I’m not a horror movie kind of girl. But in real life, the more scared I am, the better.
Starting your own business at the age of 21 is full of scary moments. The moment you walk into your first networking meeting. The moment you send your first proposal. The moment you send your first invoice. The moment you chase up your first unpaid payment. The moment you make your first business mistake. And honestly – when you do all them for the second time, and the third. Some of them are still scary – I close my eyes whenever I press send on a proposal. I can’t bear to watch.
One of the scariest moments of my life was deciding to leave my university town of Durham, where all my friends had managed to find reasons to stick around for more years, and move to London to study event management, where I knew no one and nothing. As we drove down the A1, I had the feeling I was making an awful mistake. This was a HUGE DEAL, a HUGE change I was making.
But that was what made it so worthwhile. It was a big risk, and it made the incredible outcome all the more exciting. I felt the same when I started my company – at points along the way, I have felt so terrified. But it is that fear that makes achieving things with it so valuable.
So I have made the decision to take that feeling of fear – that sinking dread in the pit of your stomach – as a green light, to rush ahead and go forth and do amazing things. If I never sent a proposal out, I’d never get any work. If I never spoke at a networking meeting, I’d never make any connections. And if I never started my company… who knows where I’d be.
So next time you feel afraid, realise it’s not about how much you could lose if it goes wrong (probably a lot less than you fear). It’s about how much you stand to gain, if you do it right.
Note: this blogpost was inspired by “Freak Success: A Dialog with Chris Brogan”, a podcast by Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner. Go listen to it, and while you’re there listen to a few of his other podcasts too. They’re excellent!
Note: this blog post originally featured on www.socialquirk.co.uk.