bound to happen. Not to burst any bubbles, but they may be quite large or significant enough to realize that a new direction
needs to be taken. A slow sales day? Sure it may happen. I’ll have to eat some crackers for dinner. Closing up shop for good? Hell, it may happen, but what did you get out of the experience?
The best tip to give before/during and after anything is to ask,
“What’s the worse that can happen?”
So what have I gained out of this? I’ve learned a whole deal about making changes and improvements to the operation of my business, but also found new strengths beyond the baking and decorating.
What have I realized now?
*I am passionately in love with writing. Probably more than ever. It is
an unbreakable relationship. Fiction writing. Blogging. Copywriting.
*Spending more solitary time opened up more ideas and options. In the
classroom. You had to be “on” all the time and be in work mode. At my
shop, I have more time to think of new ideas, new paths to create and
*Having a storefront limits opportunities for a busybody like myself. I
plan to take the experience to a next level.
*I love working for myself.
So, having fears will never go away, baby doll. The only way to chug
along is to acknowledge and accept that they will happen along the
way. You can always look back and feel pleased that you tried rather
than wonder years later why you never did it.
You know, if you finally find the formula for success from failure,
you could be laughing all the way to the bank.
It’s up to you.
Photo by Bryce Covey via Style Me Pretty