If you are a creative small business owner, there is a chance that you have tried an idea or two over the years. And everyone is always super willing to give you tips about how you should focus your business. But what if you want to try something new? Again?
Today we are going to look at some of the main things that hold creative business owners back!
There is some cussing in this one and a few affiliate links…
back out now if you hate that kind of thing.
Let's start right out of the gate with a big ole one, fear! Our brains are super wired to be afraid of anything new so when we have a great idea that we think could help our business grow, our amygdala immediately kicks in and shouts… THIS WILL KILL US! STOP!
You can trust me on this, I have a degree in psychology, but also have that same reaction personally from time to time, usually out of the blue.
I will thinking about taking a picture and all of a sudden THIS will happen…
Oh for fucks sake, who are you to think that anyone wants to see your pictures? You are not a good enough photographer to take that shot… you will fail! AND you quit band in 9th grade!
Okay, that last bit was my mother, but seriously, it is weird how fast our limbic system can jump in and shout fire if we are trying to poke one toe out of line.
I have tried LOTS of things over the years, with lots of people, in lots of places and some of them have worked out STUPENDOUSLY, and some not so much.
Why then do I feel like I have to justify trying something new to myself or anyone else?
Because the shame of all my failures comes crashing down ever time I think about trying something, ESPECIALLY if it is something that I have failed at before.
Say I want to do a course on Skillshare, where they have personally reached out to me and asked me to talk about Etsy because that is a subject they need help with. With that kind of backing, for sure I couldn't feel weird, right?
Except that voice says…
You paid all that money to buy the membership site software and no one joined… remember when you spent all that time doing a course and only sold a few, AND all the people making courses are charlatans and only out to take peoples money… do you want to steal from little old grandmas and put them out of their homes?
Holy crap that runs off the rails FAST.
In fact I did make two classes on Skillshare! They are doing well, adding another income stream and helping people. But damn, if you had to be in my head when I considered it, it would have sounded like I was tempting the downfall of society as we know it.
Okay, doubt can dress up like shame but is a little bit more teen-ager-y than shame. Shame is bone deep and internal, doubt is like those girls in high school who didn't like what kinds of jeans you wore.
Doubt says things like…
You are too heavy right now to make videos or you don't have the right microphone to do podcasts or you should wait to do this until you have taken that class in website design.
Doubt is kind of an asshole and nibbles on your self confidence.
I don't really suffer from external doubt that often, but I did just do a podcast with a friend and she literally was like, “if I can't make this microphone work I am probably too stupid to do a podcast.”
Seriously? Last time I looked being interesting and fun had NOTHING to do with mechanical abilities!
Say we do muster up the courage to start doing something new…yay! Wait just until the shine wears off or the first thing breaks and you can bet our old friend worry will show up to make us lose sleep.
Worry is that baseline feeling that everything is about to screw the heck up if you are not vigilant.
Worry tells you…
You didn't use the right word in that email… dammit, why couldn't you have said it THIS way instead. Oops, did you forget to schedule that call? Can't you do anything right, you are SO not going meet your timeline for this project.”
Worry nibbles at us all day, every day, pecking away like little bird until we break down and take a nap in the afternoon just to stop it for a few minutes of blessed peace (just me?)
Your Friends and Family
Alrighty then, we are done with our internal demons, let's head on over to our loved ones who are always looking out for our best interests! Probably they have heard you have a new idea a time or two before and they probably are not as excited as you are about this new venture.
If they are good friends, maybe they get a little excited and pitch in with some suggestions, but I generally find that my ideas do better when I wait until I am a ways in to spring them on anyone I know in real life.
It's not that they don't want you to be happy, but in their eyes all those “failures” you had before should be getting you down right about now… in fact, wouldn't things be better if you just got a nice, normal job?
You HAVE to remember that entrepreneurs are wired differently than muggles and they will never understand about working your ass off for something that might or might not work.
Random Strangers Who Will Judge You
Okay, now we get to the meat of the matter. I promise you that at least a wee bit hesitation comes to us all about “they” will think.
- What will they think if I start a new MLM?
- What will they think if I open an Etsy shop?
- What will they think if I shut down my membership site and start a Shopify store?
- What will they think if I want to be a weight loss coach?
- What will they thin if I say I want to write a book?
I was talking with my mastermind partner, Kir, and she was telling me that a friend of hers was afraid to promote the MLM she was excited about because she is afraid “they” will judge her for joining ANOTHER MLM company.
Here is the hard part, they probably will judge you…sigh.
I would love to say that everything is sunshine and roses and the world will blindly fall in line with your new idea, but I promise you, “they” are waiting for you to fail.
It is like that story about the crabs pulling each other back into the bucket… for some reason we are wired as a species to think badly about someone who is trying to rise above their station.
So this is what you need to do… channel your inner bitch and just think…
Go fuck yourself (said in a jersey accent)
And then go back to building your business!
Do Something “They” Will Hate
You wanna know a secret? I started my Etsy store as a kind of protest against “real” marketing people. I was burned out and bummed out and didn't really love marketing anymore, which is super sad as that is my passion.
So I thought, what would “they” think is really stupid and not worthwhile for professionals… OF COURSE….Etsy!
Etsy is little tiny shops, with WOMEN (gasp), who are not trying to rule the world, just have a really nice life doing what they love and making money.
Not sure I could have picked something further from the mainstream of the crowd I was running with at the time.
And I LOVE it! It is just a wee bit of my business, but it introduced me to product photography (ADORE) and also to new set of friends who are supportive and NOT hoping I will fail.
If you are sassy like me, try something weird to see what happens. Do it unapologetically and with gusto!
About All Those “Failures” – You Have Learned Skills!
Alrighty then, let's talk about why you might need to read a post about boldly starting something new… have you failed before?
OF COURSE you have!!! We all have… multiple times… in all different ways!
Okay, maybe that was a wee bit too far, but failures are only wasted time if you let them be.
When I did make the Skillshare classes it took so much less time because I already had the software and skills to make movies fast. When I started Etsy I didn't have a big learning curve because I already understood SEO and could get my items seen more easily.
Every one of the failures let you learn something and that will help you with the new thing you are trying.
Tell Someone Who Is Like You Your Crazy Business Idea
I was so glad that Kir's friend was brave enough to talk to her! Hopefully she was able to get the encouragement she needed to launch her new company in a big way without shame or doubt.
If you are thinking about an idea, tell someone who has wicked good ideas all the time too!
I am always down to hear a good idea, shoot me an email (tara – at – marketingartfully.com) and it will be happy to give you a cheer…
Yay new ideas!!!