Happy Monday, All! Today you’re getting a double dose because I’m also hosting Chrys Fey for her blog tour. Click here to check out Chrys’ latest release and make sure you show her some comment love!
I’ve always wanted to own my own business. I never knew precisely what type of business I could run, but the idea of being my own boss—and being able to work from home—intrigued me. I tossed the idea around, but didn’t really put any concrete effort into it. Besides, I’d just moved to a new city and was trying to meet new people and keep my head above water—and my husband and I were expecting our first baby.
I’d think about all that business mess later.
Fast forward a year or so, there was a major change at my job. I worked at a university and my main role was administering exams and advising. Not what I’d gone to school for (creative writing) but it paid the bills. Plus, I loved my coworkers and everyone else in the building. Going to work was fun and not at all stressful.
Then February came. The Higher Ups made some changes. My role shifted from advising and testing to calling prospective students all day—like a telemarketer—and something happened that hadn’t happened to me in a very long time: I dreaded going to work. “Oh, no,” I’d say on Monday mornings. “Not the list of prospective students again! If I have to call the same doggone people that I called last week, I’m going to scream. Besides, if I talked to them last week, why do I need to call and bother them again? Seems to me like if they wanted to talk—they’d call me back, right?”
This was obviously not the job for me.
And then, the wheels began to turn. What talents do I possess that I could turn into a career? The answer came quickly: every time people find out I’m an English major, there’s something they need me to read over or write: job cover letter, resume, mother’s day tribute, you name it. Truthfully, I’d been content editing and being a writing coach before I even knew they were actual jobs. What if I could do those things but, like, for a living? I resisted the idea because, even though I always said I wanted to be my own boss, the thought of actually doing it made me…well, scared. There was a certain level of comfort that came along with punching a clock. I didn’t have to map anything out. Go to work and bam: there’s the Monday list full of students that I just contacted on Friday. Easy Peazy. No sweat involved.
I knew I’d probably be looking for other jobs, and it dawned on me that I needed a new social media profile picture since I’d had the same picture since 1987 (and that picture of me crouched in front of my cousin’s Buik, throwing up the peace sign? No Bueno). A good friend of mine agreed to take the picture and do my makeup. When she showed up at my house at six a.m. ready to roll, she had suitcases full of makeup. Like, enough to do every single member of Atlanta and Jersey housewives (and then have some left over to do the ones in Miami). And then when I saw how terrific the photos came out, I asked her, “Why on earth aren’t you doing this as a job?”
“Oh, you know,” she said, “You see, what had happened was…”
And then I said, like I knew what I was talking about, “Girl, let me help you start your business.”
But guess what? I did it! I guided her through setting up her website, getting her business license, wrote a business and marketing plan for her, and it hit me: how could I do something for her that I wasn’t even willing to do for myself??? With her, there was no fear of failure. And I believed 100% that she would be successful—even though she didn’t quite believe it herself. So why couldn’t I believe in myself?
So I decided to stop letting fear hold me back, took the plunge, and started my own business. It’s called Your Vision (in Ink) and it’s aimed at helping people write, publish, and promote their books. Am I nervous? Quite frankly, yes. But that doesn’t mean I should let that nervousness stop me from pursuing my vision.
So whatever it is you want to do in life, do it. Want to write that book? Write it. And better yet, publish it. Want to start that catering business? Start it. Life is too short to be sitting around in your golden years talking about “What if?” I don’t know about ya’ll, but no matter what happens, I at least want to say that I tried (even when I was afraid to).
What about others? Has fear of failure held you back? If you could do anything without fear of failure, what would it be?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!