I have been toying with the idea of starting my own business for years … years. It is in the food industry so the thought of failure scares the crap out of me as it would completely drain my husband and I financially if I failed. It’s like my acting “career” … I want to do it so bad but my fear of making myself a fool by failure keeps me from moving forward. You call it a leap, and it is. Im a nurse and while I love my patients and work, I absolutely HATE the politics of it all and want to delve into what I truly lust for my life … the creative arts. Short story long: how do you get past the fear? I think this is a very real point, for many, that holds us back. How do you take that big step off the ledge? What did it for you?
Short answer is you don’t get rid of the fear. You have to be willing to accept risk and even embrace it.
I started my first “real” business out of desperation. I was working for a company for 6 years or so and they had doubled the sales force that year. We were all commission sales people and we got paid a higher percentage the more we sold. Doubling the sales people caused my income to drop by 33% despite my still being the top sales guy there. I realized that they controlled my future and income. I had done smaller businesses in the past with success but decided I did not want to do them. So I started with the sole purpose of escaping a 50-60 hour work week in a company that was destroying my will to live. My first year I made nothing. It was one of the lowest points you can imagine. I had worked endless hours to escape and now I would be stuck there. On top of it all I hurt my back at work and could not even go in. I struggled to get better and deal with an owner who did not want me there anymore. I decided to try the business again the following year. I saw what worked and what did not work and adjusted it. About 3 months before the kick off for my business I got a notice that my back injury company wanted to settle for the damage done. The terms were they would give me enough money to kick off my business and pay my bills for 3 months BUT I had to quit working my job and I could not ever come back. I also was not allowed to work in that industry (The industry I had worked for 13 years) as I was on a non-compete.
So I had to make a choice. Keep working at a job where I knew the paychecks would come in and it would be safe or put everything I had on a business that had failed to make a penny the year before. I talked with my wife and she told me to go for it of I would hate myself for the rest of my life. I quit, accepted the pay off and put it all on the business making money. The changes I did allowed the business to more than double sales and I have not had a “job” since then.
It’s 8 years later and we still have ups and downs but I am ever thankful for my wife telling me to just do it.
Or you can spend the rest of your life wondering What If.
Now go watch this.