GUEST POST BY JESSICA FREEMAN
Growing up, I was scared to death of dogs. It didn’t matter if the dogs were large, small, a stray on the street, on a leash, or even a dog that belonged to family and friends.
It was during my college years that I started to slowly overcome this fear. It was five years after the very beginning of this (unofficial) process that I became a dog owner! Yes, the girl who couldn’t stand to be in the same city block as a dog for the last 20+ years, became a dog owner.
To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I was totally over my fear of dogs (I’m not) when we adopted Morgan. It was a big risk for us to take, not knowing how it would work out. The end result? I’m obsessed with my dog. (And, I’m pretty sure I’m Morgan’s favorite.)
So, what does my dog adoption have to do with business? Everything.
Because, sometimes… YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT SCARED. And, I’m going to give you two reasons why!
1. It will only get more difficult.
There is psychological research that shows, when you avoid things – it only gets more difficult each time you think about doing it. (It’s called avoidance coping, if you want to do more in-depth research on it.)
If you’re like me, I was terrified of being on video and starting a YouTube channel. I just kept thinking about it for a few months, while friends kept encouraging me to start, and I knew deep down it would be so good for my business.
Every time I thought about doing video, negative thoughts would run on repeat in my mind – I look funny, people will think I’m weird, what if I say something wrong, etc.
The only way to “beat” this avoidance coping behavior?
FIRST, YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS. Replace these false (and unconfirmed) beliefs with positive statements that are accurate. “So what if I say something wrong? I’m putting myself out there, I’m trying my best, and no one is perfect.”
Once you’ve started doing this, there’s only one other step – JUST DO IT.
2. It can inspire more creativity.
When you try something new, and you realize that you enjoy it, or that it’s successful – you’re going to enjoy your days more, feel more creative, and be more likely to try even more things.
After a few months of doing videos, I felt inspired to start a podcast. After a few months of doing that and connecting with people, I felt inspired to put on an in-person event.
Okay, but what about if _________ fails? Not sure I’ll be feeling so inspired.
Don’t worry – I’ve experienced failures and total flops, too. Yes, there is an initial period of frustration, embarrassment, and wanting to hide in a hole for a few months.
BUT WITH FAILURE COMES GREAT INSIGHT.
For example, last year, I launched an online course – and it totally flopped. I was so frustrated because I had spent months and months working on the course. For nothing. Everyone else was successfully doing courses, why didn’t mine work?
I learned a lot from that situation about launching, marketing, my audience, and myself. I got caught up in what ‘everyone else’ was doing. I realized (or remembered) that I value more one-on-one work, and actually connecting with people. It’s much easier to connect with people who work with you one-on-one or in smaller groups! Without this realization, I may not have ever had the idea to create an in-person event.
I'D RATHER SAY, "OH WELL!" INSTEAD OF "WHAT IF?"
I’m not sure who originally said that line, but I remind myself of it constantly. Before I started my YouTube channel, I kept wondering, what if this was the thing that helped me take my business to the next level? Thankfully, I followed my gut, and have seen the impact that doing something new, even when scared, has had on my business.
Jessica Freeman is an award-winning graphic and web designer, helping service-based entrepreneurs create a brand that shines through every level of their business. Outside of designing, she also loves producing for her YouTube channel and podcast. Jess lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Aaron.
Find her HERE.